Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings between 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm in The Hornby Theatre, Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall Street, BB2 1AG.
Access: The front door of the library is open until 7.00pm. After that, please use the rear door on Northgate.
Parking: After 6.00pm, there is plenty of free parking on the streets near the library or on the Duke Street carpark BB2 1DH.
You are welcome to attend rehearsals for two or three weeks before deciding whether or not you want to join us. At your first rehearsal you will be asked to complete a contact detail form and you will be added to our data base to ensure that you get all the information you need from BMS. This information will only be used for communication within the society.
You will also usually be given a copy of the music we are currently preparing. There is a small charge for the loan of music to cover the cost of hiring it.
You will be introduced to your voice rep. who will be able to answer any questions you might have and to our Chair Gill Broom and our Musical Director John Robinson.
What you need to become a member
There are no formal auditions, but we expect you to be willing to commit to regular weekly rehearsals and be prepared to do some practice at home. You do not need to have been in a choir before, or to sight read, but you do need to be able to follow and understand the music.
Under the Members header you will find links to internet resources to help you to learn your part at home.
Remember to bring a pencil with you to rehearsals for making notes in the music.
At some point you may have an informal voice test just to check that you are singing the right part for your voice range.
The cost of being a member
Our annual subscription is £80, payable at the beginning of the season.
If you are in a position to do so, signing a Gift Aid form will enable us to claim tax back on subscriptions.
If you are aged 25 or under on 1st September, your membership is free.
In addition to the subscription, there is also a small charge for borrowing the music, for your choir folder for concerts and, for the ladies, the flower that they wear as part of their uniform.
For the annual Messiah concert you will need your own copy of the New Novello Choral Edition edited by Watkins Shaw.
As we are keen to be as inclusive as possible, we aim to keep our subscription relatively low compared to many other choirs. Therefore, in order to put on an ambitious programme of concerts, we also engage in various fund-raising enterprises.
If you would like to participate in these activities, it would be much appreciated. We also hope that our members will be active in promoting our concerts and selling tickets.
Our annual schedule
Rehearsals for each season start at the beginning of September and end in June after our summer concert.
We usually do four main concerts a year, one each in the autumn, spring and summer plus the Messiah in December. Venues vary, but we often use Blackburn cathedral. During the season we also organise a day workshop each year, which focuses on preparing for one of our concerts.
What happens on main concert days
Our main concerts take place on a Saturday. You will be notified well in advance of rehearsal times on performance days. It’s usually in the afternoon with time to eat and get changed before the concert starts.
What we wear at concerts
For our main concerts, the women usually wear long / calf-length black skirts or black dress trousers, black tops with decorous neckline, three-quarter or long sleeves and a pink flower (supplied), worn on the left. Black tights and black shoes. And if you like, by all means wear a bit of glitz!
The men wear a black dinner suit with a white shirt and black bow tie. Black socks and shoes.
On some occasions concert dress varies and details of this are announced before the event.
How you will know what’s going on
From time to time, members of the Committee will want to send you information e.g. about upcoming events and we usually use email for this.
There is an annual dinner shortly after the summer concert and other social events from time to time. You will be given details of these as and when they are arranged.
And that’s it! We hope that you will enjoy making music with us. If you need further information you are welcome to contact our secretary Chris, email@example.com She will be happy to answer any questions you have.