Why join Epworth choir?
There are lots of reasons people join choirs and some particular reasons why people join Epworth Choir. Here’s some of the reasons we all joined:
- I saw ‘The Choir’ with Gareth Malone on the telly and wanted to have a go myself
- I used to sing a while ago and wanted to get back into it
- It’s a great stress-buster in the middle of the working week
- I’ve never sung in a choir before but I wanted to learn
- I wanted to do something to support local charities but I don’t have much time so this is a great way to combine a fun hobby with doing something for charity
- I like meeting and socialising with a different group of people
- I’ve sung in other choirs before but was looking for a bit more variety and different styles of music
We love to have a great variety of people in our choir, so whatever your reason – even (perhaps especially!) if it’s not on the list above – we want you to feel at home in Epworth Choir.
So what’s it like?
It’s like learning something new with a varied group of friends once a week. Some of us have been singing for decades and some of us only started recently. Some of us can read music, some ‘get by’, others sing mainly by ear. And we all have our own tastes in music. But we sing such a variety of different pieces and styles, we’re all learning something new every week. We learn from each other and we learn from our musical director and accompanist. They’re both accomplished professional musicians and have an enormous amount of experience in teaching and getting the best out of amateur singers.
How good at music do I need to be?
It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ you are, or how much experience you have, or whether you can sight read but the ability to read music would be useful. Honestly. Come and try singing with us for a week or two: if you enjoy it and want to come back then we’d love you to join. There are no auditions, no tests, no ‘judging’ at all. You just need to enjoy singing and learning.
At the start of each ‘term’, most of us are in the same boat: we’ve never sung the music before, so we’re all learning it together. It’s pretty ragged to start with, but there is plenty of rehearsal time before each concert and for the trickier pieces, we sometimes split into smaller groups of people all singing the same part so we can learn the notes more easily.
We have a special website just for members where we share recordings of the music we’re singing so you can play it in your car or on your phone or wherever until you get the hang of it. That’s a really good way of learning the music in between rehearsals even if you don’t always have your music with you or struggle to read the notes.
What do you sing, when and where?
We rehearse every week on a Wednesday night from 7.30pm – 9.30pm (with a good break for refreshments and a chat half way through), and we have a short break at Christmas and Easter and a longer break over the summer. Each ‘term’ we rehearse the set of music for the next concert, so there are usually lots of different pieces we’re learning at any one time. Each concert tends to have a theme and the music varies between styles from one concert to the next – ancient, modern, classical, jazz, opera, musicals, church music and Christmas carols!
The rehearsals all take place in the hall adjoining the Trinity Methodist Church in Woking (see the map below), which is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the centre of Woking and about 10 minutes’ walk from Woking train station.
We do 3 or 4 concerts a year – usually in April, June/July, October and a Christmas concert in December. We team up with other groups of singers, dancers and musicians depending on the concert, and perform in halls, churches and other venues around Woking and Guildford. Take a look at our past and future concerts pages to get a good idea of the range of music and concert venues.
How do we support local charities?
Each concert raises money for a different local charity. Usually someone from the charity will come to the concert to speak about the work of the charity. The charity helps us to promote the concert and then they take a collection from the audience at the end of the concert. The costs of putting on the concert (such as venue hire, fees for professional musicians and so on) are covered by the choir so the charity doesn’t have to worry about whether ticket sales will cover all of the costs; it just takes the whole of the collection. Over the years, Epworth Choir has raised tens of thousands of pounds for local charities through its concerts.
The choir covers concert costs by charging for ticket sales. So it’s really important that everyone in the choir helps to sell tickets to family, friends, colleagues and anyone else they can find!
When can I start?
This week! You are more than welcome to start any time during term time. The best thing is to just come along one Wednesday evening and sing with us. Best to let us know beforehand so we can confirm we’re in term-time and we can welcome you with some music and a ‘buddy’ to show you the ropes for your first week or two. You’ll find all the details you need below, and a form to contact us. If in doubt, drop us a line to ask any questions you may have.
If you decide to stay in the choir long-term, there is an annual charge made to all choir members which covers the costs of our rehearsal venue, our professional musical director and accompanist and other sundry running costs. The fee is currently £10 per year for students, £80 per year for under-30’s and £160 annually for over-30’s, and there are flexible options to spread the cost over the course of the year. In addition to the annual membership fee, every member of the choir must buy at least one £20 ticket to the April concert which they can give or sell to a friend or family member as they wish.
We all need to have our ‘own’ copies of the music we’re singing so that we can mark it up as we learn. We use a mixture of bought and hired music as well as music the choir owns. Usually you’ll have the option to either hire or buy music depending on your preferences. The costs of hiring each piece for the term are usually a few pounds, so the music hire costs for a typical ‘term’ are typically somewhere in the region of £5-10 in total. These costs are covered by individual choir members.
Finding our rehearsal venue
Join us any Wednesday evening during term time at 7.30pm at the Trinity Methodist Church, Brewery Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 4LH.
If you would like to find out more, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or just fill in the form below: