Readers of Neal Of Arabia will know that I like to sing. I’ve been in one choir or another for most of my life, most recently the Riyadh Choral Society.

Now that we’ve settled into our new life in London it’s time to resume my choral activities. London is rich with choirs of all shapes and sizes, and there are a few quite close to home. But, if you’ve got all the choirs of London laid out before you, why not try to step up your game and join something altogether bigger and more professional than before.

Tonight I have an audition with the BBC Symphony Chorus. The Chorus has a great reputation and is very active, certainly much more prolific than anything I’ve been involved with before. They rehearse at least twice a week and perform at least once per month. I don’t know the exact size but judging from the photo on their website they are at least a hundred-strong, so would also be the largest choir I’ve ever sung with.

If successful at audition membership will be a big commitment, with all the rehearsals, concerts and tours. I wonder how the existing members (all amateur) manage this with their work commitments, but they clearly do manage it so it must be possible. If I do join then exciting times will be ahead, as the Chorus performs regularly at the BBC Proms, including the Last Night of the Proms: one of the best known classical concerts in Europe, if not the World.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Right — off to practice my audition piece.


About Chris Neal

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6 Responses to Choir

  1. Rob Kerr says:

    Best of luck with your audition for the BBCSC — I’ll look out for you at rehearsals if you’re successful! Be calm, confident, and enjoy the music! Being prepared is more than half the battle.

  2. Rosie Hopkins says:

    Best of luck! We’re a nice lot on the whole …

  3. Patrick says:

    Hi, we may have two things in common. I sing with the BBCSC – if you’re a tenor then my hint is to sing an audition piece that contains a nice high, loud note and the rest will be history. I also sang as a guest a few times for the Manama Singers in Bahrain (as have a couple of other BBCSC stalwarts), so if you came over the causeway for the Mozart or Verdi Requiems then we may have sung together. Good luck in the audition.

  4. Chris Neal says:

    Wow, three comments, all from existing SC members! Thanks for the words of encouragement and I look forward to meeting you (if I get in, of course).

    Patrick: I did attend the Manama Singers’ performance of Carmina Burana last year but in the audience only. I sing Bass, so can’t take up your other hint. I looked around for solo audition pieces for Bass voice but could only find books for “Male Voice” and they’re all a little high for me, but we’ll give it a good go!

  5. David England says:

    If you’re a second bass then my hint is to sing an audition piece that contains a nice LOW, loud note and the rest will be history!

  6. Philip Rayner says:

    If you have decent German and can manage a bottom D then consider Mozart’s O, wie will ich triumphieren from Die entführung aus dem serail. Be careful though as Stephen’s knowledge of German isn’t to be underestimated! 😛

    Good luck with the audition.

    Past BBCSC member.

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