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Northfield Notes Community Choir

Musical Director/Conductor: Information for Applicants

Thank you for your interest. This document is aimed to give you information to inform your
decision for the post. We look forward to receiving your application.

The choir is looking for a new passionate, fun and experienced musical director to start
from September 2016. The new director will conduct rehearsals from 18:30-20:00 on
Thursday evenings during term time and performances as required. The director should be
motivated to inspire the choir in enjoyable community music-making, embracing the
openness of the choir and looking to build on the size and ability of the ensemble. The
director will source and/or arrange repertoire at low or no cost. They should be able to
bring his or her own keyboard (or other instrument) to rehearsals to accompany or give
notes. The fee is 50 per rehearsal and performance.

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter by email to Janice Paine at explaining why you would like the role, an outline of your
suitability and experience, your ideas about development, and why you and the choir
would be well suited to work together. The deadline for applications is midnight
Tuesday 21th of June.

Auditions (consisting of conducting the choir for part of a rehearsal and a short interview)
will be held on the 7th, 14th, and 21st of July.

The Choir
The Northfield Notes Community Choir is a friendly and welcoming community choir open
to all ages and abilities, with around 30 predominantly adult singers (men and women) at
the moment, with this number growing every term.
The choir holds weekly rehearsals in Holloway Hall, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 1TT.
Rehearsals are from 18:30-20:00 with a short break about half way. (This time may be
slightly flexible or be able to be increased as the choir continues to develop). The choir
rehearses in term time only.
We require no previous experience, hold no auditions, and do not require members to read
sheet music, although we do usually sing from sheet music as guides for those who can
follow to whatever level they can, or from memory or lyric sheets.
The choir sings a range of repertoire including spirituals, rounds, modern and older secular
and sacred music, and popular modern songs. We predominantly sing in 3-parts (SAB)
and free arrangements are either sourced or created by the conductor. There may be a
very small budget for the occasional purchase of sheet music although help with
photocopying and printing is available. Applicants should be able to source and/or create
suitable enjoyable arrangements that are suitable for the abilities and vocal ranges of the
The previous conductors have brought their own keyboards to rehearsals to give notes
and to direct from the keyboard as much or as little as they see fit. An accompanist is
usually chosen by the conductor to play for a performance and the rehearsal or two before.
Therefore it would be helpful if applicants have reasonable keyboard skills and can bring
their own keyboard and stand etc, although leading with djembe or guitar etc is also
Performances are predominantly arranged by the manager Janice either through us asking
to perform at events or being asked to perform at events such as village fairs or charity
events. We aim to have at least one performance per term to aim towards and some terms
may include 2 or 3 performances. As the choir develops we are looking to put on our own
concert towards the end of the upcoming autumn term 2016 with a mixture of songs we've
already learnt as well as new songs to be chosen by the new conductor. This concert may
include a supporting group and/or a performance from a small band of 1, 2 or 3
accompanying the choir.

Musical Director Requirements

To encourage and inspire choir members with enjoyable music-making
To build on the size and ability of the choir, developing technique, musicality and
To always strive to take the choir to the next level while maintaining the relaxed
social environment and openness for all abilities. The director should make
members laugh as much as concentrate.
To source and arrange suitable arrangements for the choir, taking into account
vocal ranges abilities and varied tastes
To strengthen the social community of the ensemble and to help welcome new
To accompany the choir with his or her own keyboard in rehearsals and potentially
in performances as required or desired
To organise accompanists for performances and the rehearsal or two before
performances. This may involve contacting suitable people, passing music to them
to practise, informing them about logistics and helping with equipment and transport
if needed
Public speaking at performances (anything from quickly introducing the choir to
leading sing-alongs to introducing pieces etc as required and simply at the
discretion of the musical director)
To work co-operatively with the choir manager Janice in the organisation of
performances etc

Current musical director

Chris is a conductor and freelance musician working in the Birmingham area with a
passion for community music. In 2015 he graduated from the University of Birmingham
with a first class degree in music where he majored in conducting, studying with choral
conductors Simon Halsey (CBE) and Julian Wilkins, and orchestral conductor Dan

Chris has conducted a wide range of genres and ensembles including symphony and
chamber orchestras, contemporary music, wind bands, early music ensembles and choirs.
His early experience includes conducting the University of Birmingham Philharmonic
Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, a large early music ensemble with
period instruments, chorus, and vocal soloists, and a wind orchestra which grew to over
130 musicians during the four terms he was elected as music director.

As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad Chris conducted his own composition with Harmonie
Wind Band in Essex, recorded by Radio 3, and in the summer of 2014 he was invited to
guest conduct the South Essex Youth Symphony Orchestra for their summer course of
daily rehearsals and conducting tutoring. In 2015 he attended the international Sherborne
Conducting Course, and was recently been invited to conduct the childrens chorus as part
of a performance of Mahlers Symphony No. 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) with the
Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra in Symphony Hall 2016.

As well as conducting Chris enjoys a varied freelance career teaching, orchestrating,

organising, and performing, both independently and with organisations including Aldeburgh
Music, Music For Youth National Festival, Worcester Youth Music and the City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

In September 2015 Chris succeeded Bryn Bowen as music director of Northfield Notes
Community Choir and Shirley Community Gospel Choir. Chris is extremely proud of this
choirs growth in both size and ability over the last few years.

Our website is

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter by email to Janice Paine at explaining why you would like the role, an outline of your
suitability and experience, your ideas about development, and why you and the choir
would be well suited to work together. The deadline for applications is midnight
Tuesday 21th of June.

Thank you for your interest.