- the parent of a child who auditioned in 2016. This is one of the many messages and endorsements we have received from parents of children in BYC over the years. Members and their families say that joining the choir has changed their lives and provided them with exceptional experiences and opportunities that have helped them to thrive as they have grown.
We are always keen to hear from boys and girls aged 4 – 24 years old who are interested in joining. BYC is a very inclusive choir and the vast majority of children and young people who contact us are offered a place in one of our choirs. Whilst we are keen to have members who are vocally talented we also value enthusiasm and commitment highly. We have world class vocal leaders who can help children develop into outstanding singers as long as they are enthusiastic and committed.
Young people auditioning for the choir are not expected to prepare any pieces in advance as the auditions are lead by one of our musical directors who will support and guide each young person through the process. Not all the young people who audition are offered a place in the choir, but those who are unsuccessful will be given a supportive explanation and some constructive advice. Many of our members have joined us having been unsuccessful on the first occasion.
BYC Junior Choir (4-7 years old) does not require an audition to join. All of our other choirs have regular opportunities to audition throughout the year, usually once per term, but this is nothing to worry about.
Auditions are very relaxed and normally take around 30 minutes. This is certainly not an X-Factor audition! The auditions allow children to sing in a small group of similar aged children so that young people don’t feel uncomfortable. They will be taught a song as a group (so there’s nothing to prepare) and will sing it in front of a Musical Director who is skilled at putting young people at ease. BYC is blessed to have some highly talented and experienced vocal leaders who are able to bring the very best out of young people they work with.
We always let people know on the day if they have been successful. Occasionally there are children who are not successful in their first audition - this is certainly nothing to worry about. Our Musical Directors will give some feedback and some advice about practice that children can do. We then offer another opportunity to audition in the future.
Whilst we are a charity we do have costs that we need to cover and we make a small weekly charge for members. There are also costs for uniform but the choir works hard to subsidise these costs to make them affordable. We offer a bursary scheme for families who may struggle to meet these basic costs. We don’t want any young person to feel that they cannot be involved because of cost – this is very important to us as a choir. Please contact our Chairperson and Trustee Yvonne Worsley on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this or to apply. Any information sent will be treated with discretion.
Each choir also has its own registrar team that registers young people on arrival and monitors attendance and well-being. The choir is run by an excellent team of volunteers who meet regularly and plan events meticulously. Whilst it is not a legal requirement, our volunteers are fully DBS checked. All volunteers are inducted and there is a robust safeguarding policy to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of all members remains a priority. Our Safeguarding Lead, Deb Mahmood, is highly experienced and skilled and works closely with young people, volunteers and families to ensure that young people are safe whilst they are in our care. Many of our directors and volunteers work with young people professionally outside of the choir and have undergone First Aid Training. New members are carefully monitored and supported and will be assigned another member of the choir as a mentor to support them through their first few weeks. Some young people arrive at the choir not knowing anyone but this is always resolved quickly as they develop new friendships and we pride ourselves on ensuring that all young people feel happy and safe.
Don’t delay – get in touch! This is a life-changing opportunity and we are keen to hear from children and young people even if they have done very little singing before.
Please fill out the form below and our membership secretary, Lynne Veal, will be in touch to answer any questions you have and organise an audition.