Information for members 2023
Welcome to our choir! Here is some information for you
about the way we like to work together.
We are a community choir and as such we focus on enjoyment for all members (and the director!). The only skills we require are those of tolerance and supportiveness to the other people within the group.
We sing a wide range of short songs from world music to pop, classical to folk, and improvised and specially composed pieces. Following the ethos of the Natural Voice Network (https://naturalvoice.net), many pieces are unaccompanied. Some are simple and some are more demanding. If you do find yourself working on one which isn’t to your taste, remember it may well be a favourite of someone else in the group. If a piece isn’t working for you, be patient for a little while and you will probably enjoy the next piece more. You may even find the one you are worried about grows on you once you know it better!
We pride ourselves on being welcoming, flexible and inclusive. For example, some members learn best by ear while others find it easier to learn by reading music. Although pieces will be taught by ear whenever possible, scores are made available for those who feel they need them. As a choir comprising members with diverse life stories, we have a wide range of experiences and skills to share: not only musical skills but people skills too.
More confident and more experienced members are happy to support others, especially those who have been denied a voice in the past: we believe that singing is a birthright for everyone. We have a number of singers in the choir who have previously been disparaged and told they are tone deaf or should never sing. These members are extremely valuable to our team, making an excellent musical and social contribution. However, it is far easier to demolish someone’s new found confidence in their singing than to build it up! Therefore please respect everyone equally, and refrain from negative criticism towards anyone in the group. We think it’s important to be kind to ourselves too: so often singers at all stages of their journey can be overly self critical. We would like to encourage you to to celebrate what you can do rather than dwell too much on any errors you perceive yourself to have made: singing less than perfect notes is all part of the learning process. Our whole choir deserves a positive atmosphere in order to thrive and share its joy in singing.
We like to work towards occasional recordings and performances with and for our wider community. These are mostly informal in nature and the programmes are developed in consultation with the choir.
The choir sings much of its repertoire in three parts (high, medium and low). Voices change over time and if you feel you have been placed on the wrong line please talk to us about swapping.
You are always welcome to give feedback to artistic director Kate Buttolph: face to face, on the phone on 07974 382 989 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. If however you do not feel able to talk to Kate about something, three members of the choir act as an advisory group. These are Geoff Cardus, Wendy Cooper and Sue Fairbrace, so you can also communicate any issues through them.
Kate holds a list of email contact details so that she can send you news about rehearsal dates, concerts and other opportunities. She also emails links and/or audio files and scores for songs we are learning whenever possible. She sends blind copy emails to protect your privacy and will not divulge your personal information to other members without your permission. She holds phone numbers and next of kin contacts for emergencies if you wish to supply these. If a member leaves the group, she deletes their data from choir lists.
The drop in rate per session is £10.00. The discount rate for a 10 consecutive session “season ticket” (non negotiable dates) is £75.00. It is fine to mix and match: e.g. if you are going to be away for three weeks in one payment period, you may wish to opt for the drop in system for that particular ten week period. A discount is available if you wish to bring family members with you on a regular basis. Please contact Kate to discuss this if you are interested. NB the choir is only able to accept members under 16 if they are accompanied by an adult.
Updated December 2022,
KB and Advisory Group