Euphonix is a community-based choir comprising of about 100 members. It is not just a series of singing workshops, and over the course of each term we are building up a repertoire and rehearsing towards occasional performances. To this end there is an expectation to some degree of regular commitment to attending rehearsals on Wednesday mornings. If you think you'd find this a problem, we do have on our website links to other local choirs and singing workshops that might suit you better.
Euphonix has a varied repertoire based on a number of different types of genre has an accent on popular music and traditional songs. Although not exclusive the following range of genres are likely be considered:
- Classic rock, pop & folk –anything from the 60s, 70s, 80 including Motown and R&B
- Contemporary rock & pop (recently released songs)
- Traditional folk songs from the British Isles & North America (the popular music of the past 18th-19th centuries)
- Traditional part songs
- World music (the popular music of other parts of the world, with lots to explore)
The chosen music is chosen to be appropriate to (and occasionally to challenge or stretch) the choir’s abilities and vocal range based on voice availability (soprano, alto, tenor and bass). The range of genre includes obscurity, tempo, mood & sentiment, difficulty, length, unaccompanied a capella, as well as accompanied pieces.
Many choral arrangements already exist for the above genres, and our Musical Director also arranges songs that are not typically choral especially for Euphonix and these tend to be fairly recent contemporary songs. We believe it is important to introduce new material and find that our members enjoy new songs and challenges.
Our Musical Director provides keyboard accompaniment as necessary, and depending on the repertoire, additional instrumentalists may be brought in occasionally to create a more dynamic performance (e g guitarist/drums etc). We may occasionally have a guest voice coach.
Rehearsals take place every Wednesday morning and normally include some or all of the following:
- warm-ups (vocal and physical!)
- breathing exercises
- answer and response games
- learning short energizing songs
- vocal improvisation
- learning & testing possible repertoire in a workshop style
Exercises will be simple enough for most to quickly pick up, with an emphasis on inclusion and encouragement.
Learning is undertaken by ear as much as possible. The Members Section of the website provides access to the words for the songs being learnt and sound files for each of the various voice parts. There is no expectation to be able to read music so music scores are not provided. Having access to audio/sound files assists in learning between weekly rehearsals.
Our aim is not to exclude anyone by being unaffordable, and so we ask our singers to pay what they can for each rehearsal – we are a not-for-profit community choir, and all contributions are ploughed back into the choir and its expenses. The recommended weekly fee is £5.00.
We do not audition or ask anyone to sing solo – inexperienced singers are as welcome to join as experienced ones, and you do not need to be able to read music.
Members are entitled to a place in weekly rehearsals and access to the members’ section of the website, and to invitations to Euphonix social events and AGMs. We often need to operate a waiting list, and will contact absentees each term to see if they still want their place.
Euphonix “terms” and performances
We aim to meet and rehearse most weeks of the year, but do take occasional short breaks between our “terms” which usually last 8-10 weeks. Dates will depend on, e g, public holidays, the other commitments of our Musical Director, and the availability of suitable accommodation.
It’s good for a choir to have a performance to aim for, and we work towards informal “end-of-term concerts” for friends and families in a central Kingston location at the end of each 8+ week rehearsal period. We also occasionally participate in more public events, when opportunities arise. Although we believe members will be pleased with their achievements and keen to show them off, no one will be pressured to perform.