The Essential Guide to South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus
Who is welcome?:
All adults 18+ are welcome. We are a non-auditioning LGBTQ+ inclusive choir that sings in the tenor, baritone and bass register. We’ll welcome you regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Though our members are largely gay men, we have had the pleasure, currently, and in the past, to be joined by trans, non-binary, bi and straight members.
Can’t read music?:
That’s ok, neither do many people in the choir. Many of us learn ‘by ear’ and by making notes as we go along.
As a community choir, here are couple of pointers to hopefully make you feel at ease:
- It’s fine not to perform if you’re a paid-up member enjoying the rehearsing and the social aspects of the choir.
- Some newer members want to perform but don’t feel ready. That’s OK too. When you’re ready, discuss it with your section leader and our Musical Director.
- Some members start with an informal performance like Pride or a pub performance, while others throw themselves into the deep end with a full concert. We recognise that we’re all different so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
- What we require for concert performances is commitment and rehearsal time so section leaders and ultimately, the Musical Director, must be satisfied that you’ve been doing your best.
- We’re relaxed about how long it takes you to get there, but our aim is to have you standing shoulder to shoulder with us at performances.
- If you’re nervous, unsure and are thinking of leaving, please speak to your section leader, a member of the committee or the Musical Director before making a decision.
Communicating effectively with a large group is important. For the last few years we have been using the ‘Slack’ communications tool and it is important therefore that you familiarise yourself with it and use it to keep in touch with what is going on. All music and learning tracks are currently accessed from there. There are also messages regarding performances, announcements, social events etc in different ‘threads’. You can also private message your section leader, choir liaison officer or any other member. It’s free and you should download it to your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. As it’s a private channel, you will be invited to join it by Email when your membership has started.
If you need any kind of additional support, we will try to help remove barriers to being a fully included member of the choir.
There are four parts in the choir, from lowest to highest voice (Bass, Baritone, Second Tenors, and First Tenors respectively), and each part has a section leader appointed by members of that section. If you have previously been in a choir you may know which section you belong in, or we can help you choose.
Choreography: We do a little movement (or Choralography) for some of our performances. It’s usually fairly basic to cater for a mix of abilities. Please don’t worry about this, we always take account of ability levels, difficulties with movement and mobility.
Uniforms: There is a formal performance uniform which consists of black ‘office’ trousers, a black shirt, formal shoes and dark socks (which we ask you to provide), and a waistcoat and tie (which the choir provides free of charge). We also have a casual uniform for more informal events like Pride performances or pub gigs. It’s a branded T-shirt or polo shirt (we provide) and your own jeans/shorts and casual shoes or trainers.
First month is FREE of charge so that you can try us out. Monthly subs help us cover our costs but they are kept very low compared to other choirs. If you join, you will need to set up your monthly standing order. Our three subs rates are:
- Concession rate for those on means tested benefits: £8pcm
- Full rate: £12pcm
- Voluntary top up rate. Given how modest our subs rates are set, we are encouraging those who can afford to pay more to do so – at any higher amount (typically, £15, £20 or £24).
When setting up your standing order, our SWGMC bank details are as follows:
Sort Code: 20-18-15
Account Number: 20066915
We’ll message you towards the end of your free membership to complete a new member form, gift aid form (if applicable) and to set up your standing order.