Rehearsals are on Tuesday lunchtimes and Wednesday evenings. You do not have to attend both, but you can if you wish. Neither are you expected to participate in all of our performances. We also offer remote participation in rehearsals via MS Teams. We have occasional extended rehearsals / workshops on a Saturday or Sunday.
For the rehearsal and performance schedule and other resources please click on THIS TERM
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.
We use an on-line application called Choir Manager for much of our communications with choir members and for the management of events.
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 sometimes organised by members. We occasionally hold extended rehearsals / workshops on Saturdays or Sundays, which include sessions working with singing coach Mark Oldfield.
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 large scale classical to light.
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 (please check for venues). You are not expected to attend both rehearsals but you can if you wish. Please always check the schedule for any changes in day, time or venue. We also offer remote participation via MS Teams, but you need to contact us for access.
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 email@example.com. Don’t worry if you don’t contact us in advance but please check for rehearsals, changes in venues or timings, 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.
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 generous 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 the music and there will be no option to hire it.
The costs to participate in most comparable choirs will be considerably more.
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.