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OutBAC Singer Information
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 close harmony chorus.
We hope that some OutBAC singers will find that in the future they may be in a position to join our weekly rehearsals.
After passing an audition, 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 a variety of venues with specialist coaches from outside the chorus; some are held on two days of the same weekend, while others might be individual days.
OutBAC singers should learn the music before the first 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.
The audition will check for the same things as our normal voice-check process, but at a higher level:
- range is suitable and secure
- sing musically, with good vocal technique
- memorise a whole song perfectly
- sing independently while matching with other parts
- embody the song’s story through visual performance
When you ask for an audition, we’ll give you a song to learn, and three weeks to prepare - you can join us for some Tuesday evenings to get extra practice if you’d like. At the audition you’ll be asked to sing the song from memory (with no sheet music) in quartet with three members of Bristol A Cappella, with the musical director and your section leader listening. We’ll do some scales as well, and we’ll let you know whether you’ve passed a minute or two after the end of the audition.
If you’d like to book an audition slot, fill in our request form, and one of our music team will get in touch to arrange a time. Tuesday evenings before 7:30 pm are easy, as that’s our regular rehearsal night, but we can also arrange other times including weekends, though we’ll try to put auditions back to back to keep things simple for our music team.
Because of the need for OutBAC singers to be ready for contest without the benefit of weekly rehearsals, existing members of Bristol A Cappella who want to transfer to OutBAC will still need to audition.
To be invited to this kind of membership, singers must:
- sing with a high standard of vocal skills (assessed at audition)
- attend at least 70% of the weekend coaching sessions for the contest season2)
Paying for membership
There’s a monthly membership fee (currently £5.50 per month) for OutBAC singers, as many expenses are still the same (music licences, administration, etc.), and a fee of £17.50 for each weekend day3), 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 £50 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 appropriately by all competing singers.
Other competing mixed choruses
If you live outside the Bristol area, also consider whether your nearest mixed barbershop chorus would offer a closer way to get the competition buzz!
- Bedfordshire: Black Cat Harmony
- Chester University: Barbershop Singers
- Guildford: Southern Acappella
- Hull University: Barbershop Society
- Manchester University: Sing It!
- Norwich: Mosaic (contact us for more details)
- Sheffield University:
Barbershop Singerson hold
- Watford: Strictly A Cappella
If you know of another local competing mixed chorus, let us know so we can add it here.