To help our singers we have introduced course level indicators to give singers some indication of the singing ability required for participation in our various events. As has been pointed out, these do vary considerably from course to course. As yet, however, none of our courses are suitable for beginners and none of our events are Bring and Sing. For 2019, courses are offered at three levels. Levels are indicative and there will be some variation within them so, if in doubt, take note of the repertoire or by all means give us a ring to discuss.
For those who have been before, level 4 is a classic runbysingers week or long weekend. Singers are expected to have a reasonable level of sight-reading and respond promptly to musical direction. Typically you will be singing regularly in a choir or a choral society that stages good quality concerts three or four times a year. You will be used to preparing music privately and have the resources to do so. You may have some experience of singing in smaller choirs or play an instrument. Importantly, you will be used to singing without accompaniment.
Level 3 is a semi-tone down from level 4 and will apply to courses where there is less music, simpler music, or where we are singing a large accompanied work which singers should be familiar with. The same musical discipline is expected. Singers should watch the conductor, follow direction, and listen attentively to what is going on around them. At level 3 singers with no sight reading ability may still struggle but we accept there are many ways of preparing music before attending a course. Preparation of the music in advance and a good standard of musicianship is still required.
Level 5 is for our advanced courses. In 2019 we only offer one Level 5 course; from 2020 we expect there will be two or more. These courses are for confident sight readers who are used to singing a cappella in small groups. They must have good blending voices – free from uncontrolled vibrato – and experience of singing two or three to a part. Almost all level 5 singers have other musical experience in addition to their singing.