Does the choir always sing classical music?

While the majority of the Choir’s concert programmes consist of classical masterpieces, The Queensland Choir has always sung a very wide repertoire ranging from oratorio through opera and musical comedy choruses to arrangements of folk songs, spirituals, pop songs and Christmas carols.

What venues does the choir perform in?

The choir performs in the major concert halls of Brisbane and regional centres as well as major churches such as St John’s Cathedral & the Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane.

Who conducts the choir?

The Musical Director of the Queensland Choir is Kevin Power and he is responsible for preparing the choir for all its concerts and conducts the rehearsals. He also conducts public performances for the choir, but concerts may also be directed by guest conductors.

Who accompanies the choir for its concerts?

The choir uses orchestral backing, pipe organ and piano depending on the nature of the concert and the venue. It works with a number of community orchestras in this manner.

Does the choir perform outside of Brisbane?

The choir occasionally performs in regional centres in SE Queensland. Trips and performance away are all part of the experience of being in the Queensland Choir.

Does the choir only perform as a large chorus?

There are times when smaller groups of singers are used to perform at concerts, private functions and fund raising events depending on repertoire. Membership of these smaller groups is drawn from the full chorus and chosen by the Musical Director.

How often does the choir rehearse?

Rehearsals are held every Monday (including public holidays) from 7.15pm to 9.45pm at the Merthyr Uniting Church, 52 Merthyr Rd. New Farm. Additional rehearsals are often held in the lead up to big events and these rehearsals are generally held on Thursday nights and on the occasional Saturday. When smaller choruses are formed they also generally rehearse on Thursday evenings. Choristers are also expected to practise in their own time between rehearsals.

Do I need a trained voice to sing in the choir?

It is not necessary to have a trained voice, but some knowledge of vocal technique is certainly an advantage. Good choral voices are not necessarily large nor trained, but rather flexible and even in tone with the capacity to blend with other voices. The choir is made up of many different types of voices and includes tertiary-trained singers as well as those who have had no training at all.

Do I need to be able to read music?

Considering the amount of music that the choir needs to prepare and perform in any year, it would be very difficult for someone with no knowledge of musical notation to cope with the speed at which the choir has to work. Some basic knowledge of note values and pitch notation is necessary.

Do I have to be able to sight-sing?

This is not essential but is certainly a great advantage as it will reduce the amount of private study/practise you will need to do in order to learn your part. However, the important thing is that you learn your part accurately whether by sight-singing, repetiton or the use of training aids.

How do I organise an audition?

Download the audition information and registration form from this web site, complete it and post it, E mail or fax it to the choir office. You may also ring the choir office on 3257 0489 if you need to organise an audition at short notice.

If you would prefer to sit in on a rehearsal to get to know us prior to making this commitment you would be most welcome. Simply call the office to let us know you are coming one Monday evening so that we can welcome you and provide you with music for the rehearsal.

When are auditions held?

Auditions are held over a number of days at the end of January each year and are continued throughout the year by appointment, generally on Monday evenings during the supper break at rehearsal. They are held at the Choir’s rehearsal venue, The Merthyr Uniting Church in New Farm.

What does an audition involve?

An audition generally lasts 5-6 minutes and involves some simple scales and/or exercises to warm up your voice and to check your vocal range. You will be asked to sing a short melody played to you and to clap some simple rhythmic patterns. You will also be asked to prepare and sing your voice part of a set piece with piano accompaniment and to sight-sing a simple passage with piano accompaniment. The only person in attendance at this audition is the Musical Director.

Am I required to bring my own music to sing at the audition?

There is no need to bring your own music although you may like to bring a copy of the set piece. For 2016 the set piece chosen is the chorus Surely, He hath born our Griefs from Handel’s Messiah. This can be downloaded from the choir web site and there are many performances on YouTube that you can listen to.

How will I know if I have been successful at the audition?

We endeavour to advise all applicants of the result of their audition within 7 days.

Can the choir provide assistance to those whose musical notation is very basic?

There are a number of professional music teachers who are members of the choir who are willing to help other members understand more complex details of notation. Assistance is also given, where possible, with obtaining recordings of the works to be performed for study purposes and even recordings of individual voice parts when available.

Rehearsals themselves afford training in these issues and the choir endeavours to provide professional help to singers from time to time by inviting professional voice teachers to give advice during rehearsals. However, opportunities to do this are extremely limited due the intensity of the rehearsal schedule.

What do I wear for concerts?

Ladies can purchase a choir uniform which should be worn with stockings and closed toe black shoes. We do not recommend very high heels as you may be required to stand up for some time. Please do not wear flashy jewellery or heavy perfumes/colognes. Gentlemen are required to wear a black suit and shoes, white shirt and black bow tie.

How much will it cost me to belong to the choir?

Choir members pay an annual subscription fee of $345 (with concessions). This must be paid before any music can be issued. There are also costs incurred in the purchase of the ladies uniforms. Men are required to provide their own black/dinner suit and bow tie. Members in the age range 18-25 years are offered free membership, but pay a refundable $50 deposit to cover music costs.

What if I cannot make a rehearsal or a concert?

The choir prides itself on providing a professional service and as such a high level of dedication is required from all choir members. That said, it is understood that occasionally choristers may be unable to attend rehearsals or concerts and the Choir Registrar should be advised. As a general rule, choristers are expected to attend a minimum of 80% of rehearsals for each concert. Exceptions are at the discretion of the Musical Director.

Can I purchase tickets to concerts at reduced prices?

Choir members are able to purchase tickets at reduced rates for those concerts we promote ourselves. The promoters of other concerts in which the choir sings also frequently offer tickets at reduced prices.

Am I expected to help run the choir?

The choir is a community choir and the major part of running it is done by volunteers from its membership. Everyone is expected to assist with fund raising, promotion of concerts and tickets sales for our own concerts. The overall day to day management is handled by a groups of volunteers from the singers who form the Choir Management Group and the Event Management Group. An elected board made up of both singing and non-singing members provides the overall policy management control.