What are rehearsals like in a Synphonic Chorus

Being involved with a symphonic chorus, where 100 musicians sing with a full orchestra is a dream that many aspire too. Rehearsals are fast-paced, challenging and sometimes difficult; but the results – performing with others to an audience – makes it all worth it.

I can’t speak highly enough of the people and the coordinators of the chorus. All have bent over backwards to help, and chorus members are amicable. I feel like a member and feel like my experience is something that is needed. As in, I’m just another choir member and more

Things I have found helpful during rehearsals include:

• My braille music scores. Without the use of braille music, I would find it very difficult to keep up. Bar numbers are referenced all the time, and I need to be able to find them quickly. Also, having both lyrics and music means I can read both at once, depending on what I need. Now, I can sing a lot of the music and mostly just look at the lyrics.

• A digital recorder is necessary. I mostly use my phone, mainly for small things such as markings on the score that need to be made or little things that we need to know. I quickly comit them to memory, but do have a page at the back of my score with all those markings and may add them in to my electronic version and embose before the conductors rehearsal. I found hard copy braille much easier to use due to the speed of which I need to locate sections.

• My concentration level is at 200 all the time. I must listen constantly to every thing around me. Not just the director and my entrances but every thing else too.

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Stephanie Mitchell is a passionate musician who loves classical music. She plays piano and also sings in her church choir and the Melbourne Synphonth chorus. Stephanie also works as a freelance writing providing web content and copywriting.

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