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 haven’t been rehearsing during the pandemic, but are starting again from September 2021. We rehearse every Monday evening, usually from 7.30pm to 9.30pm but probably only until 9pm from September 2021, at Cemetery Road Church on Napier Street, Sheffield (see map below). Pre-pandemic we always had tea or coffee and biscuits half way through the rehearsal, provide members with the chance to chat, and a ‘bring and sell’ stall every month to raise choir funds. However, due to Covid risks we are not having refreshments from September 2021, until further notice.
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!
In normal years we perform six concerts, 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. Although many of our choir members sight read rather well, this is NOT a requirement, so don’t worry if you can’t! All we ask is that you be committed to working on the music in your own time at home, so that you know the works well before we perform them.
The annual subscription fee is competitive for choirs in our region; it was £125 in 2019-20 and remains at this level for 2021-22. The fee 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, by bank transfer, standing order or cheque, 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. There won’t be any sight singing! 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 work wonders. 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!