Membership of the adult choir (and of Belfast Philharmonic Society) is by audition with the Chorus Master. We aim to perform at a professional standard and all members are reauditioned every two years in order to make sure the whole choir is always at the performance level we need to sing at our concerts and alongside the Ulster Orchestra and other professional musicians and soloists.
We try to make the audition process as comfortable as possible for all singers - we welcome members who sing regularly with church or work/organisation/college choirs, as well as strong singers who are confident learning new music and performing. Sight singing is helpful but not a requirement if you are willing to put in the time to learning the music outside rehearsals.
We usually hold auditions in September and January of each season. Before the auditions we hold Open Rehearsals where all singers, of all experience levels, are welcome to join the full choir in one of our Wednesday evening rehearsals and find out what it's like to sing with the Phil. You will sing through a section of one of the pieces the choir will sing later in the season, which will also be a set extract for the audition. We encourage all potential members to attend at least one open rehearsal if possible - it will be very helpful for your audition!
During the audition you will be asked to:
sing one piece of your own choosing
sing one set choral extract (which will be covered in the open rehearsals)
complete a short sight-singing exercise (not a compulsory skill for membership but will be assessed)
potentially undertake a range test to assess which section of the choir you would join
If you are successful in your audition you will be invited to join the Society and we will let you know which section you have been placed into. An annual membership fee applies (currently £190 for the 2021/22 season, or £95 for full-time students). We do not want anyone to be dissuaded from auditioning for the Phil because of fees – if you are successful and have difficulty paying the membership fees, please contact the manager confidentially by email or phone (07985 200 265).
If you require any adjustments to be made to enable you to audition, please let us know in advance and we will do all that we can to make the process accessible.