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Are you looking to join a chamber choir?
NC3 is an accomplished and welcoming choral community

We are always ready to welcome new singers (particularly tenors and lower basses) and we especially encourage young singers who would like to participate in chamber music. If you are interested in singing with us, please do get in touch and we will organise a friendly audition.

We meet on a ‘concert by concert’ basis. Singers sign up for a concert preceded by a Sunday afternoon and four or five Thursday evening rehearsals with the expectation of 100% attendance. Members are predominantly local to Chipping Norton, we currently draw from a 20-30 mile radius.

Please contact Kate Higgins via Choir Admin (choiradmin@nc3.org.uk).

April 2023 – please note that we are not currently seeking sopranos.

Our constitution – the choir is a member of Making Music (the National Federation of Music Societies); its constitution is drawn up in accordance with Federation guidelines. The AGM is held every year in the autumn.

Our membership – there is an initial audition. Members then pay an annual subscription (currently £40) to be in the pool of singers who are notified about forthcoming concerts and can sign up. It is not expected that everyone signs up for every concert.

Concerts – the choir performs at least four different concert programmes a year. The Principal Conductor is expected to lead a minimum of two of these concerts, with guest conductors invited by the committee to work with the choir on the other performances. Concert and rehearsal dates are distributed to all choir members via Muzodo.com. Singers are chosen according to the following criteria:
• Availability for rehearsals/concerts. 100% attendance is expected. The committee and conductor are responsible for deciding whether singers should participate if they cannot attend all the rehearsals; however, attendance at the Sunday first rehearsal is mandatory for singing in any concert. We try to circulate dates well in advance so that members can know when to avoid making other commitments.
• Balance between voice parts based on the requirements of each concert programme. Again, this is ultimately at the committee’s discretion after due consultation with the conductor. This may mean that singers are occasionally not selected for a concert even if they are fully available for a concert programme.

Concert subscription – in addition to the annual subscription, there is a subscription per concert programme (currently £40, plus a cost for music hire/repro), which is paid by singers participating in that concert programme.

Rehearsals – our ‘standard’ rehearsal pattern is one Sunday afternoon rehearsal followed by four or five Thursday evening rehearsals (19.45-21.45) in the weeks immediately before a concert, with a short rehearsal on the concert day. Rehearsals are normally held in Hook Norton, Charlbury, Chipping Norton or Enstone, but sometimes elsewhere in the north Cotswolds. Where possible, music is distributed to participating choir members prior to the first rehearsal. Singers are expected to study the music beforehand and to work on the music between rehearsals in order to maintain our high standards and maximise good use of time with the conductor. Rehearsals are primarily for the purposes of interpretation and ensemble, not note-learning.

Soloists – when a concert programme requires it, singers will be given the opportunity to be considered for a solo, and may be asked to audition. In these cases the ultimate decision lies with the conductor. Professional soloists are engaged for larger works with substantial solo parts.

Our repertoire – is broad and varied, both in terms of musical period and genre. Suggestions for repertoire are welcome at any time from any member of the choir and should be channelled through the Chair. These suggestions will be forwarded to the conductor and committee for consideration. Our concert season runs from September to August.

Our committee – according to the constitution, the committee is made up of a Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Principal Conductor (ex-officio member) and up to three further members. In practice, the committee is larger than this so that someone is responsible for particular areas of activity: librarian, publicity, concert and rehearsal venue bookings, etc. Choir members are encouraged to stand for election to the committee and will be given ample notification of any vacancies. Meetings are held on Zoom and, where necessary, in person. Choir members are encouraged to make suggestions and give feedback to the Chair at any time. There are also periods when we have a general review together.

Making it all happen – there’s a huge amount of work involved in putting on any NC3 concert and choir members are encouraged to volunteer to take on specific tasks, e.g. putting up posters and leaving flyers in key locations around the area, set up in the venue on a concert day, and get drinks and glasses for the bar. All members are expected to do their bit in publicising concerts through their own networks and through social media, email and word of mouth. We also pitch in ‘on the day’ collecting and putting up staging before a concert and dismantling it afterwards; helping set up and run the bar; greet the audience on the door; catering (both for visiting musicians and audience). Members who are not singing in a particular concert often come and provide practical support to help everything run smoothly.

Social life – because there’s more to life than music! Breaks during long rehearsals and on the day of a concert will usually involve ‘nice’ cake – this has become somewhat of a tradition. Some folk will head for the nearest pub after rehearsals and concerts.

Note: subscription levels are subject to review at the AGM, normally held during September each year. If the annual or per concert subscription (on top of other costs – travel, child care and the like) prevents members from singing with the choir at all or as much as they would like, they are invited to talk confidentially to the treasurer or to the Chairman about arrangements to address their particular situation.