When and where do we rehearse?
We rehearse every Tuesday evening during term time from 8.00 to 9.45pm at St Peter’s Church, Black Lion Lane, London, W6 9BE (Stamford Brook or Ravenscourt Park tube).
What financial obligations are expected from members?
Membership of Petros Singers is on a yearly basis (September to June). The membership subscription for 2020/21 is £200 payable in September, or two instalments of £105 (payable in September and February).
If you join after September, you will be expected to pay a proportion of the membership fee. The full membership fee is then payable the following September.
Financial circumstances should never be a barrier to joining Petros Singers. Anyone unable to afford the standard membership fee may apply for a concessionary rate by speaking to the Chair.
Young Singers’ Bursary Scheme
We would love to hear from young singers interested in joining us. Any new member aged between 16 to 27 is invited to join the choir free of charge as part of our bursary scheme, subject to audition.
Are there any other costs?
In a bid to keep costs down, we endeavour to hire most of the music we sing. Very occasionally, we ask members to purchase a piece of music when this is the only option available. Please talk to our Librarian or the Membership Secretary if you have any concerns about this.
What kind of commitment is expected from choir members?
We rehearse on a termly basis, with a concert taking place at the end of each term. Singers are expected to attend all rehearsals. Obviously on occasion a rehearsal may have to be missed due to unforeseen circumstances; however, if you miss more than three rehearsals in the term you will not be able to take part in the concert. Further details will be made available to members in the ‘choir rules’.
Our Musical Director provides a rehearsal schedule at the start of term and members are asked to familiarise themselves with relevant pieces before each rehearsal. By combining good sight-reading skills with keen note-learning at home, we can focus on interpretation, blend and sound quality during rehearsals.
It’s essential that choir members inform both the Musical Director and the Membership Secretary in advance (by email or text) if they’re going to miss a rehearsal. Members are also requested to sign the attendance sheet at rehearsals.
If singing workshops or special events such as an evensong are organised, you will also be expected to attend. Notice of dates is always given well in advance.
The choir diary is updated regularly and can be accessed by members on the website. Please check with the Membership Secretary how to access the Members’ area of the website.
All of our concerts are managed by choir members and, being a relatively small group, we encourage everyone to get involved in some way – be it sourcing sponsors or advertisers, putting up posters and distributing flyers, or serving refreshments at a concert or workshop.
What are the concert arrangements?
Concerts are held at the end of each term in church venues in West London (Hammersmith, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Ealing) and prestigious venues in Central London such as St James’s Piccadilly, The Grosvenor Chapel, Holy Trinity Sloane Square and St John’s Smith Square. Concerts take place on Saturday evenings and it is mandatory for members to attend the afternoon rehearsal if they are singing in the concert.
We often arrange either an evensong or a fourth concert each year, maybe as part of a festival or in a different location outside London – for example, in July 2018 we took part in the weekend services at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. We also organise the occasional, optional overseas concert tour.
London concerts are mainly held on a Saturday evening and it’s essential that you attend the dress rehearsal in the afternoon, otherwise you won’t be able to take part in the concert. A concert may very occasionally be held on a Sunday, or a Friday or other weekday evening in which case there is no afternoon rehearsal.
For the majority of our concerts, men wear black tie and women a long black skirt/smart trousers and a long-sleeved black top. Members are also required to buy a black concert folder which costs £6.50 (these folders are provided free of charge to bursary members).
What if I can’t sing in a particular concert?
Our Musical Director takes great care in selecting music in advance to suit the balance of voices in the choir. It’s therefore essential that you advise him well in advance, and ideally before the beginning of term, if you know you can’t sing at the next concert. If you have newly joined Petros Singers and are unable to sing in the next concert, we are unfortunately unable to refund your membership fee.
Are there any solo opportunities?
Petros Singers perform with some of the UK’s finest professional singers, and members find it inspiring to share a platform with them. However, for members with appropriate voices, there are regular solo opportunities.
What other events are arranged by the choir?
We run biennial open singing workshops and occasionally organise an evensong or take part in festivals such as the Brandenburg Choral Festival.
On the social side, we organise occasional overseas tours, and have been to Paris, Venice, Moscow and Rome. We’re planning Barcelona as our next destination.
Closer to home, we retire to the pub post-rehearsal, and throw parties at the end of the summer and Christmas terms.
Finally, the choir is run by a committee and we very much welcome new members getting involved.