Join Us
Information about joining
With 130 members, the Northampton Bach Choir is proud to be the largest choir in the region. Vacancies for new members arise at various points in the year, so we encourage you to get in touch as soon as you can if you are interested in joining us. Usually, we will invite you to join us for a rehearsal and if you find it enjoyable you will come for a short (and we hope stress-free) audition.

Our very first concert in 1936 was at St Matthew's Church, home of artwork by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, and the church where première performances of works by Benjamin Britten, Gerald Finzi, Herbert Howells, and Michael Tippett, were given. We continued to use this space for all our concerts until the pandemic; we then had to find new venues with better ventilation and space for distancing and have performed since at Cripps Hall, Spinney Theatre and The Derngate. We return to St Matthew's Church for our March 2023 concert.

We welcome new members but there is a limit on the size of the choir due to performance space, so if we have no vacancies your details will be added to our waiting list, and we will be in touch just as soon as vacancies arise. Like most similar choirs, we are often over-subscribed for sopranos and altos, but under-subscribed for tenors and basses. We do accept applications from children who are aged ten and over, providing they are accompanied by a parent/guardian who is also a singing member of the choir.

We often get asked why we have auditions and how good you need to be to join. We have auditions to make sure the standard of the choir is maintained, to decide what section of the choir you will sing in, and to ensure that members are able to keep up with the pace and detail of rehearsals. The audition is the first step in what we hope will be a long and fruitful musical partnership; we want you to pass your audition and we do all that we can to put you at your ease. We look for a pleasant singing voice and basic musicality. Some understanding of musical notation is also required. Auditions are taken by the Musical Director, or their nominee, and normally consist of singing a few scales, a short prepared piece, and a short period looking at a new score, to identify musical features and sing, with accompaniment, some of the simple melodies in it. We are often asked "what prepared piece should I bring" - for experienced singers this might be a classical song, for people who haven't sung for many years, this can be a well-known hymn, folk song or Christmas carol. Please contact the Membership Secretary if you have any further queries.

Rehearsals & Venue

The Society's season starts on the first Monday evening of September and goes through to the final concert in early June of the following year.

Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and are held usually at All Saints CofE Primary School, Boughton Green Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, NN2 7AJ. The school is best accessed by car and has plenty of parking at the front and back. Come through the main entrance to the school, rehearsals are in The Chapel which is at the end of the corridor to the left as you come in. On some occasions we may use other venues, and details will be circulated in advance. We may have an additional rehearsal before a concert and sometimes use a different rehearsal venue. Details of extra rehearsals or a change of venue will be circulated in advance and posted in the members area of the website

There is a usually a 10-15 minute break in the rehearsal for a chance to have a catch up with fellow members, and for any notices to be given out.

There are no fixed seating arrangements - members take the first available seats wherever their respective voice parts happen to be located. This can vary from concert to concert, and sometimes week to week, depending on the works being rehearsed. Every voice part has a representative and you will be introduced to this person the first time you come along, to ensure you are sitting with someone who supposedly knows what they're doing!


Choir members receive training from our music staff, which not only prepares us for concerts, but also improves our vocal technique and our understanding of the variety of repertoire we perform. Our membership subscriptions therefore defray the costs involved in simply rehearsing – paying our Musical Director and Répétiteur, and the hire of our rehearsal venue. The cost of subscriptions is presented to the Annual General Meeting each autumn by the committee, based on balancing the budget for the coming year. There are three levels of subscription rate depending on your personal circumstances; the full rate for the current season is £155, with concessions for students. Please contact Membership Secretary for further details.

Music Scores

For most of the music we perform you will have the option either to purchase the scores or to hire them from the Librarian. There is the odd occasion when either one option or the other cannot be offered but this is rare.

When there have been higher costs for music hire for a concert, we endeavour to programme the concert following so that music hire will be inexpensive. The hire rates will vary as they are subject to the costs of the Northampton Bach Choir hiring them in the first place but are typically only a few pounds each time. The choir has concert folders which are also available from the Librarian.


Our main concerts always take place in Northampton. We have performed at The Derngate, The Cripps Hall Theatre (Northampton School for Boys), Spinney Theatre (Northampton School for Girls ) and our original home St Matthew's Church on the Kettering Road (NN1 4RY).

Unlike many choirs we do not require our members to purchase a minimum number of tickets for each concert. Nevertheless, we rely on choir members to promote our concerts, and encourage friends and relatives to attend.


As with any organisation like ours there are a few basic rules that all members are required and expected to abide by. There are not that many, and the key ones are noted below:
  Must attend a minimum number of rehearsals to be eligible to participate in a concert - this will vary from concert to concert.
  Adhere to the agreed concert dress code for the concert in question.
  Ensure you abide by the rules and are aware of the Choir's Constitution.

In return for this, you will:
  Get to sing in four concerts a year with dynamic programmes, performing alongside professional musicians and singers of the highest calibre.
  Have the opportunity to participate in other special events to which the choir (in part or whole) is invited, such as joint concerts, Cathedral visits, foreign tours and recordings.
  Receive excellent vocal tuition at rehearsals.
  Be able to join other members in various social events organised during the year.