We are a friendly, non-auditioned, choir of 40 people formed in October 2010 primarily from staff and friends of staff from Lancaster City Council. We came together because we love singing but we couldn’t find a choir locally that sang the kind of music we wanted to sing. We sing non-religious, non-traditional, music from the 20thCentury onwards, including current chart music. Basically we sing songs that most people have heard of and love to sing, but arranged in a new fresh way for up to four part harmony by Musical Director Amanda Ross.
Membership of the choir is at the discretion of the Musical Director using these guiding principles:
- The City Singers is an inclusive choir and all applicants are accepted no matter their age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, or musical experience.
- We do all we can to provide a warm and friendly welcome to all who wish to sing with us in practices and concerts.
- We expect all choir members to respect each other and behave in a kind and considerate manner to all members.
- We understand that each member has their own life outside the choir, and if members cannot make every rehearsal, it’s not an issue. Members are invited to come when they can, but inform the Musical Director when they are unable to make a rehearsal, before 4pm of the day of the rehearsal where possible.
- We are an inclusive choir and do understand that it may not always be possible for people to arrive promptly at 5.30pm and we do not exclude people who for example, for work or childcare reasons, may arrive later that 5.30pm, please just inform the Musical Director.
- We will protect the best interests of the whole choir in the balance and type of voices, choice of musical programmes, repertoire, venues for concerts. Participation, and the type of concerts we take part in, is at the discretion of the Musical Director and the availability of choir members. To enable to choir to prepare adequately for concerts, at least one month notice and full details are required.
- We commit to the highest quality vocal development possible and support each and every member to make excellent progress in the development of their vocal and choral skills, knowledge, and understanding.
- Every member can have some one-to-one tuition from our Musical Director before/after choir or during break times. However, there is a limited amount of time the Musical Director can give to each member, and members may be referred out to local singing tutors as appropriate for more intense tuition to develop their voice.
- We are a democratic choir and are open to suggestions for new songs– any member is free to suggest songs that they would like to sing and the Musical Director will work out whether the songs fit the mix of voices in the choir. If there’s a match, and we agree together on a song, she’ll do a special arrangement for the group.
- Our songs are accompanied by piano, guitar, clarinet or sung a cappella, depending on what we feel is right for the song.
- We welcome singers who cannot read music-within the choir we’ve developed a good sound from a mix of people who have been in choirs before and some who previously only ever sang in the shower, so experience is not necessary! We work from bespoke lyric sheets rather than sheet music, to make singing in a group more accessible.
- We accept those of all and no faith and on occasion adapt lyrics to remove religious connotations so that they can be sung by anyone. In the last part of the winter term we split rehearsals so that in the second half, those that want to can sing carols, as we found that some members wanted to sing them.
- We are an adult choir, with a lower age limit of 18. In exceptional circumstances, if a member wishes to bring a teenage son or daughter, they may do so with the permission of the Musical Director, with the proviso that the parent must be present at all times and takes full responsibilty for their child, who is expected to adhere to this charter.
- All members are required to pay termly subs (currently £15 per term) to a designated member of the choir on behalf of the Musical Director. If a member joins late in the term, if they attended two rehearsals or more they are expected to pay full subs. Subs are currently used to supply music and folders for the choir and other expenses, pay Performing Rights charges for concerts, and cover the time and expertise of the Musical Director. The Musical Director sets the cost of subs, which are currently around a third per year of subs for other local choirs.
- All members are expected to record their attendance on arrival in the choir sign in sheet in case of emergency.
- We believe in supporting local and national good causes and donate money raised through our concerts to charities voted for by the choir.