Yes, all new singers are asked to take part in a simple audition and existing members are re-auditioned at set intervals.
These auditions help us make sure the standard of the choir is maintained and decide what section of the choir you will sing in. We look for a pleasant singing voice and basic musicality. Some understanding of musical notation is also required.
Auditions are taken by the Musical Director, Jonathan Willcocks, and normally consist of singing a few scales and a short piece such as a verse of a hymn or a song that you enjoy singing. You will also be asked to sight read your line in a straightforward piece of music with accompaniment. The whole process takes about five minutes.
We want you to pass your audition and will be doing all we can to put you at your ease.
What if I can't attend every rehearsal?
Your commitment and regular attendance at rehearsals is key to maintaining our high standards. It also enriches your enjoyment of the music and builds your confidence. If you do have to miss two or more rehearsals, we would ask you to discuss this with the Membership Secretary.
We are expected to dedicate some time outside of rehearsals to familiarise ourselves with the score. There are helpful aids and rehearsal plans available through the Members' area of the website.
How much will it cost?
Our annual subscription fee is currently £220; working out at around £5 per rehearsal, and all paid up members (provided they have attended sufficient rehearsals) are invited and encouraged to sing in all of our concerts.
Students can join for £70 per year and people under 30 years of age for £105. Reduced fees may apply if you join mid-season (dependent on the applicable subscription rate and at what point you join during the season).
We would not wish to exclude singers that were unable to meet the costs of joining us for personal reasons, and a trust fund managed by the Friends of GCS is there to offer discretionary and confidential help in these situations.
Additional small costs to be aware of - music scores, which the choir librarian provides for hire at reasonable cost or for sale; the cost of travel to concert venues outside Guildford; the red music folder, £7 to buy, which all members use during concert performances.
What do I have to wear?
There is no particular dress code for rehearsals (apart from the ever-popular Christmas Jumper fundraiser!) At most concerts, men wear black dinner jackets with black bow ties, and women wear black long-sleeved tops with either black long skirts or trousers. For some less formal concerts, the women may wear single-coloured long-sleeved tops, and the men may wear single-coloured long-sleeved shirts. All singers carry a red folder for their music.