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.
Who is Bath Community Gospel Choir for?
A: We’re a community gospel choir and we welcome everyone aged 16 and over; whatever their level of singing experience, who would like to have a go at singing gospel. We’re a friendly bunch and the choir is an ideal place to meet new people. 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 and you will never be asked to sing out on your own. There are auditions from time to time for those who would like to sing solos with the choir but these are optional!
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 tunes off-by-heart together during rehearsals, but lyric sheets and sound-files are also available online for you to practice singing along with your part at home.
Q: Can I ‘try before I buy’?
A: You’re welcome to come and have a go for a free taster rehearsal before signing up.
Q: Is it a religious choir?
A: No. BCGC is a community choir that sings gospel music to enjoy the gospel style. Some of our concerts take place in churches but many do not. Any requests for the choir to sing at church services, weddings, funerals etc are offered to the whole choir and singers may volunteer if they wish.
Q: Does the choir do gigs?
A: Oh yes! The choir is definitely 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 even landed a support slot for London Community Gospel Choir at The Forum, Bath.
Q: Will I need to do any homework?
A: Possibly. Our singers 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. We perform regularly and keep songs for more than one term as well as learning new ones. You can learn older songs 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 quite a few times!
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, along with black trousers or skirt and black shoes that you supply yourself. 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. Entry to the lower level of Manvers Street Baptist Church is via a side ramp and there is an accessible toilet next to the rehearsal room. While we cannot guarantee that all concert venues will have full access, let us know what you need and we will accommodate as far as possible. Please let us know about your access requirements when you join the choir, we’re very happy to help.
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 receive state benefits (ie. Universal Credit and it’s predecessors, ESA, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit) a state retirement pension or are in full-time education.
If you’re unsure, please chat with our administrator. Further information is also available on our website.
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, attend gigs together and sometimes take the odd day-trip. We believe that its not all about the music – its about the people too.
Got other questions? Can we help?
Contact: John Ward, Bath Community Gospel Choir
Tel. 01225 776553 or 0752 7706 094