Frequently Asked Questions
Rehearsals are every Monday and the diary lists 2 Saturday workshops plus the extra rehearsal on Thursday preceding the performance. Other than this, do you need to be able to commit any additional time (other than practice at home)?
1. If you are unable to attend workshops before the main performance can you still participate in the main event?
When we arrange workshops to help members prepare to perform major works, there is no obligation to attend. Obviously it helps if as many as possible do take part, but we do recognise that many people need their Saturdays for other things.
2. If you are unable to attend the main event, are you still allowed to attend rehearsals each week?
There are lots of people who come to the rehearsals even though they don't plan to join in the performance. Learning the work is a pleasure in itself and singing is very good for heart, lungs and soul.
3. Rehearsals are every Monday and the diary lists 2 Saturday workshops plus the extra rehearsal on Thursday preceding the performance. Other than this, do you need to be able to commit any additional time (other than practice at home)?
In order to take part in the performance, we expect singers to have essentially mastered the music being performed, so that they are able to watch the conductor for their timing cues while still singing the right notes at the right time with the right dynamics, pronunciation etc. How you get to that stage is up to you. In general, we stick to our rehearsal schedules and don't demand additional commitments of time from our members. Occasionally, rehearsals other than the regular Monday ones may be moved to a different day of the week than originally planned, e.g. if there is no rehearsal room available. We try to give plenty of notice of such events through the web site and the e-mail list.
4. Are we able to pay for membership on a monthly basis and do we pay by direct debit/standing order or bring cash/cheque each month?
We try to make this as convenient for our members as possible. Subscriptions are due annually on 1 August, adjusted pro-rata for members joining part way through the year. There is a 50% discount for full time students and those under the age of 25. Members are permitted to spread the cost across the year. To minimise admin for the treasurer and membership registrar, monthly, quarterly or annual standing orders are encouraged but it is also possible to make payments by cash/cheque at rehearsals as required.
5. Are members expected to buy tickets for each concert?
We do not insist on members buying a certain number of tickets for each concert. However, the ongoing success of the Society depends on selling as many tickets as possible. Many members still purchase a minimum of two tickets for each performance and either sell them on or give them to their friends/family. We currently offer season tickets at a 20% discount to the full ticket price and the cost of these may be spread across the year by adding them to subscriptions. Last year, the basic subscription was £110 and the cost of two season tickets a further £70, making £180 altogether or £15 per month. Members who are unable to bring friends are particularly encouraged to assist in other ways to sell tickets, for example by distributing publicity materials.
6. What is the dress code for performances and will it involve purchasing any special items?
Normally we ask ladies to wear long black skirts or trousers and black, long-sleeved tops; gentlemen wear black trousers and dinner jackets with black bow ties. The code is usually relaxed for the summer concert (no jackets). We provide silk scarves to the ladies - one each of a black/gold and a red/gold design. A £5 deposit is payable for each scarf, which is returned if the scarf is returned in good condition.