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! With practice at home, 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.
- Experience in choral singing and an ability to sight-read will be a big help – though sight singing is not tested in auditions. 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 as you can make up for it by practising at home – and you skills will improve over time. 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 technique.
- 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 because of the very high standard of performance we aim for. We expect members to commit to each of our planned concerts, and to attend every rehearsal, where possible. 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 sometimes 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.
We rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9pm, from September through to July, at the Heeley Hall, Birkdale School, Sheffield, S10 3DH. Access is via either Endcliffe Crescent or Caxton Road. There is disabled access using ramps from the entrance on Endcliffe Crescent. Follow this link to the school’s website.
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, which you’ll be sent if you decide to try us out. Members need to commit to all our planned concerts, and to attend every rehearsal where possible. 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 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 no car parking on site; however there is plenty of street parking which is free after 6.30pm. Those with mobility issues can apply for a space in the small car park by arrangement.
Access on foot / by Bus –120 bus (every 15 mins but less frequent at 9pm) and 60 bus (every 60 mins) run near the school along Fulwood Road 5 mins walk away, see https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/.
Emergency evacuation – On hearing the fire alarm, vacate the building via the nearest exit. Assemble on the nearby street but away from the building. If you discover a fire, press the nearest alarm, which causes the emergency services to attend immediately.