London
etcetera@civilservicechoir.org.uk

Sing with us

Weekly in person rehearsals resumed on 5 October.  Rehearsals are on Tuesday lunchtimes and Wednesday evenings. We will confirm arrangements for virtual participation as soon as possible.

I have never been so proud of something I have done. A truly life-enhancing experience.

For the rehearsal schedule for the current term and other resources please click on THIS TERM

Etcetera rehearsal (photographer Stephen Currid)

Choir members range from administrators to Senior Civil Servants (including a Permanent Secretary!), and from those who have never before sung in a choir or read music, through to highly experienced and talented singers. Membership is open to anyone working in Governmental or Parliamentary bodies, and those who are former civil servants.

There are no auditions to join and everyone is welcome, though for some smaller scale performances we may have to audition those wishing to take part where the circumstances of the event demand it.

Given the limited time we have to prepare for our concerts, our rehearsals are intensive, but we hope always fun and rewarding. Members are also encouraged to do their own independent learning, by listening to recordings and learning files.  Rehearsal revision sessions for particular voices are organised by members.

rehearsal2

We strive to produce music to a very high standard.  Indeed choir members and audiences alike are both impressed and surprised at the standard of performance and professionalism we  achieve –  both as a workplace choir and with such limited rehearsals.  Our repertoire ranges from from large scale classical to light.

sacredheart

Rehearsal venue

We returned to in person rehearsals on 5 October. Rehearsals are from 12.45 to 1.45pm on Tuesdays at the Sacred Heart Church, Horseferry Road (map) in Westminster, and from 6.30 to 8.00pm on Wednesdays in Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, but please check the schedule for any changes. Opportunities to participate virtually will be established as soon as possible.

Try us out

We believe you will find joining the choir one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. You are welcome to try us out with no obligation by coming to a rehearsal.  Ideally let us know you are coming by emailing etcetera@civilservicechoir.org.uk.  Don’t worry if you don’t contact us in advance but please check for rehearsals, changes in venues or timings, Covid-19 arrangements, performance events and venues via this term’s schedule. If you have any questions please ask.  If it is close to the time of a performance we might suggest that you wait until after the concert before coming to a rehearsal.

Money matters

The annual membership subscription is only £24, payable to the choir.  However if you are in DfT or DLUHC you are required to join the SPARTA Recreational Association and your £24 subscription is instead payable to SPARTA. We then receive funding from SPARTA.

In addition to the subscription we may levy fees for the hire of music or other costs plus a £20 refundable deposit for music.  If you would prefer to buy your music then in some cases we will source the scores for you and buy them in bulk passing on any discount. On occasion we may require members to purchase theIt music and there will be no option to hire it.

The costs to participate in most comparable choirs will be considerably more.

Concert attire

We like to look smart for our performances.

For many events we just ask that you wear smart office attire.

However for concerts and some formal events we specify the following:

  • For women we ask that you wear all black, with if desired a coloured accessory (e.g. a scarf – usually red/purple or blue depending on the event).
  • For men we ask that you wear a dark suit, a white shirt, and a tie (usually red/purple or blue depending on the event).
  • A transgender or non-binary person is free to select the dress code or combination thereof that they feel is appropriate for them.

For major concerts, to add to the uniformity, we sometimes wear carnations, which we provide.

For most events we use black music folders, which you can borrow or buy.