Hopefully you'll find answers to some of your questions here but if not, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout, we’d love to help.
Q: Who is BCGC for?
A: BCGC is a community gospel choir that’s open to everyone aged 16 and over who would like to have a go at singing gospel. Our group is roughly 80-strong but we always have room for more!
Q: Do I have to have sung before?
A: No – just come and have a go!
Q: What if I’ve been told I can’t sing?
A: It’s probably not true – so just come and have a go!
Q: Do I have to audition to get in?
A: You don't have to audition to sing in the main choir. There are auditions from time to time for those who would like to sing solos with the choir but these are optional!
Q: Can I ‘try before I buy’?
A: You’re welcome to come and have a go at a rehearsal before signing up.
Q: Do I have to be able to read music notation?
A: No – we learn all parts by ‘hearing and singing back’. We learn the words and the notes off-by-heart together during rehearsals, but lyric sheets are also available for practising at home. We also provide sound-files for you to practice singing along with your part.
Q: Is it a religious choir?
A: No. BCGC is a community choir that sings gospel music. Some of our concerts take place in churches but many do not. Any requests for the choir to sing in church services are offered to the choir and singers may volunteer if they wish.
Q: Does the choir do gigs?
A: Oh yes! The choir is what we call a ‘gigging choir’ in that we do gigs at any and all times of the year rather than just at the end of term. We have sung in the Voices Festival at Stourhead, visited care homes, celebrated Christmas at Gloucester Cathedral and rocked Frome Festival. We are often invited to sing at weddings and we even landed a support slot for London Community Gospel Choir at The Forum, Bath, and sang with Bazil Meade, LCGC’s director. As you can see – we’re open to offers!
Q: Will I need to do any homework?
A: Possibly – BCGC perform all their music from memory as they need their bodies free for swaying and clapping; so no lyric sheets ever go on stage at a gig. As we perform frequently, we can have up to 2 hours of music on the go at any one time. There are some simple standard songs that you can learn from recordings once you’ve joined, as well as learning the new material at choir rehearsals. The benefit is that once you know a song, you’re likely to be performing it for a good long while!
Q: Do I get to wear a robe?
A: Unfortunately not! The choir have their own concert dress that they wear at most performances. It includes a smart blouse or shirt in the choir’s signature red, which can be purchased when you join the choir. Some gigs may require a different dress code. We’ll advise you about this when appropriate.
Q: Does your rehearsal venue have disability access?
A: Yes. The Friends Meeting House has a platform lift at the east entrance, and a fully accessible toilet next to the meeting room. Please contact us in advance to arrange use of the lift.
Q: I see that you offer a concession on the term fees. How do I know whether I qualify?
A: You can get a concession if you are registered as Unemployed, entitled to Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance, receiving a DSS state retirement pension or in full-time education. If you’re unsure, please chat with our administrator.
Q: What else does the choir do?
A: We're a very friendly choir - we share lifts to concerts, go out for drinks after rehearsals, go to gigs together and sometimes take the odd day-trip. We believe that its not all about the music – its about the people too.