Frequently asked questions about membership
The choir welcomes new members. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions by prospective members:
Do I need to have sung in a choir previously?
No, many of our choristers have not sung in a choir before joining us.
Do I need to be able to read music?
No, many of our members don’t read music. All members are
given access to rehearsal tracks for their part, as well as recordings
of old performances.
Will I have to be auditioned?
We do have a simple, informal voice test which determines the section of the choir that best suits your voice, but for the first few attendances you may sit where you think you are best placed and this may change as a result of the test. It is important you are comfortable with your position within the choir.
Do I have to sing on my own?
You will never be expected to sing solo, unless of course you are proficient and wish to do so.
What help will the choir give me as a new member?
A mentoring system is in place and each new chorister is linked to an experienced singer who helps with music in rehearsals and also introduces the newcomer to other members of the choir. The period prior to singing in a first concert can vary from three to six months depending on progress and experience. A discussion with mentors will decide when a joining chorister is ‘stage ready’. A system is also in place for each voice section that covers all the repertoire of the choir.
What commitment is required?
Every chorister should attend choir rehearsals regularly, personal and family commitments allowing.
What kind of music does the choir sing?
The choir sings a wide range of music that includes classical items, songs from the shows and popular music as well as some religious music. The repertoire develops and changes over time and a feature of the choir is that a number of songs are arranged specifically for it by the Musical Director.
When and where does the choir perform?
Generally within a 30 mile radius but occasionally concerts will be given further afield. 7 to 10 concerts are performed a year but other singing occasions can take place, for example for weddings or promotional events. This includes an annual concert and two very popular Christmas concerts which are something of a traditional in the town. The choir has carried out major tours to East and West Canada, Germany, Austria and Eire.
How many choristers are there currently?
The number of members does tend to fluctuate but the membership is currently about 36. However, we are launching a membership drive aiming to raise the numbers to 40-50. Almost all choristers sing in the choir’s annual and Christmas concerts, and generally the singing strength for our other concerts is currently about 30.
What costs are involved?
The annual subscription is £100 for all members.
Uniform and music is provided free and, of course subscription pay for the practice venue and the musical team.
Does the choir have a constitution and rules?
Yes. Being registered as a charity requires these. The principal objective of the choir is “to study and practice choral music in order to foster public knowledge and appreciation of such music by public performance”. The choir is non-political and non-sectarian. Most concerts are geared to raise funds for charity.
Can I sing with another choir?
Yes, there is no rule in this choir’s constitution that prohibits membership of another choir. It is hoped that such commitment will not adversely affect commitment to Dursley Male Voice Choir.
What’s in it for me?
As a regular and valued chorister you will receive tuition in choral singing that will enable you to become a valued member of Dursley Male Voice Choir. But beyond this you will get friendship and the known health benefits, body and mind, from the joy of making music!
How does my family fit into all this?
All family members are encouraged to support the choir. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the choir functions, including those where overnight stays are required. The choir has an small active support group of wives and partners that greatly assists in fund raising and support of visitors, such as guest choirs.