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 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. We expect members to commit to every one of our planned concerts, and to attend every single rehearsal. 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 eg below 75%. 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

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.

Commitment required

You will need to attend from 7pm to 9pm each Tuesday, and sometimes stay until 9.15pm. Our Music Director, Darius Battiwalla, expects a very high level of commitment, which is reflected in our Chorus Rules. Members need to commit to every one of our planned concerts, and to attend every single rehearsal. Of course anyone can fall ill or experience pressing family or work issues etc, but we ask that all members try their very best to attend every rehearsal. Darius prefers full attendance even for people who are unable to sing in a particular concert, as it makes sure that all singers receive the benefit of the training provided on a weekly basis. We don’t allow members to sing in concerts if their attendance has fallen to unacceptable levels. Darius exercises some discretion in this respect, but not usually for attendances below 75%. Members must also attend the conductor’s piano rehearsal (usually the week before the concert, but sometimes the day before, and occasionally in Manchester) as well as the orchestral rehearsal on the day of the concert.

Access by car – There is car parking on site and one vehicle access point, from Glossop Road. The site is gated, and the gates open (or close on exit) as the vehicle approaches, as long as it is centrally positioned.

The school operates as a Language College on Tuesday evenings, so there will be competition for places. Early arrivals should be OK; places for non-disabled drivers cannot be guaranteed unfortunately. 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 pedestrian gates at the Glossop Road and the Newbould Lane entrances. The gates are open until 10pm; they might need a good push!

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.

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