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en Choir is a Whitstable-based community choir, offering people from all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to sing, socialise and have fun. There is no audition and you don’t need any musical experience. We’re not a franchise, but a one-off led by talented musicians who have a passion for choral singing. The focus of the choir is on developing vocal technique, singing gorgeous harmonies and doing one sell-out, high quality performance per year.

About

en Choir is a community choir for people from all walks of life. We strive to be diverse; with members of all ages and from all backgrounds.

We sing songs from all over the world, in many genres including: dance music, gospel, jazz, latin, pop and rock. Our music is specially arranged for the choir by our choir leaders: award-winning composer and sound artist Emily Peasgood, and innovative musician and musical director Phil Self.

Emily formed en Choir in 2011 as an outlet for her quirky musical arrangements of pop and soul songs. She wanted to create an inclusive choir and offer members a new and exciting singing experience. We currently have 60 members of all genders, aged 14-93, and welcome new members all year round.

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Join

en Choir meets on Wednesday evenings from 7.45pm-9.30pm in Whitstable. On street parking is free of charge, subject to availability.

We meet at: St Andrew’s Church, Grimshill Road, Whitstable, CT5 4LH.

After a long Covid-19 break, we are pleased to be returning after Easter, on the following dates:

April: 20th and 27th

May: 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th 

June: 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th 

July: 6th, 13th and 20th 

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can join en Choir?

en Choir is open to anyone aged 14 and over. We currently have 60 members of all genders aged 14-83. There is no audition, you don't need experience or musical training. You don't even need to think you can sing!

2. Who leads en Choir?

en Choir is led by Emily Peasgood and Phil Self.

3. When and where do en Choir meet?

en Choir meet on Wednesday evenings from 7.45-9.30pm at St Andrews Church Hall in Whitstable. Our rehearsal dates follow standard Kent school term times and we are starting back after Easter 2022 following a long break.

4. When can I join?

We welcome new members all year round. Attending at the start of each ‘term' is a good call if you would like to learn new songs with other members. However, you can also catch up with our online rehearsal parts. Please contact Emily if you would like to join.

5. Do I have to audition?

There is no audition and you don't need any experience of singing. All you need is willingness to give singing a go. Our members have a variety of singing experience and at least 50% of en Choir members had no experience prior to joining.

6. Do I need to be able to read sheet music?

No. We offer a variety of resources to help you learn songs. Most members use lyric sheets and some opt for sheet music.

7. Do I have to sing in front of people on my own?

No, not at all. Some songs have solo parts that members can nominate themselves to sing. There are no auditions to sing a solo.

8. What songs do en Choir sing?

We sing a wide variety of contemporary music including pop, soul, blues, rock, jazz, gospel, dance music, Latin and music from around the world. Some of the songs we have learnt over the years include: Africa (Toto), Back to Life (Soul II Soul), Don’t Worry Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin), Girls & Boys (Blur), Life On Mars (David Bowie), Mas Que Nada (Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66) and Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns and Roses). 

9. Do en Choir sing harmonies?

Yes. We sing in anywhere from 2 - 8 harmony parts, dependant on the song. Members are assigned to a voice group, which is flexible.

10. Which voice group should I sing in?

There are 4 voice groups: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. However, en Choir do not always follow these groups and singers are invited to sing where they feel most comfortable, even if this varies from song to song.

11. How do en Choir learn songs?

Songs are primarily taught by call and response: Emily or Phil sing a line, and you repeat it back. As there are many people in each voice group there is strength in numbers. Once a song is learned we sing it in different ways to build confidence and learn singing vocal technique.

12. Are there any learning resources to help me practice at home?

Each week you will either receive an email containing rehearsal recordings of each song, or a link to download them. 

13. Can I try before I join/is there a taster session?

You can try one session for free to see if you like the choir.

14. What happens during a typical rehearsal?

en Choir members tend to arrive from 7.30pm to sign in and socialise before we start singing. The evening starts at 7.45pm with a fun 5-10 minute warm up. We aim to sing one or two songs each week and introduce new songs regularly. We break halfway for hot and cold drinks. At present, due to Covid-19 we suggest you bring your own refreshments. 

15. Is there anything I need to bring with me?

No. We do plan to start emailing lyrics in advance so you can print them out at home, but there are always some available on the night if you don’t have a printer. A pencil is also handy if you like to make notes. 

16. What does it cost to join?

It is possible to pay weekly, at a rate of £10 per session. Members are offered a discount when paying up front for a half or full term of sessions. en Choir are committed to promoting inclusion and have several free attendance bursaries available for people who would like to join but cannot currently afford it.

17. Do the choir perform?

en Choir perform an annual concert in July and hold an informal Christmas performance for family and friends. Members can also sign up to perform compositions and sound installations created by Emily at arts venues across the UK. At present, we are unlikely to hold an annual concert in July 2022. However, we may hold an informal one for family and friends before we break for the summer.

18. Is there a uniform?

No. If we have a performance, we sometimes select a colour to wear. Our dress code is laid back as it is important that members feel happy and comfortable. We put our lyrics in a black folder for concerts.

19. What if I can't come to a rehearsal?

Please email Emily if you cannot attend more than one consecutive rehearsal. Pre-paid missed rehearsals are non-refundable.

20. Why are we called en Choir?

Our name was a happy accident. When en Choir was formed, our poster campaign stated: “want to join a choir? en Choir within!” The name ‘en Choir’ stuck.

21. Is the rehearsal venue accessible for disabled people?

St Andrews Church Hall is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a gentle ramp from the street, no stairs within the building and a wheelchair accessible bathroom. On street parking is free of charge, subject to availability. Members with a visual impairment can request large print documents. Members with hearing impairments can discuss seating arrangements with Emily.

22. Is en Choir a religious choir?

No. While en Choir rehearse in a church we do not affiliate ourselves with a particular religion as we wish to remain inclusive for all.

23. Feedback

A choir only works if the members enjoy themselves and feel able to express themselves. If you have any concerns, suggestions or comments please speak with Emily.

24. What is the en Choir Covid-19 policy?

en Choir want members to be as safe as possible. We therefore commit to:

  • Following up to date government guidelines
  • Following industry guidelines (e.g. Making Music)
  • Ensuring that members are aware of and follow these guidelines.

‍There are currently no restrictions on amateur choral singing in the UK. However, to ensure members are safe, our Covid-19 policy is as follows:

  • Please do not attend choir if you have symptoms of Covid-19. Most recent guidelines include: high temperature, new or continuous cough, loss or change of sense of smell or taste, shortness of breath, feeling tired or exhausted, aching body, headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, feeling or being sick, a blocked or runny nose and loss of appetite. These symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, however you should not attend if it is possible you have a contagious illness.
  • You are encouraged to take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before attending.
  • Sanitise hands on arrival. Please bring own hand sanitiser.
  • On attending the sign in test, please allow at least 1m distance between other choir members and Dani Osoba (en Choir assistant).
  • Consider other choir members: if someone would like more space, please allow it.
  • Chairs will be laid out in advance - please do not move them closer together.
  • Windows will be open to ventilate St Andrews - please wrap up warm.
  • We will provide tea and coffee as before. To avoid over crowding the kitchen, you can help yourself to a drink at any point during the rehearsal. Please use hand sanitiser before and after using kitchen facilities.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze (particularly hay fever sufferers) please be considerate of other members. Covid-19 is spread through aerosols (fine droplets from coughing and sneezing) to anyone within 6m.
  • en Choir reserve the right to ask a choir member to leave if they appear to be unwell.
  • Please email enchoirwithin@gmail.com if you have a positive Covid-19 test within 48 hours of attending en Choir.

If you have any concerns, please speak with the choir leader or email enchoirwithin@gmail.com.