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General Information


Thorough preparation for public performances is essential to the achievement of high choral standards.  The cost of rehearsal facilities in central London means that there are unlikely to be more than 7 or 8 rehearsals for any concert. This, together with the limited size of the choir, makes regular attendance a necessity. Members will only gain maximum benefit from their membership by attending all rehearsals.

  • rehearsals are normally held between September and June at Bloomsbury Baptist Church, Shaftesbury Avenue, London on Wednesdays from 6.45 sharp until 9.00pm with a 10 minute interval for refreshments and the conduct of urgent choir business.  A record of attendance is maintained.
  • a schedule of rehearsal dates is published in advance of each season.  The schedule defines a minimum attendance requirement for each concert. Whilst the attendance rules will be applied with sensitivity and having regards to members’ business/professional commitments, members should not expect to perform on a public platform without thorough preparation, a sound knowledge of the scores and of the MD’s interpretation.
  • members who are unable to satisfy this requirement will not be permitted to take part in the public performance without the approval of the Musical Director. The Musical Director may similarly exclude from the public performance any member who does not attend the pre-performance rehearsal on concert day. 
  • to reduce inconvenience to members, concerts will wherever practicable be arranged to take place on Saturdays or Sundays.

Notice of absence from weekly or concert day rehearsals should be notified to the Member’s voice representative, the Secretary or the Musical Director. The Secretary holds phone numbers and email addresses for the following

    • Musical Director - Jessica Norton
    • Secretary and acting Chair– Joan Poole
    • Treasurer – Aurelia Mason
    • Librarian – David Firshman
    • Publicity Secretary and Alto rep – Suzette Pettit
    • Friends’ Secretary and Bass rep – Keith Searle
    • Soprano rep – Jane Kendall
    • Tenor rep – Andrew Mantle
  • any notice of less than 24 hours should be by mobile phone and not by email which may not be picked up in time.

Concert Dress, Conduct and Etiquette
As well as sounding good, it is important that the choir presents itself as a well disciplined unit on the concert platform. To this end the following rules apply.

  • the Committee will prescribe the concert address for each performance. It will normally be:-
    • Women --  full length  black dress or black blouse and full length black skirt or black tailored trousers.  Black shoes and black tights.  A small black evening bag may be carried. Jewellery if any should be discreet.
    • Men – black shoes, socks, tailored black trousers, open –necked black shirts. For some concerts  dinner suits and white shirts with black bow ties will be worn. 
  • no food or drink must be taken on to the platform.
  • Members must be ready to line up at least 15 minutes before the start time of the concert and 5 minutes before the end of the interval.  Choir members should wherever possible avoid going front of house during intervals.
  • music must be contained within an LOC folder, available for purchase from the Librarian.
  • walk on in silence in the prescribed sequence and observe sit and stand instructions at the beginning and end of the performance. The choir may join in audience applause only from a sedentary position.

Subscription rates and payment arrangements are contained in a separate note . They are reviewed annually by the Committee and submitted for Member approval at each AGM. Failure to pay the appropriate amount will constitute grounds for membership to be cancelled.

Auditions and re-auditions
Members must be able to contribute to choral performances of a high standard in keeping with the choir’s reputation, its high profile venues and appearance with professional soloists and players. Prospective members are given a short assessment by the Music Director before membership is confirmed. Members will normally be re-assessed at suitable intervals as determined by the Music Director.

GDB 10/08/12