Frequently Asked Questions

I used to sing a bit. I learned to read music at school but haven’t done much for years. I don’t think I’d be good enough now to cope.

Being surrounded by others singing the same part helps improve your confidence quickly. And the weekly practice improves sight-reading skills enormously!

There is a lot of camaraderie within the sections of the choir and you will find your fellow singers very kind and supportive. You are part of a team, after all.

There is always a period of “note bashing” at the beginning of a new piece as many people are studying it for the first time. You’ll be amazed at how quickly a tune becomes fixed in your head.

Tuition tapes are available for many of the more difficult pieces and lots of people use them and find them invaluable.

If you don’t feel confident with reading music, we often offer extra support in the form of free workshops which are run over a number of weeks. Workshops are at our usual rehearsal venue, King Edward V11 Upper School in Broomhill and run from 6:30pm – 7pm, following which you join the main rehearsal with the support of an existing Chorus member.

For details of forthcoming workshops, contact Sally Turnbull, our New Members Officer, on 0143 363 0970 or 07771 578233 or email newmembership@SheffieldPhil.org.

I’m an experienced singer and musician. I think I’d find all the learning stages boring, and being part of a large choir unrewarding.

We have a number of people in the same position, and they are drawn by the high standard of the choir and the beautiful music we perform. Also, without the Phil, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to sing with orchestras such as the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic, or work under the direction of great conductors like Mark Elder. It is hard not to feel privileged whilst under the leadership of such wonderful musicians, and every concert is unique and unforgettable.We perform a lot of concerts during the season, both in Sheffield and elsewhere and are usually rehearsing more than one piece at a time. This makes rehearsals far from dull — there is always something new to learn in a piece of music.If you have ever attended a concert at a venue such as the Bridgewater Hall or Sheffield City Hall when a large chorus is performing, you will understand the power created by 200 voices. With every missing voice the magic is reduced.

Many of our members sing with other choirs and are equally loyal to both. A few even have soloist roles elsewhere.

I’d like to join, but I just don’t have the time. What is the commitment?

A minimum of 75% attendance of the relevant rehearsals is required in order to perform in a given concert. Most people are unable to give 100% attendance, and the majority of members have families or work. There will always be a concert that you can’t attend. The season is relatively short, and tends to run from September to June

Can I come along and give it a try?

Yes, come to any rehearsal you like. You may prefer to wait until we are beginning a new piece so that you hear us all struggling together! Coming for the first time to a rehearsal where we are familiar with something may be off-putting.

Tell me more about the rehearsals.

Rehearsals are held between 7.00pm and 9.00pm each Tuesday at King Edward VII Upper School, Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2P. On street parking is available and details of public transport links are on our New Members page.

Is there an audition?

Whilst we all appreciate that you might be a bit nervous, an audition is the normal way for a Music Director to assess the standard of your singing and to see if our chorus is right for you. We try to make the audition fairly short and as relaxed as possible. Prior to the audition you are welcome to attend a number of rehearsals giving a perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the music, the members and the fun we share.All members of the chorus have been through the audition and we want to support and encourage new members. Rest assured it is not as bad as it sounds. Our Music Director, Darius Battiwalla has put together a few notes on what you can expect on the Auditions page.

Is there a cost?

Chorus members are required to pay an annual subscription, and concessions for students and others are available. The subscription for the 2017-18 season has been held at £132. If you join the chorus partway through a season (after December) there will be a reduction on the full amount. Please talk to our Finance Officer if you would struggle to pay the subscription, as we can come to special arrangements for people on benefits or low incomes.