The BBC Symphony Chorus would love to hear from singers with choral experience who are interested in joining.
Auditions for new members are held throughout the year at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios near Paddington, home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Singers.
Auditions usually last 10-15 minutes and are heard by our Chorus Director Neil Ferris and our Deputy Director or Vocal Coach. You are asked to prepare a solo piece of your choice and there will also be some sight reading exercises and vocal exercises to determine your vocal range. When choosing an audition piece please ensure that you select a piece of classical music that was written for solo voice with piano accompaniment; jazz, pop songs, hymns/carols, G&S, show-tunes and other non-classical pieces of music are not suitable audition pieces. We will provide an accompanist for the audition.
The Chorus performs approximately six concerts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall in London between October and May and appears in five or six of the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, frequently including the iconic First and Last Nights, between July and September. Regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3, the Chorus may also have its own Studio Concerts, performances with other orchestras across the UK, and commercial recording opportunities.
The Chorus performs diverse and challenging repertoire and is dedicated to performing new music including specially-written commissions, first performances, and a cappella works alongside the standard large choral works.
Rehearsals are held twice a week from 6.40-9.10pm at the BBC's Maida Vale studios near Paddington, regularly on Fridays, with the other evening alternating between Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In the week of a concert there are additional rehearsals, taken by the conductor for that concert, and these may occasionally take place during weekday afternoons.
Commitment to the BBC SC can be intensive with rehearsals taking place twice a week throughout the year. However, we understand that members may not be able to sing in every concert and we will ask for availability in advance of engagements. Chorus members who wish to sing in a particular concert need to attend a minimum number of rehearsals: usually a minimum of 70% of rehearsals taken by the Chorus Director, plus all of those taken by the conductor of the concert.
It is not essential to have had singing lessons to join the Chorus, although they are useful and members are encouraged to take them.
There is no membership fee, and music and folders are provided free of charge. Chorus members provide their own concert dress and are responsible for the cost of their travel to rehearsals and concerts in London. Travel, accommodation and subsistence are provided for concerts and tours outside London.