If you’re looking for a high quality and welcoming choir to sing with in East Sussex look no further. Being a member of the East Sussex Bach Choir offers you the chance to perform with one of the most highly respected choirs in the region performing to exceptional standards, under our Music Director, John Hancorn. We place an emphasis on developing and reviewing our members’ vocal development to enhance the individual choral experience and to constantly improve the standard of the choir, in both an individual and group environment. We principally perform with The Baroque Collective led by Alison Bury. The Baroque Collective is an informal grouping of the UK’s most talented and experienced period instrument performers. Both John and violinist Alison share a passion for the music of the 17th and 18th Centuries.
If you would like to find out more about joining our friendly and committed choir please read our FAQs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you audition?
Yes, we are keen to hear singers who have a good voice and can indicate some musical knowledge and sight-reading ability. Auditions are held on a Saturday to suit the availability of new singers and take place after our Saturday rehearsals. Few people enjoy auditions but our sessions are very relaxed and will be led by our Music Director along with an accompanist. We ask you to prepare a song of your choice to sing, although we will provide you with a list of songs as suggested audition pieces if you don’t have a favourite! You will be notified of the outcome of your audition by our Membership Secretary.
What singing standard is required?
The choir is made up of amateur singers who work to a high standard, challenged by a wide variety of baroque and renaissance music. As a benchmark, if you think you are able to sing Bach passions or Handel oratorios competently then perhaps there is an opportunity for you. It is vital that you have tempo control, and can sing with support so that tuning is well honed. As importantly you must be prepared to listen and respond to musical direction. Please remember though that we are looking for applicants who have potential to develop these skills.
Is there a subscription?
ESBC is a not-for-profit charity therefore we have to raise income through subscription fees. We currently ask an annual fee of £150 which can be paid in full or on a monthly basis.
When and where do you rehearse?
ESBC rehearsals are held on Saturdays from 3.00pm to 5.30pm. Sometimes additional rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30m. The rehearsal schedule is published well in advance. We use a small range of rehearsal venues Lewes.
How much time do I have to commit?
Applicants are required to be available for all rehearsals although some flexibility is considered depending on individual circumstances. Preparation is king though and we only typically have six rehearsals. Therefore you are expected to spend some non-rehearsal time learning the music.
Can I come to a rehearsal before auditioning?
New singers are always welcome to attend a rehearsal before arranging an audition. Please email the Membership Secretary in advance.
Does the choir tour?
Yes, tours are arranged on an adhoc basis. We are currently planning a reciprocal tour with a German Choir from our twin town Waldshut-Tiengen in 2020. Membership would offer you the opportunity to be part of this fantastic experience.