If you are thinking of joining us, this information will help to give you an idea about us and answer your questions. You can come along to a BOS rehearsal where you will be able to take part in a couple of sessions before you decide to become a member. These try-out sessions are usually offered in June/July or early September.
We’ve been running since 1997 and women in the group have been coming for anything from 1 to 20 years. We’re here because we love singing, enjoy the sound we make together and want to get more confident in using our voices. We don’t have any auditions. If you feel a bit apprehensive about singing in a group or even quite terrified, you’re very welcome – a lot of us felt that way when we first joined and some of us still do.
- When we meet
We meet on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 -9.45pm, with a tea-break for 15 minutes at about 8.40pm. We meet during school term-times, for a total of 36 sessions a year.
Our term dates: 2017/18:
Autumn term – 6th September – 6th December; half-term 1st November
Spring term – 10th January – 28th March; half-term 21st February
Summer Term – 18th April – 11th July; half-term 30th May
- BOS venue
We meet at the Old Junior School in Sharrow, which is fully accessible. The address is: South View Road, Sharrow, Sheffield S7 1DB. Parking is available via Vincent Road.
For a map showing the location, clink the link below: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/S7+1DB/data=!4m2!2m1!4b1 .
- Typical evening format
Warm-up: We start at 7.30pm with a fairly gentle physical and voice warm-up which is designed to help everyone arrive, relax and ease into singing gradually. We would really appreciate it if you would arrive on time. However, if that is impossible then please come in quietly.
Singing: All the songs we sing are learned by ear so you don’t need to be able to read music, although sometimes women who do will look at a copy of the music when it’s available. Some women keep a song book with their own song words/parts in. If you want help learning your part to a particular song the Musical Director often sends out parts recordings by e-mail.
Pre tea-break announcements: Before tea there’s a short announcement slot for anything relating to BOS choir business. We try to keep it short so that we can maximise catching up with each other during the break. If there is more detailed information that relates to your announcement, you can email it out first to save time in this slot. There is also a notice-board where information is posted up, and a table with publicity about forthcoming events.
Break: We have a tea-break for 15 minutes at about 8.40pm – we put 20p into a jar each week to cover the cost of tea and biscuits. Let the tea monitor know if there’s something you’d like to drink that’s not in the box.
Close: The evening finishes at 9.45 pm and everyone helps to clear away.
- Communicating with each other between meetings
We have a Yahoo group for BOS members so that we can communicate with each other about BOS choir business, performances, choir social events and send out recordings of parts for songs we are learning. You will be asked for your details and someone will explain how this works when you join.
For feedback about BOS, we have a book which enables all of us to give feedback, both positive and negative. Please also feel free to email or speak to members of the Steering Group about anything on your mind.
We do occasional gigs/busking sessions through the term. We decide if we want to do them as a group and find out if there are enough women able to sing. There’s usually a sign-up sheet for each event.
- How BOS makes decisions
There is a steering group which makes day-to-day decisions. It consists of several elected officers: a chair, a secretary a treasurer, a membership secretary, a social secretary, a gig co-ordinator and a “member without portfolio”. We have an AGM in July when officers are elected and other decisions are made.
There are three bands of fees, for low, medium and high income, currently £4, £5.50 and £7 per session, and you choose the band that you think you fit into. A term is usually 12 weeks. The Steering Group is open to negotiating special arrangements with members who have difficulty paying fees. Please discuss with one of us before you make the final decision to join.
There are three ways to pay. You can either pay by cheque for the whole term, you can set up a standing order which spreads 3 terms fees over 12 months, or you can pay by making a BACs transfer.
Whilst you are deciding if you want to come regularly, you can pay weekly for each session for the first 3 weeks of your first term. By the 4th week you have to decide if you want to join. If you do, you pay for the rest of the term in one go and then at the beginning of subsequent terms. If there is anything else you want to know about fees you can ask our Treasurer.
Regular attendance is important, so we ask members to contact Kate, our Musical Director, if they can’t attend. It is possible to hold your place if you need to take a break for a term or more; you are expected to pay half-fees while you are away, unless your break is for compassionate reasons. If you decide to take a term or more out, you’ll be deemed to have left and can re-join at a future date if places are available, or go on the waiting list if not.
- Joining BOS
If you have any questions, concerns, special personal circumstances or needs, please contact a member of the steering group to discuss it beforehand so that we can identify whether and how these can be met. We aim to be as flexible and inclusive as possible.
Joining Body of Sound is quite a big commitment, especially when you are starting. We ask you to start at the beginning of the September term so that new women start together and we can focus on learning / re-learning songs together and getting to know each other for a while. Also our budget is worked out on the basis of having fees from a certain number of women.
You’re very welcome to contact the membership secretary, Gill – 0114 2204819 if there’s anything else you want to know.