OutBAC Singer Information

For non-weekly attendance in the run-up to a contest
Weekend coaching sessions
Monthly fee of £6.00, then pay £10.00 for each coaching day

Register for OutBAC

Current contest and dates: BABS, Saturday 25th to Monday 27th May 2024, Harrogate International Centre

Sometimes people who'd like to be in a competing chorus can't commit to weekly rehearsals, but could do more concentrated sessions at weekends and then take part in contests and the same songs in concerts. Bristol A Cappella has a category of membership for singers who find themselves in this situation so they're not excluded from the experience of being part of the chorus. This might, for example, help those who already have another weekly choir or activity so they don’t have to choose between that and competing in a mixed barbershop chorus.


After registering, singers will be invited to the weekend coaching sessions and rehearsals for the contest season. These are each six hours long (with breaks) and happen in our usual venue with specialist coaches from outside the chorus; this year, all weekend sessions are on Saturdays.

OutBAC singers should learn the music before the second session so they can be working on the same skills as the weekly singers. Choreographed moves might be added or changed in the weekly rehearsals, and weekend singers should learn these outside the sessions as well to make sure they’ll be practised enough by the time of a contest.

Saturday27th January 10:00-16:00BAWA Club, Southmeadn/a

Further dates to be confirmed.

OutBACers would need to attend two days of coaching unless agreed with the musical director.

Certifying to perform

We ask that singers joining OutBAC display the following qualities:

  • range is suitable and secure
  • sing musically, with good vocal technique
  • memorise two songs perfectly
  • sing independently while matching with other parts
  • embody the song’s story through visual performance

We check this in the latter half of the season by having section leaders listen to a singer while they are singing with the chorus, by doing rolling quartets on the contest songs, where only one person from each part is singing for a few bars before the next takes over, and observing the chorus performance in rehearsals. Each singer intending to sing at convention should be signed off by the music team two months before the performance date.


To be invited to this kind of membership, singers must:

  • live in or near1) Bristol, or have an existing connection2) with the chorus - check with the Musical Director if unsure.
  • sing with a high standard of vocal skills (assessed at certification)
  • attend at least half of the weekend coaching sessions for the contest season3)

Paying for membership

There’s a monthly membership fee (currently £6.00 per month) for OutBAC singers, as many expenses are still the same as for our weekly singers (music licences, administration, etc.), and a fee of £10.00 for each weekend day4), as these sessions are our most expensive to run, with coaching and venue costs.

The other main costs are the same as for our weekly singers: a wardrobe deposit of around £10 will be charged when your stage gear is issued, and returned when it comes back; the costs of attending contest such as transport and accommodation will be shared by all competing singers.

What you'll need to provide

In addition to water and a copy of the music (you can print the PDF from our web site or use a tablet in rehearsals, as long as you can mark changes on it), you will need to provide part of the uniform. You can choose option 1 or option 2 from our wardrobe page (restricted to singers, but likely to include a plain black suit and either black patent leather or sparkly silver shoes); we may be able to supply a chorus-style suit if we have one already in stock in your size.

Past OutBAC seasons

In the surrounding counties: Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, or Somerset
For instance, having previously sung with Bristol A Cappella, a family member in the weekly chorus, etc.
If this will be impossible for a singer who would otherwise meet our standard for the performance, the musical director may decide to reduce this.
This may change from year to year to reflect the number of sessions planned, so OutBAC doesn't cost more than being a full singing member.
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