Sheffield Bach choir is a friendly choir and we welcome new members from all voice parts. Most of our concerts present classical oratorios, cantatas and other sacred music from across the centuries to the present day – including plenty of Bach!
We present one of Bach’s big three – the B minor Mass, the St John’s Passion or the St Matthew Passion – around Easter on a rotational basis, and Handel’s Messiah every Christmas, all in Sheffield cathedral. Our June concert tends to be lighter music including songs from the shows, spirituals or modern classicals – including jazz on occasion.
We rehearse every Monday evening from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, at Cemetery Road Church on Napier Street, Sheffield (see map below). Tea or coffee and biscuits half way through the rehearsal provide members with the chance to chat, and we have a ‘bring and sell’ stall every month to raise choir funds – with delicious baking!
The church’s car park is very small, but Waitrose is just nearby, and the store has kindly agreed that members can use the car park during rehearsals. Be aware that you will always need to provide your car registration on entry to the rehearsal, as without being included on the official list you will almost certainly be fined!
We perform six concerts each year, which of course restricts the number of rehearsals available for each concert. Choir members are therefore expected to attend a good proportion of the rehearsals available. You also need to be able to sight read reasonably well, or be committed to working on the music in your own time at home.
The annual subscription fee is competitive for choirs in our region (it was £125 in 2019-20) and pays for the services of our Music Director and accompanist, as well as hire of the rehearsal venue, membership of Making Music and Classical Sheffield, insurance and website costs. Members can arrange to pay in instalments, and anyone in financial difficulties can speak in confidence to our Treasurer about making an appropriate special arrangement.
If you are interested in joining the choir, please come and speak to us after a concert, or contact the membership secretary and arrange to come along to a few rehearsals. If you like what you hear, you will be invited to a short audition.
At the audition, you will be asked to sing a few scales and a piece of your own choosing, and sight read a short, simple piece for the conductor. People do worry about audition, but please note that we don’t look for perfection, and a willingness to work on pieces at home can more than make up for less-than-note-perfect sight singing! We provide links to rehearsal tracks and YouTube videos to help with learning works, and some members get together for note-bashing sessions in their own homes, so there’s plenty of support!