Join Us — Frequently Asked Questions
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 and they learn by repetition and consistent application. All that is asked of you is that you work hard at your music learning and that you sing in tune and blend with those around you.
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 about rehearsals?
Every chorister should attend choir rehearsals regularly, personal and family commitments allowing. These take place on Wednesdays (7.30pm to 9.30pm) at The Chantry Centre, Dursley,
GL11 4JB (see map)
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. 12 to 14 concerts are performed a year but other singing occasions can take place, for example for weddings or promotional events. This includes two annual concerts on consecutive evenings and another two concerts prior to Christmas following the same pattern. 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 40. However, we are launching a membership drive aiming to raise the numbers to 60+. 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 £85 for all members. Uniform is provided free from the point when the singer is ready to sing in concert.
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.
Can I sing with another choir?
Whilst membership of another choir is not encouraged, 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 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. In some situations, as a chorister, you will receive a subsidy towards the cost of tours but it is anticipated that a real commitment will be made towards the fund raising for such tours.
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.
Who do I contact for more information?
Want to join us?
If you are interested in finding out more about the choir, want to visit us or would like to explore membership, please complete our joining form. We will welcome your interest.
Any aspiring singer will be made very welcome at any of the practices.