Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few things you may find helpful to know about the choir. If there’s anything we’ve missed then just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer any question you have…
Q: It’s my first rehearsal – what should I expect?
A: We start the singing at 7:30 but the doors are open from 7:00 for people to come and grab some refreshments and catch up with friends before we kick off. We have another break later in the evening at around 8:15 and try to finish promptly at 9:00. All refreshments are free of charge, so help yourself to as much as you like.
During the rehearsal itself, Richard will take the choir through the songs for that term, working through the different parts and tweaking things we’ve already done. You don’t need to be able to read music, and the words will all be up on the screen (that way people have their heads up and can see what’s happening rather than being buried in bits of paper!).
Q: Where should I sit?
A: The choir is divided into two or three parts – the ladies (higher and lower) and the men. If you’re a lady that likes to sing up high then grab a seat on the right of the hall as you face the front. Prefer to sing lower? … take a seat in the middle of the hall. If you’re a man, it shouldn’t be hard to work out where you’re sitting!
If you’re new to choir singing and have no idea where you’d be best placed then try out one camp and swap if you need to. No one will stare at you if you need to move!
Q: I’ve just paid my money at the door – what is that used for?
A: What people get for their money is an hour-and-a-half’s fun, singing and laughs and unlimited tea, coffee, bottled water and cake and biscuits for the evening – pretty good value we reckon! The rest of the money is used to cover running costs and also to help offset big expenditures (e.g. paying towards a coach or clothing, equipment, publicity etc). Walderslade Sings! is a non-profit organisation, which basically means that no individual involved gets any payment.
Q: I’ve filled in a registration form – why do you need my details?
A: We use email – firstname.lastname@example.org – as one of our main ways of keeping in touch with people in the choir, so it’s really helpful for us to have an email address for you. It may also be the case that we sometimes need to contact you at short notice about performance or rehearsal details, which is why it’s also helpful to have a phone number for you. We won’t ever pass on your information to anyone else, and if you decide to leave the choir at some point then we’ll remove your details from our system.
If your details change at all, please try to keep us up to date!
Q: I’ve heard that Walderslade Sings! is sponsored by St Philip and St James’ Church. So is it a church choir then?
A: Walderslade Sings! is not a ‘church choir’ and you don’t have to be any part of the church to come along. Anyone is welcome irrespective of their age (11 and up – see later), background, religious beliefs etc, etc, and our repertoire is mainstream rock and pop. St Philip and St James’ church is supporting Walderslade Sings! by making its premises and facilities available to us for rehearsals without charge. In return the choir has some accountability to their governing charity, but that is as far as it goes. Basically, St Philip and St James’ gives Walderslade Sings! as a gift to the community. There will, of course be some people in the choir from the church – they are part of our community too – but Walderslade Sings! is purely a community activity. If you have more questions about this just chat to Richard, Sue or Ruth.
Q: As a community choir, what other links do you have with the local community?
A: It is possible we will have surplus funds as we go along and in time we aim to adopt a local charity to support. We will talk about which one with the choir when the time comes.
Q: Will there be any special clothing I need to buy?
A: We organise T-shirts for all choir members, and we plan to offer jumpers and/or hoodies in the near future, with our distinctive logo embroidered on the front. The costs are subsidised from choir funds but typically require a contribution from members of around £5 per item (more for jumpers/hoodies). There will be a range of styles available to choose from. For performances, you can wear anything black on your bottom half, and can accessorise in any of the Walderslade Sings! logo colours.
Q: I’m finding it hard to remember my part and learn the words – any ideas?
A: The Walderslade Sings! website has a downloads page where you’ll find mp3s of the various parts, and files with the words for all the songs. If you’re not very confident with computers or don’t have a way of listening to the mp3s, then we also print the words off and put the parts on a CD for you, the costs of which are all covered by choir funds.
Q: I don’t think I can come to all the rehearsals, is that a problem?
A: Not at all! If you can’t always make it along on a Sunday evening then it’s not a problem, but we hope you’ll make it to most of them. You can always visit the website to see the blog, which will have any important news or information on it from the last rehearsal. You can also use the ‘downloads’ page on the website to help you catch up if you need to.
Q: I’ve got some friends I think I would like to bring along – is that ok?
A: Absolutely. We don’t have an upper limit on numbers (we’ll just move venues if we outgrow where we are) and as far as we’re concerned, the more the merrier! And it doesn’t matter if new members join part way through a term, or even just before a gig – although they may have to work a bit harder to learn the words! We even have the policy that if you bring someone new to a rehearsal, they don’t need to pay for their first week… we can’t say fairer than that!
Q: Can I bring my daughter/son along?
A: The choir is for everyone from age 11 (year 6) and up. However, for child safety compliance, anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Q: Anything else I should know?
A: The Walderslade Sings! website is the authority for everything you need to know and we update it regularly with any news or information you may need about rehearsals, performances etc. If you can, make sure you visit the website regularly to keep up to date.
The web address is www.waldersladesings.org. We also have an active Facebook group where people keep in touch about what’s going on within the choir. You can join the group via the link button on the choir website. You can also follow us on Twitter! Walderslade Sings! @waldersladesing.
The main thing you need to know is that Walderslade Sings! is all about having fun, so come along ready to join a community of people who love to sing together and laugh at the same time. No one will be asking for your singing CV and as Richard will tell you, if you do sing a duff note…just look at the person next to you and frown!