If you’ve not sung with an a cappella group before it’s worth being aware of the following:
- You’ll find that different groups have their own very distinctive personalities so we recommend you audition a few to see if you feel at home. Some groups are primarily social and sing for mainly for fun, some are ambitious and wish to push the art form or earn an income from prestige singing engagements. Generally speaking the community choirs tend to the former and if you’re a beginner we’d recommend contacting one of them.
- Most groups charge a small fee to cover administration costs/coaching etc. Some may charge a larger fee if they employ a professional musical director or other staff. These should be clearly specified on their website. You won’t need to pay on your first couple of rehearsals so don’t worry too much about this whilst you’re testing potential groups out. Groups often offer special arrangements if you think you might have trouble paying – just ask for a confidential chat with your Membership contact.
- If you don’t read music: don’t worry. Many groups learn songs by ear either during rehearsals or from teach tracks. A few require the ability to sight read. Again this should be spelt out on their website.
- Some groups are auditioned. This is normally a friendly test before you join or over the first few weeks. Generally they’re just testing that you can sing in tune and fit in with the rest of the group. Community groups are often unauditioned.
- For inspiration and just to get to know the a cappella community (they’re all lovely people!) it’s worth getting along to an a cappella festival. If you don’t have any money for tickets it’s worth checking to see if there are any free "foyer performances". Groups love to sing so there often are and it's always good to see how a potential group relates to an audience.
- A Cappella singing is popular and you may find many choirs have waiting lists - particularly (sadly) if you sing a female voice part and it's a mixed voice choir. If so just add your name to the list – they won’t mind if by the time a place becomes available you’re already singing with another group.
- Sometimes there just aren't choirs with spaces available in your area. If so, do consider founding your own choir. It can be a fair bit of work but is hugely rewarding. Links for resources to help can be found elsewhere on this site.