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 high 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 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.
We are currently looking for experienced and committed sopranos and tenors to balance sections across the choir. We are particularly keen in recruiting young talent and offer student places at reduced subscription rates and may offer travel support for rehearsals.
If you would like to find out more about joining our friendly and committed choir please contact us at email@example.com and we will send you an application form.
Is an audition required?
We are keen to hear singers who have a good voice, keen interest in music of the baroque period and can indicate some musical knowledge and sight-reading ability. Few people enjoy auditions. Rest assured that ESBC auditions are not imposing.
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 also looking for applicants who have the 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 £180 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 in Lewes, but mainly rehearse in St Anne's Church, 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 per concert. Therefore you are expected to spend some non-rehearsal time learning the music.
Can I come to a rehearsal before auditioning?
We occasionally hold open workshops for singers to experience singing with ESBC before applying to join the choir.
Does the choir tour?
Yes, tours are arranged on an ad-hoc basis. We completed a reciprocal tour with a German Choir from our twin town Waldshut-Tiengen in 2022 and are planning another visit to Waldshut to sing Bach St Matthew Passion at Easter 2025. Membership would offer you the opportunity to be part of this fantastic experience.
Rehearsals and concerts generally take place in Lewes, East Sussex.
Our current rehearsal venue, St Anne's Church is marked on the map shown to the right. Occasionally performances also take place at this church.
Our main performance venues is Lewes Town Hall which is also marked on the map.