Come Sing With Us
Frequently Asked Questions
When and where are the rehearsals held?
Join us at our new rehearsal space in the Aquinas Academy, cnr of Harrington and Grosvenor Street only a 4 minute walk from the York Street exit from Wynyard Railway Station.We rehearse every Tuesday night at 6:15pm to 8:15pm (details on the contact page). Rehearsals generally last for 46 weeks of the year.
How many rehearsals am I expected to attend?
As many as you can. We do not have a strict attendance policy. As long as you are confident that you know the music, you can sing in any concert. We really do like you to attend rehearsal regularly. Amongst other things, repetition assists memorising. As well, it is very important that you get to know us and we get to know you. It is a friendly place.
How many concerts does the choir sing each year?
We try to do between 15 to 20 concerts each year.
How many concerts am I expected to sing in?
As many as you want to sing in. Some of our choristers try for all of them. However, for most people that is unrealistic. We recognise that there are other lives to live.
Is there a membership fee?
We have an annual membership fee of $350 (reviewed yearly). Students pay no fee. Membership fees are due in February. Pro-rated fees are available for new members joining during the year. Payment by instalment (monthly, quarterly) is possible.
Is there an audition?
Yes, although it is not a hugely formal process. Our Musical Director will hear your voice to decide which part you should sing with. If you are not an experienced singer, he will also decide when you are ready to sing with us in concerts. We have a strong history of 'growing our choristers'. A number of our choristers had no music skills when they joined and are now active singers, participating regularly in concerts.
What music am I expected to learn?
In any one year, you can be asked to sing about 70 to 80 songs. The Choir has a very large repertoire, enabling us to sing to the same audiences by varying our song program for each concert. Our music library contains well over 500 songs in all parts. The music set that you are issed will have the 125 or so that are in the Choir’s current rotation of songs.
What type of music does the choir sing?
There are songs from the West End and Broadway musicals, opera, sacred songs, the great Welsh hymns, folk songs, pop songs, classical songs and more. You will never get bored with the range of the music. We even have a small group - 'quartet' - called the "Four Directions".
How many parts are there in the choir?
The Choir is divided into four sections: 1st Tenors, 2nd Tenors, Baritones and Basses. Depending on the arrangement of the music, we may sing in unison (everyone singing the same notes) or we may sing in two-part, four-part or even eight-part harmony (i.e., each part sings a slightly different version of the same song at the same time).
Do you sing from memory or do you hold the music while you sing?
Except for some classical music, the Choir sings from memory, without holding sheet music. As entertainers this allows us to interact with the audience and is why our shows are so much fun.
I sing very well. Are there opportunities for soloists?
We have many solo opportunities in the choir - singing a small or large solo part accompanying the choir or as a stand-alone soloist between song brackets in a concert program.
Do I need to be able to read music?
While the Choir attracts many fine musicians, several singers have had limited sight reading skills and music theory knowledge when they joined and subsequently became quite skilled. The Choir holds free classes from time to time in music theory to which you are welcome.
Meanwhile do not hesitate to ask your Part Leader or an experienced member if you do not understand something or are experiencing difficulty with a section of a song.
When will I be ready to sing in a concert?
We find that it takes at least 6-8 weeks for someone to be ready for his first concert. This varies according to your skill and experience. Only you will know when you are ready. The Musical Director and or your Part Leader can assist with this decision. We suggest that you chose a concert 6-8 weeks away and begin to learn the music for that concert.
We strongly recommend that you watch the Choir perform in one or two concerts before you sing in your first concert. This will give you an insight into what we do onstage.
What advice can you give about singing in a concert?
Blend, and watch the music director.
Blend in with your part - the blokes in your Section know the part well. Listen and sing exactly with them - your voice should not stand out. If you forget the words, the blokes around you are singing them. Sing with them.
Watch the music director. Every time we sing each song, we sing it slightly differently. The MD gives you direction of what to do this time. Watch!
What tools can I use to learn the music?
The Choir’s Librarian has put up all of the music on our web site www.sydneymalechoir.com.au. Each song is broken into the parts and you can call up the track with your vocal part for each song so you will hear your notes played on your computer while you sing them and follow the music on screen. The Librarian will provide instructions on use. While this learning curve may appear daunting, it becomes easier very quickly.
Does the choir do country tours? Am I expected to go?
The Sydney Male Choir does at least one tour into country NSW each year. In the past several years, thse have been to support Cancer Assistance (CANASSIST), Royal Flying Doctor Service RFDS, and is support of Seniors Week functions etc. Choristers attend who can. Country towns do not get many visits from performing groups. Their appreciation is extraordinary. We pay for our own travel and accommodation.
Does the choir do overseas tours? Am I expected to go?
The Sydney Male Choir makes an overseas tour every 3-4 years. In 2013, for example, we travelled to France (to participate at the ANZAC day service at Villers Bretonneux), and then on to England to participate in the Cornwall Male Choir Festival and a full program of concerts in numerous towns. Choir members paid their own travel and accomodation expenses, although, the choir subsidised these to some extent. Earlier in 2017 we undertook an 18 day tour of New Zealand singing 10 concerts in both the North and South Islands.