Rehearsals

Rehearsing with a very large choir can be exciting and exhilarating – but can be a bit daunting too, especially if you’re new to the experience! Here are some points to bear in mind:

  • You may be singing for the first time a piece that the choir are already familiar with. To some this will not be an issue but to many this can be a daunting experience which should not deter you — it is worth persevering! Within a couple of weeks you’ll find yourself singing the piece around the house (often without realising!).Our music can be challenging and even our existing members find a new piece difficult at first.
  • You need to be familiar with music well enough to follow your voice part and to recognise the length of notes and the rhythm. You also need to be familiar with basic instructions and dynamics, e.g., cres, mf, etc., although less familiar terms are explained.
  • An ability to sight-read is a big help – but please note that it’s not a requirement. Your skills in this area will improve over time with regular singing, and listening to the voices around you will help you tremendously. Do not worry if you feel that you are weak in this area. Discuss it at your audition and you will be advised accordingly. We provide links to websites that publish rehearsal tracks, and hold regular workshops to help people improve their sight reading.
  • If you’ve been trying us out, remember that you will need to audition before you are able to sing in concerts.
  • A high level of commitment is required by members. In order to perform in a concert, we expect members to attend all rehearsals. Of course anyone can fall ill or experience pressing family or work issues etc, but we tend not to allow members to sing in concerts if their attendance has fallen to unacceptable levels – around 75% usually. Members must also attend the Conductor’s piano rehearsal and the orchestral rehearsal on the day of the concert. You will need to attend from 7pm to 9pm each Tuesday, and sometimes stay until 9.15pm.
  • On concert days members are usually required at the City Hall from 2pm for a two hour orchestral rehearsal, then again from 6.30pm until the end of the concert. When singing with the Halle, there is often a compulsory rehearsal in Manchester on an evening of the week before the concert; coach transport is provided, paid for from Chorus funds.
  • Visiting other venues requires longer hours and rehearsals are occasionally conducted at these venues. Members are advised several months in advance of all rehearsals and concerts so that arrangements can be made. Travel to venues outside of Sheffield is provided, free of charge.

Rehearsal details

Most live rehearsals were cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead we rehearsed via Zoom every week – a new and interesting experience which is not quite the same as singing together, but we enjoyed the chance to be together virtually and to learn great music. We were also able to rehearse in Wesley Hall Crookes, where groups of 30 of us rehearsed live while everyone else attended via Zoom. We hope to be back to normal live rehearsals from 7th September 2021.

We rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9pm, from September through to July, at King Edward VII Upper School, Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2PW.  Follow this link to the school’s website.

Access by car – There are two vehicle access points, from Newbould Lane and from Glossop Road.

There is car parking on site; however as the Language College part of KES is also open on Tuesday evening, there will be competition for places. As the classes start after us, early arrivals should be OK; places for non-disabled drivers cannot be guaranteed of course. There is substantial street parking on Clarkhouse Rd. and other streets nearby after 6.30. Disabled access using ramps and a lift is from the town end of the site off Glossop Rd.

Access on foot / by Bus – There are numerous bus services stopping at the bus stops on the roads surrounding the school (Glossop Road, Newbould Lane and Clarkhouse Rd) and a lot of services. For details of bus routes, please go to: www.travelsouthyorkshire.com. In addition to the access points from Newbould Lane and from Glossop Road, there is pedestrian access from the city end of Clarkehouse Rd.

Emergency evacuation – On hearing the fire alarm, vacate the building via the nearest exit – this is likely to be via the front door and down the steps.  Do not use the lists. Assemble on the tennis courts in front of the main building. If you discover a fire, press the nearest alarm, which causes the emergency services to attend immediately.

Rehearsing for Mahler 2 on our mini tour with Markus Poschner and the Bruckner Orchester Linz, May 2018