20 QUESTIONS ABOUT JOINING BIGMOUTH CHORUS
Please contact us if you have any questions not covered below.
- Who can join BigMouth Chorus?
- Who leads BigMouth Chorus?
- When do BigMouth Chorus meet?
- When can I join?
- Do I have to audition?
- Do I need to be able to read sheet music?
- Do I have to sing in front of people on my own?
- What songs do BigMouth Chorus sing?
- Do BigMouth Chorus sing harmonies?
- Which voice group should I sing in?
- How do BigMouth Chorus learn songs?
- Can I try before I join/is there a taster session?
- What happens during a typical rehearsal?
- What does it cost to join?
- Do BigMouth Chorus perform?
- Is there a uniform?
- What if I can’t come to a session?
- Why are we called BigMouth Chorus?
- Is the rehearsal venue accessible for disabled people?
1. Who can join BIGMOUTH Chorus?
BigMouth Chorus is open to all aged 14 and over. There is no audition, you don’t need experience or musical training – you don’t even need to think you can sing. To the top.
2. Who leads BigMouth Chorus?
BigMouth Chorus is led by choir leader and composer Andrew Larner.
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3. When and where do BigMouth Chorus meet?
BigMouth Chorus meet on Tuesday evenings from 7.30-9.30pm at St Peter’s Hall, Broadstairs. Click here for information about finding us and parking. Click here for a list of our meeting dates. To the top.
4. When can I join?
Members can join at any time. A full list of rehearsal dates is available here. Attending at the start of each ‘term’ is a good call if you want to learn new songs when members do, but potential members can also catch up using our online rehearsal parts. Please contact Andrew if you would like to join, or simply show up! To the top.
5. Do I have to audition?
There is no audition and you don’t need any experience. All you need is a willingness to try singing and a sense of fun. At least 50% of BigMouth Chorus members had no experience prior to joining. To the top.
6. Do I need to be able to read sheet music?
No – although some members read sheet music we offer a variety of resources to help you learn songs including lyric sheets, online parts and sheet music. Members are provided with all and can choose whichever they prefer. To the top.
7. Do I have to sing in front of people on my own?
No. Some songs do have solo parts that members can nominate themselves to sing. There are no auditions to sing a solo and soloists are matched to a song that best suits their voice. To the top.
8. What songs do you sing?
We sing a wide variety of contemporary music including pop, blues, rock, jazz, folk, world music and occasionally contemporary classical pieces. Current repertoire (2022) includes:
All I have to do is dream (Everly Brothers)
Amen Siyakudumisa (South African)
California Dreamin'(The Mamas and the Papas)
Feeling’ Good (Nina Simone) Feeling groovy – 59th Street Bridge Song (Simon and Garfunkel)
Fulera Mama (Kenyan)
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) Isn’t she lovely (Stevie Wonder) Once was a time I thought (The Mamas and the Papas)
Over my Head (Gospel)
Sailing (Rod Stewart)
Something inside so strong (Labi Siffre)
The Seal Lullaby (Eric Whitacre)
Tragnala Rumjana (Bulgarian)
Wish you were here (Pink Floyd)
9. Do BigMouth Chorus sing harmonies?
Yes. We sing in anywhere from 2 to 8 harmony parts. Members are assigned a voice group, but this is also flexible. To the top.
10. Which voice group should I sing in?
There are 4 voice groups:
Soprano: high female voice
Alto: medium-low female voice
Tenor: low female voice or high male voice
Bass: low male voice
However, BigMouth Chorus do not always follow these groups and singers are invited to sing where they feel most comfortable. To the top.
11. How do BigMouth Chorus learn songs?
Songs are primarily taught by call and response: Andrew sings a section and you repeat it back. As there are many people in each voice group, there is strength in numbers. Once a song is learned we sing it in different ways to build confidence and learn singing technique. To the top.
12. Can I try before I join/is there a taster session?
Yes. Your first session is a free of charge taster session. It is common for several new members to attend each week, so you won’t be alone!
On arrival you will met choir assistant Sue Flory to sign in and choir leader Andrew Larner will discuss which voice group to try and any questions you might have. The choir are friendly and a choir member will sit with you and discuss any questions you have. Following your first session you will receive an email to discuss how you found the session and if you would like to join the choir. To the top.
13. What happens during a typical rehearsal?
Members tend to arrive from 7.15pm so they can sign in and socialise before we start singing. The evening starts at 7.30pm with a fun 5-10 minute warm up. We aim sing one or two songs each week and introduce a new song every fortnight. We break halfway through for hot and cold drinks. To the top.
14. What does it cost to join?
Membership is £8 per week pay as you go, or £7 if you pay up front for a half term, which is usually 5-7 sessions. For example: a half term of 5 sessions would cost £35 up front. Membership fees are payable in cash, by cheque or via BACS. Account details are available at rehearsals. (NB Fees paid up front are non-refundable.)
Membership fees pay for our venue, lyric and music printing costs, insurance, and the Musical Director. Where possible, members are encouraged to pay up front as it gives the choir financial stability and ensures we can pay in advance to hire our rehearsal venue. In the event of financial hardship, choir members can pay what they can afford (please feel free to speak to Sue in confidence). To the top.
15. Do the choir perform?
BigMouth Chorus have performed at Dreamland, Turner Contemporary, Broadstairs Baptist Church, The Old Kent Market, The Walpole Bay Hotel and members also taken the opportunity to perform compositions and sound installations created by Emily Peasgood. To the top.
16. Is there a uniform?
There is no uniform. If we have a performance we sometimes select a colour to wear. Our dress code is laid back as it is important choir members feel happy and comfortable. Lyrics and sheet music are filed in a black folder for performances. To the top.
18. Why are we called BigMouth Chorus?
The first choir leader of BigMouth Chorus, Emily Peasgood, is a lifelong Smiths fan. After hearing the song Bigmouth Strikes Again she wanted to name a choir BigMouth but didn’t have the chance, until now. Emily says: “It’s a fun name, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and I hope it will be a positive omen for building a big choir that make a BIG sound”. To the top.
19. Is the rehearsal venue accessible for disabled people?
St Peter’s Hall has a permanent ramp to ensure that the venue is wheelchair accessible – entry is via the main door on the corner of Hopeville Avenue and Church Street. There are parking spaces reserved for disabled people on Hopeville Avenue, near to the entrance. There are no steps inside the hall.
A choir only works if the members enjoy themselves and feel able to express themselves. If you have any concerns, suggestions or comments please speak with Andrew or Sue. To the top.