Choirs & Choral Societies

From The-Ding
Jump to: navigation, search


Reading has many choirs ranging from traditional choral societies to operatic societies and rock choirs. Between them, the different choirs cater for all levels of ability from people who have not sung in a choir before to singers of near-professional quality. They include barbershop, gospel and community choirs.

Where a choir is only available to members of some other organisation it is not listed below. These choirs include, notably:

  • School choirs: most schools have one or more choirs
  • Church choirs: many churches and faith groups have choirs and other music groups that take a role in their acts of worship.

New to singing in a choir?

If you are thinking about joining one of Reading's choirs but you're feeling a little uncertain because you've not sung in a choir before it's worth providing a few words of encouragement and guidance.

Why sing?

Singing in a choir is fun and sociable. It is enjoyable to sing music you like with other people.

It can also, if you wish, be "stretching". Maybe you're just finding what it's like to sing in a choir, maybe you're learning how to read music, maybe you're trying to sing a simple piece of music really well, or maybe you're wanting to perform a complex classical piece of music. There's always more to learn.

What abilities do I need?

The abilities required of a singer vary with different choirs.

  • At one end of the spectrum the choirs simply hope you will enjoy singing in a friendly environment. You're not expected to have a great singing voice or to read music.
  • In more advanced choirs, you are expected already to have significant singing experience, good sight reading ability and commitment to rehearsals so they can maintain their high standards.

Whatever choir you join, the main attribute you need is the committment and enthusiasm to join in and sing. You don't need to be at the front "leading the charge" but, if you're more comfortable "at the back", you'll get the most out of it if you join in and making a noise. Do that even if you have ever been told, "you can't sing." If you feel uncertain, sit alongside some confident singers and join in. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised at the result.

If you're joining a traditional mixed voice choir, an ability to read music is obviously an advantage but don't let that be an obstacle. There will be plenty of people on hand to help you with the music. Beyond that it's worth listing a few skills. They may seem obvious but they are too easily overlooked. They include:

  • Listening to your colleagues singing. If you're not sure what to sing, listen to your colleagues and match them. This is done at every level of singing.
  • Watching the conductor. They'll show you when to sing, when not to sing, how fast to sing and, particularly in expressive music, how to sing.
  • Counting. Getting the rhythm right can sometimes be more important than getting the note right. If you don't already read music, learning how rhythms are expressed in standard music notation is straightforward.
  • Making a noise. It may seem a stupid thing to say but when people sit down to sing "properly" they sometimes forget to sing out. Be bold! Let the conductor hear you! As likely as not you'll be right! If they hear something wrong they will work with the choir to correct it. If they can't hear anything there's not a thing they can do to help!

How do I choose the right choir?

Look at the choirs listed below, see if you fancy them and get in touch. They will all be pleased to hear from you.

If you like the look of a choir but are not ready yet ready to get in touch, find out when their next concert is, go along, enjoy it and, perhaps, have a chat with some of the members.

Choirs and Choral Societies in Reading

Young People's Choirs

Name Type Website(s) Rehearsal Venue Rehearsal Day What the choir says about itself Admission Conditions
Berkshire Children's Choir Young People (School Years 4-6) Stoneham Court,
100 Cockney Hill,
Reading RG30 4EZ
Audition
Berkshire Young Voices Young People (School Years 7-9) Stoneham Court,
100 Cockney Hill,
Reading RG30 4EZ
Saturday afternoon Audition
Berkshire Youth Choir Young People (School Years 10+) Stoneham Court,
100 Cockney Hill,
Reading RG30 4EZ
Berkshire Youth Choir is regarded as one of the finest Youth Choirs in the Country. It is proud of its consistent high standards of attainment and industry recognition. The choir provides opportunities for talented young people, in schools years 10+, to develop their skills and to experience being part of a professionally run choir which is considered, by many in the industry, to be amongst the top youth choirs in the country. Audition
Caversham Young Singers Young People (School Years 3 - 7) Queen Anne's School,
6 Henley Road,
Reading RG4 6DX
Thursday afternoon
Jewel Tones Young People (Girls aged 10 - 18) Charvil Village Hall,
The Hawthorns,
Charvil RG10 9TR
Sunday evening Jewel Tones is a choir based in Charvil, Berkshire for girls aged between 10 and 18. Audition
Reading Children's Choir Young People (Reception to Year 3) Stoneham Court,
100 Cockney Hill,
Reading RG30 4EZ
Saturday morning
Reading Young Singers Young People (School Years 4+) Stoneham Court,
100 Cockney Hill,
Reading RG30 4EZ
Saturday morning
University of Reading Universal Voices Young People (Ages 7 - 13) Building L29,
University of Reading,
London Road Campus,
Reading RG1 5EX
Thursday afternoon Universal Voices is a free community choir for boys and girls aged 7-13 at the Institute of Education, University of Reading. Universal Voices sings a wide range of music in different styles, including pop, music theatre, folk and traditional, and classical and sacred music.

Women's Choirs

Name Type Website(s) Rehearsal Venue Rehearsal Day What the choir says about itself Admission Conditions
Arborfield Military Wives Choir Women St Eligius Church,
Tope Road,
Arborfield RG2 9NB
Monday evening Arborfield Military Wives choir are a group of ladies who love to sing and have a link, whether present or past, to the Armed Forces.
Bel Canto Chorus Women Pearson Hall,
Pearson Road,
Sonning,
Reading RG4 6UL
Monday evening Bel Canto Chorus a choir for upper voices based in Sonning. 
The Barberettes Women  St John Ambulance Hall,
Church Road,
Woodley RG5 4QN
Wednesday evening We are a lively and entertaining group of female a cappella singers based in Woodley near Reading in Berkshire U.K.
The Glass Ensemble Women Glass Ensemble is a female choir based in Berkshire, who perform a range of classical music for female voices, from Renaissance motets to 20th century masterpieces.
Vivace Voices Women Church of St Catherine of Siena,
Wittenham Avenue,
Tilehurst RG31 5LN
Wednesday afternoon We sing a wide variety of pieces including classical, pop, folk, sacred and show-stopping musical numbers.  Available place

Men's Choirs

Name Type Website(s) Rehearsal Venue Rehearsal Day What the choir says about itself Admission Conditions
Reading Male Voice Choir Men Hawkedon Primary School,
Hawkedon Way,
Lower Earley RG6 3AP
Friday evening A premier concert male voice choir in Berkshire, England with a unique and varied repertoire based on arrangements by our President. Gwyn Arch MBE. Our objective is to entertain, raise funds for charities and other worthwhile causes while enjoying ourselves.
Thames Valley Chorus Men The Bulmershe School,
Woodlands Avenue,
Woodley,
Reading RG5 3EU
Tuesday evening An exciting mix of stunning harmonies, energy and enthusiasm sets the 40+ male voice Thames Valley Chorus singers apart from conventional choral groups.

Mixed Voice and Age Choirs

Name Type Website(s) Rehearsal Venue Rehearsal Day What the choir says about itself Admission Conditions
Crescent Singers Mixed Voice and Age Trinity Church,
9 Chalfont Close,
Lower Earley RG6 5HZ
Friday evening Our aim for this Singing For the Fun of It group is to allow everyone, regardless of age or experience, to enjoy singing in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Voices of Reading Mixed Voice and Age Building L29,
University of Reading,
London Road Campus,
Reading RG1 5EX
Monday evening We sing because we love to, and we are a friendly group who like to have fun together as we sing. Our rehearsals are informal, and we enjoy our vocal warm-ups, which include tongue twisters, simple songs, and singing in rounds. Songs are arranged in three parts for Soprano, Alto and Low voices. Our repertoire includes a range of different styles including gospel, pop, songs from movies and even songs in different languages.

Mixed Voice Choirs

Name Type Website(s) Rehearsal Venue Rehearsal Day What the choir says about itself Admission Conditions
Caversham Rock Choir Mixed Voice Emmer Green Primary School,
Grove Road,
Reading RG4 8LN
Tuesday evening
Caversham Sing For Fun Community Choir Mixed Voice Caversham Methodist Church,
Gosbrook Road,
Reading RG4 8EB
Thursday evening If you have always wanted to sing but not sure if you can, or have the confidence, then Sing for Fun is for you. Specifically designed to help you discover your singing voice in a friendly, fun atmosphere and sing as part of a group. You will learn vocal warm ups, breathing techniques and sing various styles of music.
Chorate Chamber Choir Mixed Voice Chorate is a Reading-based mixed voice chamber choir, formed by a group of experienced singers wanting to sing, have fun and raise funds for good causes.
Hurst Singers Mixed Voice St John's Hall,
22 West End Road,
Mortimer Common RG7 3TF
Thursday evening The Hurst Singers are a 4 part choir whose aim is to have fun singing and making a harmonious sound. They practice on Thursday evenings.
Moving On Mixed Voice (Over 60) Southcote,
Reading RG30 3AX
Monday midday We are a group of anyone and everyone over 60 who come together once a week for a couple of hours to sing. We sing a huge range of varied styles from Jazz to Musicals, and rock to pop.
Pangbourne Choral Society Mixed Voice The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel,
Pangbourne College,
Reading RG8 8LA
Tuesday evening Pangbourne Choral Society is a thriving, non-audition choral society based in Pangbourne, Berkshire, UK. We rehearse and hold concerts in The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel at Pangbourne College.
Parenthesis Mixed Voice Park United Reformed Church ,
21 Palmer Park Avenue,
Reading RG6 1DN
Saturday morning We are an informal group of over 50 singers, who enjoy a wide range of music styles from jazz to oratorio.
Reading A440 Choir Mixed Voice Woodley Baptist Church,
Hurricane Way,
Woodley RG5 4UX
Wednesday evening A440 is an exciting mixed voice choir of 40 singers based in Berkshire. It is dedicated to combining musical excellence with a strong sense of community.
Reading Bach Choir Mixed Voice Tyndale Baptist Church,
2-4 Cressingham Rd,
Reading RG2 7JE
Tuesday evening One of Berkshire's finest amateur choirs, tackling interesting and adventurous repertoire from the Renaissance to the modern age
Reading Community Gospel Choir Mixed Voice Park United Reformed Church ,
21 Palmer Park Avenue,
Reading RG6 1DN
Saturday afternoon We formed back in June 2008, as a small group. We now have over 45 members and more wanting to join! We meet Saturday afternoons, at 3.50pm -5pm, to rehearse. Our annual concert is always a sell- out and we have many exciting events every year…
Reading Concert Singers Mixed Voice The Carey Centre,
Anstey Road,
Reading RG1 7JR
Wednesday evening The Reading Concert Singers have a wide age range and enjoy a variety of music from light operas. by Gilbert & Sullivan, Folk Music, Madrigals, Part Songs, Carols at Christmas, to Oratorios and Church Music.
Reading Festival Chorus Mixed Voice Wesley Church,
Queens Road,
Reading RG1 4BW
Monday evening Reading Festival Chorus is an amateur mixed choir, first established in 1945, which means we celebrated our 70th Anniversary a few years ago! We are a lively and friendly choir of around 80 singers who strive to attain a high quality of performance. Audition
Reading Haydn Choir Mixed Voice St Joseph's College,
Upper Redlands Road,
Reading RG1 5JT
Thursday evening We have an excellent reputation for the quality of our concerts, most of which include professional musicians and soloists. We believe in setting high standards for our singing, and set great store on being an open and friendly group. Audition
Reading Lunchtime Choir Mixed Voice Park United Reformed Church ,
21 Palmer Park Avenue,
Reading RG6 1DN
Wednesday midday ​The 'Reading Lunchtime Choir' began as a class run by the tenor, Chris Skidmore, for the Continuing Education Department of Reading University. When the department shut in 2009 the choir moved to Park United Reformed Church and since then has been run by a committee of choir members and funded by subscription. Chris Skidmore retired in 2012, and the new director is local singer and teacher, Amber Nunn.
Reading Operatic Society Mixed Voice Church Hall,
Earley St Peter’s,
Church Road,
Earley RG6 1EY
Monday and Thursday evening A Society for lovers of Musical Theatre and Amateur Dramatics in and around Reading. The Society has presented over 100 shows and welcomes all newcomers! Audition
Reading Phoenix Choir Mixed Voice South Lake Primary School,
Campbell Road,
Woodley RG5 3NA
Monday evening Phoenix is a 50-strong mixed voice choir based in Reading, UK in its 50th season. We take part in competitions and tours, and give 12-15 concerts per year across the Reading area and beyond. Each year we also perform an annual concert at Reading Town Hall, a carol concert in Reading Minster, and a Come and Sing event of a major work. Audition
Rivarate Mixed Voice Caversham Heights Methodist Church,
74 Highmoor Road,
Reading RG4 7BG
Tuesday evening Rivarate is a mixed choir for all ages and levels of experience. It was formed in Caversham Heights in September 2008 with a membership of just over 20 enthusiastic singers. It did not take long for word to spread and within a year the choir had trebled in size and going from strength to strength has been gaining in popularity ever since. We currently have just under 100 members.
SOTA Adult Rock Choir Mixed Voice Southcote Primary School,
Silchester Road,
Reading RG30 3EJ
Thursday evening SOTA Adult Rock Choir (SARC) in Reading, having fun singing rock, pop, jazz & gospel numbers since 2009.
Sainsbury Singers Mixed Voice Grange United Reformed Church Hall,
139 Southcote Lane,
Reading RG30 3AJ
Monday and Wednesday evening Named after our founder, Frank Sainsbury, The Sainsbury Singers are a group who love to perform high quality musical productions twice yearly in Reading and have an active social calendar. Audition
Silchester Community Choir Mixed Voice Silchester Village Hall,
Little London Road,
Silchester RG7 2ND
Wednesday evening Friendly people, great tunes and absolutely no embarrassing solos. Everyone's welcome - come and join us!
South Berkshire Singers Mixed Voice All Saints School,
Norrey's Avenue,
Wokingham RG40 1UX
Tuesday evening
South Chiltern Choral Society Mixed Voice Maiden Erlegh,
Chiltern Edge School,
Reades Lane,
Sonning Commion RG4 9LN
Monday evening South Chiltern Choral Society, a happy group of people who love to sing. Available place
Tamesis Chamber Choir Mixed Voice Tamesis is an exciting chamber choir based in Reading. Aimed mainly at the "young professional" category, it is for people who are looking for a choir with that special something else, something they might not find in conventional choirs. Audition
Thames Vale Singers Mixed Voice The Memorial Hall,
Glebe Road,
Purley on Thames RG8 8DP
Tuesday evening The Thames Vale Singers are based in Purley on Thames, near Reading, and are a friendly, fun-loving group which sings a wide range of music.
Thames Valley Gay Chorus Mixed Voice (LGBT) New Bridge Nursery School,
Montague Street,
Caversham RG4 5AU
Sunday afternoon The Thames Valley Gay Chorus is a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from around the Thames Valley who enjoy singing. We’re based in Reading but perform all around the area. A voluntary group, the Chorus helps develop people with a desire to sing and read music, and enables LGBT people to express themselves through music.
The Woodford Singers Mixed Voice The Woodford Singers are a mixed-voice choral group formed in the spring of 1994 in Woodley, Reading, and singing all manner of songs for fun.
Tilehurst Rock Choir Mixed Voice The Avenue School,
Conwy Close,
Tilehurst RG30 4BZ
Wednesday evening
Twyford Singers Mixed Voice United Reformed Church Hall,
6 Church Street,
Twyford RG10 9DR
Tuesday evening We perform a wide repertoire of pieces, songs from the shows such as “South Pacific”, “Phantom Of The Opera” or “West Side Story”; Victorian part songs, madrigals, opera choruses and oratorios and we generally sing from scores. We also tackle complex pieces from time to time, occasionally by “modern” composers such as John Rutter, Karl Jenkins and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Tywford Glee Club Mixed Voice Drama Studio,
Wargrave Piggott School,
Twyford Road,
Wargrave RG10 8DS
Monday evening
University of Reading Academic Voices Mixed Voice Building L29,
University of Reading,
London Road Campus,
Reading RG1 5EX
Thursday evening The University of Reading Academic Voices is the evening choral ensemble for Music at Reading. This is a flexible, open access group singing a range of classical and contemporary choral music in a range of languages. The group rehearse weekly, and perform at a range of venues on campus, around Reading and beyond, performing a range of concerts and services. Academic Voices is the training choir for singers who would like to join the Chamber Choir, but need more experience or fluency.
University of Reading Campus Voices Mixed Voice Tuesday lunchtime, Thursday lunchtime Campus Voices is a flexible, open access group singing a range of classical and contemporary choral music. The group rehearse weekly at lunchtimes, and perform at a range of informal events on campus. Campus Voices aspires to be an enjoyable and relaxed opportunity for everyone to come together and sing, and to promote wellbeing and open access to music within the University community.
University of Reading Chamber Choir Mixed Voice Thursday evening The University of Reading Chamber Choir is the flagship choral ensemble for Music at Reading. This is an auditioned group of around 20 singing a range of classical and contemporary choral music in a range of languages. The group rehearse weekly, and perform at a range of venues on campus, around Reading and beyond, performing a range of concerts and services. The Chamber Choir aspires to be a highly skilled, polished and sophisticated performing ensemble. Audition
University of Reading Festival Chorus Mixed Voice Days prior to performances Festival Voices is the symphonic choral ensemble for Music at Reading. This choir sings with the Festival Sinfonia in large scale choral works in classical and contemporary styles. The group is formed for particular projects, and come together for intensive weekend rehearsals leading up to performances, typically performing on campus.
University of Reading Harmony Choir Mixed Voice Edith Morley G25,
Whiteknights Campus,
Earley RG6 6BT
Wednesday evening We are a student-run choir directed by talented musicians who provide excellent songs for the choir to perform at our events. We perform regularly at both university and community events including carol concerts and charity events.
Waltham Madrigals Mixed Voice Waltham Madrigals is a small group of singers based at Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire, UK.
Winnersh Glee Club Mixed Voice St Mary's Hall,
Church Close,
Winnersh RG41 5NA
Monday morning
Witt Morgan Chorus Mixed Voice Wesley Church,
Queens Road,
Reading RG1 4BW
Wednesday evening We are one of the South’s most exciting and innovative choruses. We uniquely bring together a company of all abilities; ranging from those who are new to singing and can't read music to those who are full-time professional opera singers.
Wokingham Rock Choir (evening) Mixed Voice Wokingham Methodist Church,
Rose Street,
Wokingham RG40 1XS
Monday evening
Wokingham Rock Choir (morning) Mixed Voice St Pauls Parish Rooms,
Reading Road,
Wokingham RG41 1EH
Wednesday lunchtime
Wokingham Choral Academy Mixed Voice Emmbrook Junior School,
Emmbrook Road,
Wokingham RG41 1JR
Thursday evening The Wokingham Choral Academy is a non-auditioned training choir for those who wish to start singing from scratch or refine existing singing skills. Available place
Wokingham Choral Society Mixed Voice The Emmbrook Senior School,
Wokingham RG41 1JP
Thursday evening Wokingham Choral Society was formed by a small group of enthusiasts in July 1951 and gave its first concert in November that same year. Membership has gradually increased over the years to over 100 singers with strength in all four voice parts. Wokingham Choral Society performs two major concerts a year with professional orchestras and soloists; a charity Christmas carol concert with either a local young persons choir or our associate Wokingham Choral Academy; a summer concert of a generally lighter selection of choral music.
Wokingham Community Choir Mixed Voice Science Lecture Theatre,
St Crispin’s School,
London Road,
Wokingham RG40 1SS
Monday evening This choir is made up of singers who want to challenge their musical experience by performing classic choral works as well as a range of modern popular music. 
Woodley Light Operatic Society Mixed Voice Rivermead Primary School,
Loddon Bridge Road,
Woodley RG5 4BS
Tuesday evening An amateur musical society performing two shows each year. Audition

External Links