Practice - What to Expect
An excited, enthusiastic bunch of singers!
'I'm shy - I won't know anybody!'
Relax. You might like to contact us first by email (visit our Contact page) to let us know you’re coming. But you can also just turn up. Our membership officer or another member will greet you, give you a copy of the music for the practice and introduce you to a couple of other members in your ‘section’. If you don’t know whether you’re a Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass, don’t worry. We’ll put you with some friendly members and after a couple of rehearsals you’ll almost certainly have worked out whether you belong there or not. If the notes are too high – or too low – for you to sing comfortably, let us know and we’ll move you to another section.
What's the format?'
Every practice starts with a short warm-up exercise or two. Then our Musical Director takes us through the songs we’re working on that evening. Usually we’re polishing up a few songs for our next gig as well as starting to learn new repertoire. To learn new songs we often break into smaller groups – in our ‘parts’. We take it as slowly as we need to so that all members feel confident about each song. We also encourage you to practise at home on the computer, using free software that allows you to play just your part of each song—or all parts at once. We’ll give you instructions about this when you join.
At about 8:30pm we break for 10 or 15 minutes for supper and a chat. Then we sing again until 9:30pm.
We traditionally end each practice with the gospel song ‘May The Feet’. The music for all the songs will be in the visitor’s folder that we’ll lend you during the practice. Please return this folder to us as you leave. Should you decide to join us, we’ll give you a member’s folder containing copies of all our songs.
'Will I have to audition?"
No. There are no auditions.
'But I haven't sung since I was at school ...'
Don’t worry. We are all amateurs and we come to choir to enjoy singing, not to perform or show-off. At the Gospel Folk, no-one will ever criticise the way you sing. Instead, we offer support and encouragement. You’ll find that you’ll improve rapidly if you come regularly to rehearsals and practice at home with the computer files we’ll make available.
'I used to sing pretty well. Can I sing solo?'
No. As a community choir, the Gospel Folk is about singing as a group. Very few of our songs have roles for soloists.