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Monday Rehearsal
Monday evening rehearsal - John and the sopranos

Membership is open to all and the Society is keen to encourage new members to join and share in the joy of singing. We hope you enjoy rehearsing and performing with us. We always aim for the highest standard we are capable of, but we also aim to have fun too.

For details about upcoming events
please go to our Events page.

To see photos and reports about our 50th Anniversary Concert
please see the photo gallery..

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(A summary of the main points on this page is available as a printable document which you can download here.)

 

Arrangements for rehearsals

Rehearsals take place in St James' Church, and run from 7:30—9:30pm, with an interval for refreshments and the raffle. Seating is in the main section of the church, but the side aisles available for those who are vulnerable to infections.

Please tick the attendance register sheet as you come into the church.

As ever, to keep us all safe, please do not attend if you have any viral symptoms.

Rehearsal dates for 2023-24 season:

(Last updated 17-May-23)

2023

2024

Note: rehearsals marked '*' will start at 7:15pm

Rehearsal dates for 2024-25 season:

(Last updated 22-May-24)

2024

2025

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Car parking

There is limited car parking at the church. Please remember to key in your registration number immediately on the panel at the rear of the church, or the one in the Parish Centre, every time you use the car park. If you do not, you will receive a £100 fine and neither the Choral Society nor the Church will be able to help you deal with the parking company the Church has employed to enforce the parking restrictions.

There is ample parking elsewhere in the town:

Tea rota

During the interval at rehearsals, tea and coffee are served by choir members for a small charge, and all members are welcome to volunteer to take a turn on the rota.

Subscriptions

The subscription for 2024-25 will be £165, payable by 31 October. This is normally regarded as a minimum and members are encouraged to give more if they can. If you are a tax payer, you are also encouraged to use Gift Aid, which enables the Society to claim back 25% on your subscription, at no extra cost to you.

Full-time students are welcome without having to pay any subscription, and there may be a reduction for members joining after Christmas, at the discretion of the Treasurer.

The committee wants to ensure that no one should feel that they cannot continue to sing if they cannot afford the subscription. Please contact the Treasurer (in confidence) by emailing treasurer@wetherbychoral.org.uk or by phoning 07860 454894.

If a member has not paid their subscription by the time of the first concert, they are not allowed to sing.

Contact details will be requested when you join and are updated each September. We hold this information in a membership list and use it to record attendance and fee payments, to circulate general information by email and to cascade urgent messages, such as last-minute cancellation of rehearsals. Please return this form by the beginning of October.

You can review and download our membership form. This can be completed by typing your responses on your computer, then saving the document and emailing it to the Membership Secretary, or printing it out and handed in at a rehearsal. Alternatively, you can print out the blank form, and complete it by hand.

You can read/download our Privacy Policy.

If you decide to leave the choir, or take a term off during the year, please let the Membership Secretary know so that our records can be updated.

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Scores

The subscription includes the hire of all music scores, apart from Handel's Messiah, as most members already have their own Messiah score. If you don't have one, we recommend you buy or borrow the New Novello Choral Edition, edited by Watkins Shaw. This can be obtained from most music shops (both physical and online) and Amazon, or you may find a second-hand copy on eBay.

Scores are usually on loan from local music libraries. We have an obligation to take care of these scores and to return them promptly after each concert.

Please bear the following in mind:

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Learning Aids for our summer concert - A feast of Baroque

YouTube videos:

Learning aids

John Fletcher (free)

Cyberbass

Choraline (not free)

Concerts

The Society normally gives four concerts a year—in November, December, March/April and June. The venue is usually St James's Church, Wetherby. There is generally a rehearsal with soloists and orchestra in the afternoon before the evening's concert performance.

Click here for details of our 2023/24 concert season.

Concert tickets

All choir members are responsible for selling tickets for each concert. Sales are organised by a choir member, commencing one month prior to a concert. Each choir member will receive two tickets to sell, but we hope everyone will try to sell as many as possible!

Soloists' hospitality

Many of our soloists live outside the area, so they usually need a light meal between the rehearsal and concert, and occasionally a bed for the night. If you are able to provide either occasionally, please see the Committee member who organises hospitality.

Concert dress

Men: dinner suit, white shirt with collar, black bow tie, black shoes.
For summer concert ONLY: Black open-necked shirt (any braces under), black trousers, black shoes.
Women: long black skirt or smart black trousers, black blouse with full-length or three-quarter-length sleeves, black shoes.

Concert attendance

If you will not be singing in a concert, please do not attend the final Monday rehearsal before that concert, and return your score(s) before then. If you are singing in the concert, please make sure you tick the list that circulates a few weeks beforehand; seating is set out for the exact number of names on the list, so failure to sign up will mean there is no seat allocated for you!

If you are unable to attend the afternoon rehearsal, please ensure someone knows and can keep a seat for you for the performance.

If you planned to sing in the concert but then are unable to do so, please ensure that you contact the Chairman before 1.45pm on the day of the concert so that the seating can be adjusted.

Final rehearsal and concert set-up

We need a team of people to set up the church for the concert. This involves bringing staging up from the crypt, setting it up, and arranging chairs for orchestra, choir and audience. We usually start at 11:15am on the morning of the concert and it takes around 45 minutes to do, depending on the amount of help available.

If you are able to help with this - or have non-singing family members who could help - please join us. Some members find a pair of gloves helps with lifting items. The set-up includes jobs which don’t involve heavy lifting, so do come and help even if you can’t do any lifting. A guide to setting up the staging can be found at here.

The afternoon rehearsal usually starts at 1:30pm. Please be in your seat by 1.20pm. Because the performance area is a different shape and orientation from the rehearsal space, it can take time for everyone to be seated in positions where they can see the conductor. You may find that you have to sit beside different people; please be flexible.

The approximate finishing time will be announced at the Monday evening rehearsal before the concert.

If you feel the need for refreshment, you'll need to bring your own; the facilities in the Church and Church Centre are reserved for the needs of the soloists and orchestra.

The concert normally starts at 7.30pm.

For the evening performance, please assemble in the Parish Centre by 7. 10pm.

After the concert, we receive applause while standing. Once the soloists have left the floor, the choir can sit down and start applauding the soloists. We do not applaud whilst standing.

Concert programmes will be available to purchase at the afternoon rehearsal. These are currently £2.

After the concert, we have to restore the church to its normal layout, so it's all hands on deck to clear everything away. Please help if you can - the more the merrier.

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The Society

The Society is a Charity and is run by a committee elected at the Annual General Meeting. This is held during a rehearsal in the autumn term. Reports on the year are presented by the chairman, musical director and treasurer, and committee members are elected. Opportunities to nominate or be nominated to the committee will be announced at the rehearsals in the weeks beforehand.

The constitution of the Society, as agreed at the 2023 AGM, can be found here.

Committee members, 2023-24

  John Dunford (Music Director)
  Heather Marsh (Chairman)
  Malcolm Smith (Secretary)
  Kathy Hart (Treasurer)
  Christopher Gibbs (Membership Secretary)
  Christine Outram (Fundraising Officer)
  Kathy Brownridge
 Sarah Lane
 Liane Williams

To contact a committee member, see our Contacts page.

Funding

Members' subscriptions cover the cost of rehearsals. We lose around £3,000 on each concert, as we pay for the orchestra and soloists. We bridge the gap by running fundraising events, such as the regular raffles and a 100 Club, plus occasional events such as a quiz, auction of promises etc. We are always interested in fundraising ideas!

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Safety

What to do if there is an emergency

There is no fire alarm system in the main part of the church. If you spot an emergency shout out!

  1. The Music Director will bring the rehearsal, or concert, to a halt.
  2. We will leave the building in a calm manner. The main exit is through the doors we use to come into the church.
  3. Fire Stewards will also open the doors on the south side of the church and you should use these if they are nearer.
  4. Once outside, assemble in the car park opposite the Parish Centre, in your voice sections.
  5. On rehearsal evenings, Fire Stewards will collect the register and check that everyone is safe.
  6. Only return to the building once the Fire Stewards have given the all clear.

Important safety documents - please read

Safeguarding

Please read our Safeguarding Policy.

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© 2023 Wetherby Choral Society, Registered Charity Number: 510264