The 150-strong UEA Choir is open to all by audition and was established in 1965 under Sir Phillip Ledger, UEA Director of Music until 1974. Since 2010, it has been directed by Tom Primrose.
Rehearsals and performances
UEA Choir enjoys membership from students, staff, and members of the local community. The choir rehearse on campus every Monday (19:30 - 21:30), during semester time, and perform either alone or with the UEA Symphony Orchestra at least three times a year. You can find details of past UEA Choir performances in our Events Archive.
UEA Choir’s 2020-2021 season will inevitably be affected by COVID-19. Our aims, which we will keep updated, will be to work towards a March concert, with rehearsals starting in January. From September to December, we will focus on providing as varied a programme of online events as we can, and if the opportunity arises to begin to sing together, we will seize the moment. We will look at the possibility of extending Choir’s season beyond March, if the general situation is improving and we can generate appropriate events.
You can find details of forthcoming UEA Choir performances in our Upcoming Events Calendar.
UEA Choir is open to beginners, as well as more experienced singers. Some previous experience singing in choirs is preferable, but not essential. Fluency in reading music is an asset, but we will consider any suitable voice whatever the level of reading ability.
UEA Choir has vacancies in all sections, however, we are particularly keen to recruit tenors and basses.
All singers are auditioned, however, this year, due to ongoing social distancing regulations, singers will be asked to do a recorded, rather than live, audition. You will be required to:
1. Submit an online application form (or email us at email@example.com stating your: level of experience, music reading ability and voice type (if known));
2. Record yourself singing an unaccompanied folksong, hymn or other piece you know and feel comfortable singing (one or two verses lasting a minute or so will suffice). Once you have made the recording, upload the video to YouTube as an unlisted item and email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11am on Friday 25 September 2020.
• If you can read musical notation and use it to sing from even in a basic way, we consider that you can ‘read music’. It is then a matter of assessing your fluency. If you have played an instrument and learned to read music at the same time, you will be familiar enough with the notation we use to transfer the skill to singing.
• Give us an honest assessment of your reading ability. Don’t worry if you haven’t sung in a choir before. As a guide, if you are familiar enough with notation to know where to start if we say ‘we’re going from 3rd quaver of bar 16’ and to know what to do if we say ‘we need to accent the fourth crotchet of bar 8’ then your reading will be fine to start with and it always improves as you get used to singing with us.
• If you can’t read notation at all, please don’t be put off auditioning. We will consider you and if we can’t accommodate you in Choir, we will suggest alternatives and you are welcome to re-audition in future.
• Sing through a few times before you record, so you can judge accurately the note you need to start on to make sure the melody doesn’t exceed your range.
• Make sure the video and the sound quality are good enough to reflect your capability and allow us to hear clearly. If you use your phone to record, please take care that the recording is as high quality as the device will allow.
• Please be in the video shot for your whole performance, and if at all possible, place your recording device somewhere so that you are not holding it while you sing.
• Sing a piece you feel comfortable with and which demonstrates what you can do. It can be anything you like, however, please note that we are listening to how your voice would fit into a choir, so some kinds of pop/rock etc might not be appropriate for this purpose (please choose what you sing with this in mind).
• Please sing unaccompanied, whether the piece has an accompaniment or not.
If you are unable to make a recording, but would still like to audition, please email us and we will do our best to help.
Non-UEA members are required to pay a subscription fee to join UEA Choir. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will not be possible to match usual expectations for activities, so we have made the decision to reduce membership subscriptions by 50% this year. Membership fees for the 2020-21 season are £23.50 (full price) and £11.75 (concessions (seniors (over 60s) and non-UEA students).