Portsmouth Choral Union Membership

The choir is currently supported by approximately 120 singers of all voice types. We are always welcoming of new talent particularly from male singers, although female voices are also encouraged to join.

We rehearse during term time each Tuesday evening between 7.30pm and 9.30pm at The Portsmouth Academy, St Marys Road, Portsmouth. PO1 5PF.

We ask that you come along to a couple of rehearsals and see if we are for you after which you will be invited to undertake a simple audition, which will be held in a private room with only you, the musical director and an accompanist present.

There is no mystery to the audition process, it comprises of:

  1. Singing some scales to 'la' to explore the range and quality of voice
  2. Singing some arpeggios.
  3. Singing long sustained notes at different pitches and dynamics
  4. A short sight singing test accompanied by the piano.

Shortly after the audition prospective members will be notified whether or not they are successful in their audition and will be invited to join the choir.

Once a member of the choir, members are expected to attend at least 80% of all rehearsals to be eligible to sing in the concert. They will also be expected to attend a Saturday afternoon rehearsal on the day of the concert itself.

The current annual subscription is approximately £160, which is subject to an annual review. It is payable at the start of the choral season and calculated on a pro-rata basis when a member joins part way through the choral year.

Students in full-time education are eligible for free membership.

Sonia Schofield is our membership secretary. If you are interested in joining the choir please contact her on 023 9269 0894 or at PCURegistrar@gmail.com

What choir members say about the audition process:

Nita Fielder (Soprano) - “Although I was apprehensive, the audition was not a daunting experience. It consisted of a few vocal exercises and a sight reading test. David Gostick made me feel at ease and I felt that he wanted me to do my best. I'm sure that my nerves were obvious, particularly during the sight reading test, but he helped me through it. With hindsight, I do not know why I was put off auditioning for the choir for so long“.

John Harding (Bass) - “As a new boy to the choir, I approached the audition with trepidation, having not sung formally for half a century. My sight reading is now improving, I will leave it to my neighbours to decide about the sight singing! The steam rally season is about to start, will the choir have changed my attitude to Saturday night sing songs?”

Choir highlights

  • One of the largest and most acclaimed choirs in the south of England
  • Directed by talented and dynamic Musical Director -  David Gostick
  • Holds four major concerts a year
  • Accompanied by professional orchestras and soloists
  • Performs the choral repertoire from classics to 21st-century works
  • Encourages new singers and new musicians
  • Provides tailored tutorials for its members to develop their individual voice
  • Hosts an annual New Year “Come and Sing” concert for members of the public and choir
  • Undertakes regular international tours with performances - France, Belgium, USA (Carnegie Hall, New York and North Carolina), Germany, Canada (Toronto and Niagra) Italy (Tuscany) and most recently in 2018 to Germany.
Portsmouth Choral Union