Who are the Addison Singers?
New members are always welcome to join the Addison Group of Singers, which is made up of three different singing classes and four different choirs for singers of all ages, abilities and musical interests. It was founded more than 30 years ago with David Wordsworth as its Musical Director since 1995. Matthew Thomas Morgan - newly appointed Music Director, Classical - takes up his post in January 2023 to conduct the Chamber Choir and Oratorio Choir.
The Addison Singers comprises two classical choirs – an auditioned Chamber Choir and larger non-auditioned Oratorio Choir; and two jazz choirs – an auditioned Jazz Ensemble and a larger non-auditioned all-female Jazz Choir. It also offers three different singing classes to meet the needs of beginners, intermediate and the more competent, experienced singer.
The Addison Singers normally operate on three 10-week terms (the same as the schools) with a concert or recital at the end of each term. Rehearsals are held in Hammersmith on Monday (Jazz and Vocal Technique and Development), Tuesday evenings (and Sight singing with confidence class), Wednesday evenings (Classical Choirs) and Thursday afternoons (Musicianship for Singers class); the times and subscriptions depend on which choir or class you join. Concerts are usually held in West London – Acton, Turnham Green, Notting Hill and Barnes.
Any potential new member of our non-auditioned choirs is welcome to try a 'taster session' during either the first or second rehearsal of term to see if they would like to join a choir or class. Please let the Membership Coordinator know if you would like to try one rehearsal or class. If you are trying a choir, we will arrange for you to share music with a 'buddy' who will be able to answer any questions you may have. At the end of the session we hope you will decide to join and you will be asked to pay for the full term (or pro rata if not the first session). Enrolment closes at the end of the second week of term.
The Oratorio Choir is a non-auditioned mixed choir of approximately 90-100 singers, open to all singers, that performs much of the standard repertoire as well as a wide range of new and more recent music, including several works written especially for them.
The Chamber Choir is a small mixed choir of approximately 30-40 members for skilled singers exploring a varied repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day. A high level of commitment and rehearsal attendance and practice at home is expected. Entry is by informal audition with the Musical Director.
The Jazz Choir is a non-auditioned, all-female group of approximately 45 ladies that explores jazz songs from the 1930s onwards, plus other popular music. There are a variety of approaches to develop group arrangements and fluency in jazz performance.
The Jazz Ensemble is a small jazz singing group for experienced men and women singers. A high level of commitment with rehearsal attendance and practice at home is expected. Entry is by informal audition with the Jazz Ensemble conductor.
The classes are open to all singers of mixed ability, except the Sight singing with confidence class which is aimed at singers who have little musical knowledge – great to help gain confidence whilst singing with the Jazz or Oratorio Choir.
The Sight singing with confidence class is on Zoom, with eight sessions. We can accept more singers of any voice. It would be suitable for those who wish to improve their reading of rhythms and melodies. Theoretical aspects are explained, but the course is mainly a practical one. Every singer has the opportunity to have a go at various graded exercises to develop their individual proficiency..
The 45 minutes Vocal Development Class includes vocal warm-ups, breathing and tuning exercises, and group songs. Some members, if they wish, prepare short songs or bits of repertoire to perform to the class. There is no pressure to engage in singing solos. It is suitable for people returning to singing, those who sing in a choir or aspire to join a choir and want some vocal practice first, as well as anyone wanting to learn good breathing techniques and warm up routines. This will also be useful e.g. for public speaking, teaching and for confidence building. The choice of group repertoire will be made within the group under the tutor's guidance.
The Vocal Technique class aims to train voices by improving breath control, vocal quality, tuning, rhythm and range extension through various breathing and vocal warm-ups, group songs and performance techniques. This class provides the experience of singing a solo in a supportive environment. Various techniques are suggested which leads to improvement of the individual’s performance. This class is not suitable for beginners, who should start with the Vocal Development class.
In the Musicianship for Singers class, the students develop confidence in their ability to read, understand and interpret music. This class runs for 8 weeks.