Are you interested in joining the choir?
Cantemus is actively looking for competent singers and we have vacancies in all sections. If you have some experience of choral singing, reasonable sight reading ability and are interested in joining us then please contact Becky Donkin (Chair, 07793 893499) or email us.
We rehearse on alternate Saturday mornings (9.45 am-1.15 pm) during term times, usually in Radyr Methodist Church. More details about the choir and how to join can be found below.
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What are the best things about being in Cantemus?
Lots! We sing a huge range of wonderful music, we’ve got a great conductor, we broadcast on TV and radio (check out our One Show appearance on our YouTube channel!), we’ve done some very high profile concerts, such as singing in Buckingham Palace, and we work with top-notch orchestras and soloists. But in spite of our reputation as one of the country’s best amateur choirs, we’re a very down to earth, friendly bunch, and all new members are guaranteed a warm welcome.
Do you socialize much as a choir?
You won’t have to try very hard to persuade people to come to the pub after rehearsal: we’re a very sociable lot. There’s usually a celebratory curry after every concert, and we regularly arrange dinners and evenings out.
Will I get to go on tours?
Yes! We usually tour at least once a year, both within the UK and abroad. We’ve recently been to Holland, Germany and Italy, and last summer we sang services at St Paul’s Cathedral and St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Do I need to be an experienced singer to join?
We do expect our members to have experience of choral singing, but you don’t need to have been a professional singer or a music graduate (although some of our members are). Good sight-reading skills are desirable, as our rehearsals are fast-paced and focus on interpretation rather than learning notes. Most of our members work hard on learning the repertoire at home in between rehearsals, so that we don’t have to spend time note-bashing.
How do you assess potential new members?
We’ve found it’s difficult for new members to try out with us when we’re close to a concert, so we invite potential new joiners to a rehearsal when we begin preparing for a new performance. You’ll be introduced to other members of the choir and you’ll sing in the appropriate section, usually next to the section leader. During the rehearsal, our Music Director (MD) and the section leader will be listening and watching to see how you engage with the music and how well you watch the conductor. They’ll also be listening out for vocal accuracy and blend.
Will there be a formal audition?
After your first rehearsal, assuming you’ve been able to keep up with the pace of the rehearsal, most singers are invited to a second rehearsal. At some point shortly after this rehearsal you’ll have an audition.
The audition will be around 10 minutes. You will be asked by the MD to sing a prepared piece of your choice, with or without piano accompaniment. You’ll also be asked to do some vocal exercises (e.g. scales and arpeggios) to assess range, tone and intonation. Finally, you’ll be given one or two pieces of sight reading of the MD’s choice, typically a short passage.
It sounds scary. Is it?
We hope not! You’ll be made very welcome during the trial period and everyone will do their best to put you at your ease. It’s a two way process, so we want you to like us too! And after your audition, you’ll be told the result as soon as possible.
Which sections do you have vacancies in?
As of October 2015, we have vacancies in all sections. But even when there isn’t a vacancy immediately in your section, we operate a reserve list. If your audition was successful in those circumstances, we would add your name to the reserve list and get in touch when an opening arises.
What would it cost me?
Like many high-quality choirs outside London, our members pay subscriptions. This contributes to the costs of our professional Music Director and to our ambitious concert programme. The full rate is £18 a month, but we are keen to ensure that singers on low incomes are still able to join. Those on means tested benefits therefore pay a substantially reduced rate of £9 per month. A member in full time education pays just £10 per term (£30 per year).
Members are also requested to make a small annual contribution towards the hire and purchase of music.
I’m interested! What do I do next?
Contact our Chairman Mike Page to make arrangements to come along to a rehearsal. Tel: 01446 773953 or email us
We look forward to hearing from you!