If you’re thinking about joining a choir for the first time, you might be wondering what exactly goes on at a rehearsal?
On Monday 27 January, we are holding our first open rehearsal of 2020 with the hope of encouraging men from Cirencester and the surrounding villages to turn out and join us. That’s all very well and good but for some the very idea of just turning up at a ‘rehearsal’ might be quite a daunting prospect.
Arriving at a Choir Rehearsal
Cirencester Male Voice Choir meet weekly to rehearse for concerts and events which are planned during 2020 and beyond. The rehearsal is run by our Musical Director Jules Addison along with our fabulous new accompanist Anne-Marie Humphries. Between them they comprise the music team and it is their job to run the rehearsals.
Our rehearsals take place in Cirencester Parish Church and start promptly at 19.30, lasting until 21.00 or just after.
Most of the men in the choir will arrive between 19.15 and 19.30 and there is always a bit of social banter beforehand. If you are joining us for the first time, there is no need to let us know you are coming, just come along to the main entrance to the Parish church and let yourself in. The gates are usually unlocked from around 19.15 but if for any reason they aren’t there’s an entrance round the side.
The Singing bit
Most people, when asked about joining a choir or singing will usually reply “Oh I’d love to but you wouldn’t want me, I can’t sing”. The thing is, this just isn’t true. Everyone can sing. Singing isn’t really that different from speaking. We all have a different voice and that’s fine. At Cirencester Male Voice Choir we aren’t looking for professional tenors or Baritones who have performed at the Royal Opera House.
Cirencester MVC is all about gathering men together to enjoy singing. And nowhere is this more apparent than in our rehearsals.
A Monday night choir practice is intended to balance learning songs for our performances with having fun and enjoying being part of the choir together. Usually we start with a few warm ups. Lots of choirs do this and some take it very seriously talking about damaging your voice or your body if you don’t spend half an hour doing a workout before starting to sing.
Here at Cirencester MVC we don’t go along with that. Our ‘warmups’ are designed to get people smiling and moving but very much with the focus on having fun. And they don’t go on too long. Usually 5 minutes or so of some amusing warmups and then we look to the music we are going to learn.
For our rehearsals everyone is given a copy of the music. But that doesn’t mean we expect you to be able to read music or understand musical notation. Far from it. All our songs are taught by ear line by line where necessary so no one needs to be worried about whether they can read music. So long as you can read the words, you will be just fine.
Like most choirs we have a range of people with a range of musical expertise (or not) and it is the job of our music team to ensure that everyone gets some benefit from the rehearsal.
The advantage of coming along to our open rehearsal on Monday 27 January is that we will all start a new song together. Therefore you won’t suddenly feel left behind by the choir all singing something they know well.
After the Rehearsal
Most of our rehearsals finish around 9pm. Usually at least once a month there is an opportunity to go to a nearby pub to do more singing in a more relaxed atmosphere with a beer in one hand! At our open rehearsal on 27 January the intention is to finish slightly earlier and then go and perform the song we have learnt to the punters in the pub opposite.
If you enjoyed our open rehearsal enough to sign up and join us as a member of Cirencester MVC then as a thank you we will buy you a beer in the pub afterwards.
So you really have nothing to lose. Come along and find out what singing in Cirencester Male Voice Choir is all about and you might even get a free beer!