We welcome new singers to Gloucester Choral Society
We want to attract new singers so please come along and join us on at one of our Monday rehearsals. If you enjoy yourself, you can then put yourself forward for audition to become a member.
It is probably best to join in either September or January so you get to attend all the rehearsals for the next concert.
If you’re thinking of joining us, you can try a few rehearsals before choosing to audition, or why not join us for a Sing Saturday?
Common questions from new members
When and where do you rehearse?
Rehearsals are on Monday nights from 7:30 – 9:30pm.
Mainly, we rehearse in the Chapter House at Gloucester Cathedral. We occasionally meet at other venues, such as Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Denmark Road High School or The King’s School, if we are unable to use the Chapter House for any reason.
In the week leading up to a concert, we rehearse in the cathedral itself. There is normally a mandatory rehearsal on-stage in the Cathedral on the Thursday or Friday evening before a concert.
Where do you perform?
Our concerts take place in the historic Gloucester Cathedral.
The cathedral nave has an incredible acoustic, which makes for an almost magical singing experience.
What will it cost me to become a member of GCS?
A subscription fee is payable for each season (typically September – June). The subscription fee has been held again for the 2022-23 season at £175.
Membership for under-25s is free.
Concessions may be available for those in financial difficulty. If you have any concerns of affordability, please contact the Membership Secretary or a member of the board in confidence for more information.
How can I pay my subscription?
You can choose to pay your subscription fee as one lump sum or in instalments by standing order. If paying in instalments, you must have paid in full by the April in that season (usually 8 monthly payments).
What’s included in the subscription?
Subject to passing your audition, as a GCS member you’ll be able to sing in all our wonderful concerts throughout the season. All music is provided on loan for the duration required and must be returned after the concert. The only exception is Handel’s Messiah. We perform this regularly with a limited number of rehearsals, so you’ll need your own copy – that way, you’ll only have to add the rehearsal markings once!
You’ll learn from our distinguished Musical Director and Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral, Adrian Partington. We’re also proud to have the cathedral’s Assistant Director of Music, Jonathan Hope as our regular accompanist.
We work with a range of professional musicians and soloists throughout the season. We have welcomed internationally acclaimed singers and had the privilege of working with truly exceptional orchestras in recent years. Performing some of the best choral music under the direction of Adrian Partington is an endlessly rewarding experience.
Are there any other opportunities for GCS members?
Lots! We run a number of ‘come and sing’ events – open to members and non-members. At Christmas, we sing ‘Carols for All’ on Boxing Day. This is always a hugely popular event that’s a bit of fun too.
We usually run a tour every 2-3 years. In recent years, we’ve visited Bavaria, Belgium and, most recently, Venice in May 2022. GCS members are eligible to audition for the Three Choirs Festival Chorus. Each year the Three Choirs Festival rotates between Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals, with a contingent from each respective choral society performing together. The Three Choirs Festival is thought to be the oldest music festival in the world, and being in the chorus for a packed week of outstanding concerts is an incredibly rewarding experience. Other away days have included singing with the top-class Philharmonia orchestra in London’s Royal Festival Hall and in Cardiff with the BBC NOW.
You’ll also be able to sing in ‘Hire the Choir’ events. We’re often asked to perform at weddings, and we even sang the National Anthems of Scotland and Japan on the pitch at Kingsholm ahead of their Rugby World Cup match in 2015.