Information for prospective and new members

Welcome to Aberdeen Bach Choir’s prospective member information page.  Our choir has been in established for 65 years and we perform a wide range of sacred choral music from the Renaissance period through to the 20th Century, with an emphasis on the works of J.S. Bach of course.  Our members have varying degrees of musical expertise. We are by no means all expert musicians or sight readers, but we define what it takes to be a choir member as:

to be able to sing accurately and in tune, with a secure sense of rhythm and be familiar with musical notation.

If that sounds like you, I am sure you will enjoy the experience of rehearsing and performing with us.

Angela Slater, Chair

How to Join

Unfortunately we are unable to accept new singers at the present time but we will update this page as soon as this situation changes. We have had to make this difficult decision due to the limit on our rehearsal venue seating capacity while 1m social distancing remains in place.  There is also a limit to the number of singers we can comfortably seat within our normal concert venue of St. Machar’s Cathedral.

We began rehearsals on Tuesday 24 August 2021 at High Hilton Church from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (temporarily shortened from 2hrs to 1hr without a break to reduce risk from Covid-19).  Rehearsals will continue at the same venue (subject to there being no reintroduction of tighter local or national restrictions), with a two week break during the school October holiday. From Tuesday 28 September, rehearsals will be from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. with entry from 7:15 p.m.

The annual subscription rates set at the AGM on 17 August 2021 were £60 (full) or £45 (concessions).  Students pay nothing!  Newcomers are allowed two or three weeks settling in before confirming their membership and being asked to pay their subscription. There is normally a small charge for music hire, or you can buy the music for some performances.

Regular attendance throughout the season is important. Even if you are very familiar with a work we are singing, we all need to know and understand how Peter wants us to interpret the music.  For this reason, anyone who misses more than four Tuesday rehearsals in any one term may be asked not to take part in the performance. If you are unable to attend any rehearsals, please contact the membership Secretary, Sandra Massey.  Attendance at rehearsals on the weekend of the performance is essential and absence will be allowed only under exceptional circumstances.

It has not proved possible to have a live performance on Sunday 5 December 2021 due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.  Plans are under way for a video recording in St Machar's Cathedral on Saturday 4 December.

Our concert dress is formal evening attire. Gentlemen wear dinner suit, white shirt and black bow tie. If you don't have suitable clothing, please speak to Kate Mason, one of our first altos, who has access to a small collection of men’s formal wear. Ladies wear a long black dress, or a long black skirt with a black evening blouse or top. If your skirt is not full length, please wear opaque black tights. If preferred, smart dress black trousers may also be worn although not in the front row. Sleeves must be at least elbow length.

Please apply perfumes and deodorants very sparingly as strong smells can disrupt some people’s breathing whilst singing.  Please avoid too much bling if wearing jewellery and ladies should not wear wrist jewellery if wearing elbow length sleeves.

We like to think of ourselves as a friendly choir, and if you make yourself known to one of our Committee members (the Membership Secretary, Sandra Massey, is likely to approach any new faces who have not already contacted her), we will ensure you are introduced to someone who sings the same part as you, to help you fit in quickly.