Directed by Andrea Brown, we sing music from a wide range of eras and composers - from Bach, Purcell and Vivaldi to Gershwin, Tavener and James MacMillan. The choir uses renowned soloists such as leading British baritone, Roderick Williams, soprano Lesley Garrett, pianist Peter Donohoe and jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth. We sing with professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz bands and sometimes a cappella.
Would you like to belong to an excellent choir, sing exciting music, make new friends and enjoy social activities? Why not find out more and book yourself a place at a normal Wednesday rehearsal to try us out?
Below you will find answers to some of the questions you might want to ask.
What do your members say about being in EFC?
Members’ comments about our new conductor, Andrea Brown:
“Andrea’s vocal technique is impeccable and she has a clear strength as a linguist.”
“Andrea is engaging, professional, knowledgeable. I could sing for her all day”
Comments about the choir:
"I was looking for something challenging and rewarding; a chance to sing with people who are actually good at it! This is the first amateur choir I’ve been in where quality of music is of premier importance and people help each other. You feel like you are working together to achieve something good as a whole. It’s also really friendly. This is the most rewarding choir I’ve sung with."
"EFC maintains a high standard and has a great musical director and it also has a great atmosphere and is a happy place to be."
"It's an amazing counterpoint to my work. You have to really concentrate your mind on the singing so it relieves the stress. It’s sociable too and a group of us go to the pub every week after rehearsals."
Who runs the choir?
Andrea Brown joined us in Summer 2021 after an extensive search for a new Music Director. Our new season has begun with a sparkling programme and all of us are very much enjoying working under Andrea’s artistic leadership.
EFC has a Committee, which is elected to oversee all aspects of the choir’s business and to help the choir to maintain high standards. Regular emails and newsletters are sent out to keep choir members up to date with the latest news, and choir information is put on the members’ section of the website.
What sort of people are in the choir?
Men and women of all sorts and ages, from all walks of life. We encourage young singers to join us, even if only for one season, and they are given special subscription rates. Travelling to and from concerts outside Exeter gives us the chance to get to know each other better, as do our social activities. Some members get together for a bite to eat before rehearsals, or meet up in the pub afterwards. We hold informal parties after some concerts and arrange an annual social evening at the end of the season.
What’s the commitment?
We rehearse once a week on Wednesday evenings from 7.15 – 9.30 pm in Exeter. Members are expected to attend 80% of rehearsals prior to a concert and to prepare the music in their own time. There is an afternoon dress rehearsal before a performance on concert days. Occasionally, we hold an extra rehearsal for a special concert.
When could I attend a rehearsal?
EFC is an auditioning choir, but we invite interested singers to attend ordinary rehearsals to get an idea of how we work.
EFC prides itself on the fun, camaraderie and sense of achievement which are brought by singing a wide range of music and we look forward to meeting you should you wish to book a visit.
Do you hold auditions?
Yes, we do. We like to make sure that new members feel comfortable singing at the level required in EFC. If you can read music, sing in tune and are prepared to learn new music at home, you are ready for an audition. Re-auditions are held every three years in order to maintain a high standard of performance.
Where do you perform?
We often perform in Exeter Cathedral, but also in other Exeter Venues. Sometimes we sing elsewhere in Devon - Buckfast Abbey and churches in Budleigh Salterton, Crediton and Exmouth, for example. We also travel further from home for special events and have performed in Coventry Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall. We have built close friendships with our twin choirs in France, Russia and Germany, and from time to time we are invited to perform with them, or invite them to Exeter.
What does it cost?
The annual membership fee is £190 (special concessions for students) plus a music hire charge of £22.50.
What do you wear for concerts?
Depending on the formality of the concert ladies wear long-sleeved black tops and long black skirts/trousers with accessories issued by the choir. Men wear open-necked black shirts (with or without black jackets according to season) or, occasionally, dinner jackets, black trousers, white shirts and black bow ties.
Why not give our Membership Secretary a ring for more information or to arrange for you to come along to an evening rehearsal with the choir?
TEL: 07855 893484
Interview with a Choir Member - Amanda