Henleaze Choral Society


Frequently Asked Questions

Information for New Choir Members

Where and when do you meet? What types of music do you sing? When do you hold concerts?
For all logistical information, please see the Home page

I'm not sure my voice is good enough
It's not unusual to feel self-conscious about your singing voice. Almost everybody can sing and certainly everybody can improve with practice! We are a large enough choir that we often lift each other's efforts when singing together.

I'd feel embarrassed to audition/sing alone in front of others
We don't ask our members to audition! We occasionally have opportunities for solo parts but these are always filled by members who volunteer themselves rather than individual members being singled out. Individual members are not singled out during rehearsals.

I haven't sung for a long time/ever, I'm not sure what voice part I would sing
It's not unusual for people who sang in their youth to find that life gets in the way and that a long fallow period ensues, during which time their vocal range may change. HCS is made up of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass parts. If you're unsure, we're very happy to arrange a quick practice to see where you'd fit best. Equally, it's not a problem to change parts if this suits your voice better.

I'm not sure I can commit the time
We rehearse together once a week for 90 minutes. Obviously the more rehearsals you can attend, the better, but we understand that things crop up and people get ill. Our Musical Director, Robert Marson, provides practice materials which help to practise at home. It is helpful to know in advance if you will not be able to attend the main performance.

I love singing but I can't read music
While it certainly helps to be able to read music, not everyone in the choir can. Most of our repertoire is widely available to listen to via YouTube, Spotify, etc as well as rehearsal tracks to sing along to and break down the details of each voice part. Listening is a great way to learn. It may help to remember that everybody finds new pieces hard and makes mistakes, whether they can read music or not!

Is there a dress code?
For rehearsals, just wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Layers can be useful as the hall can warm up quickly, even on cold days. For concerts, gentlemen wear black tie; ladies wear black with long sleeves and a royal blue scarf (which is available to buy from the choir committee).

I'm still unsure
We're very happy for a prospective member to try out the choir for a week or two to see whether it suits you. Please get in touch to arrange a good time. Generally September and Easter are good times to try out the choir when we are at the beginning of learning new material. Nobody will object if you prefer to hide at the back until you find your feet!