The Bach Society of Saint Louis Chorus

Widely respected for its outstanding performances, the Bach Society Chorus has been labeled as “right up there with the best this city has to offer.” Audiences have come to expect musical excellence and passion from our concerts. Concerts usually include a fully professional orchestra and professional soloists who come from across the country to perform with the Chorus.

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Learn more about auditioning for the Chorus by clicking here.

The Bach Society Chorus is an annually auditioned group of 60 experienced singers committed to artistic excellence in the performance of major choral and choral-orchestral masterpieces, notably the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Chorus includes exceptional volunteer singers joined by a core of paid professional choral singers. The Bach Society of Saint Louis also sponsors a Young Artist scholarship program for aspiring soloists under the age of thirty.

Bach Society Chorus Members Are Expected to Be   

– Experienced in choral singing
– Competent in reading music
– Above average in sight reading skills and musicianship
– Experienced in singing in Latin and German
– Able to blend easily with other voices
– A good listener who sings with good intonation
– Able to control vibrato from none to full

A recent survey revealed the following pertinent information about the members of the Chorus:

– 90% have played a musical instrument
– 100% have taken private voice lessons
– 44% continue to study voice privately
– 65% have one or more college degrees in music
– 58% also sing in a church choir
– 93% develop new friendships with members of the chorus

What Are Current Chorus Members Saying about Singing with the Bach Society?

“I am really enjoying my first season singing with the Bach Society. It seems like everyone is such a ‘family’ and I have been welcomed so readily by so many. What an unexpected treat!!”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two seasons singing with the Bach Society Chorus!”

“I look forward to Monday nights each and every week.”

“I joined expecting to sing great music, [and] have found chorus members to be among the most delightful people I’ve ever met.”

“Every Monday, I leave work thinking, ‘I just can’t make it through rehearsal tonight…I am SO tired,’ but I KNOW that once I get there, the troubles of the day will melt away and the beautiful sounds around me (and the wonderfully quirky, fun, exciting personalities) make all the troubles in my mind subside.”

“I am uplifted. I am rejuvenated. And I am invigorated to the point where I cannot get to sleep for a good hour after I get home. I LOVE singing with this choir.”

BSSL-2014-March Concert-2Chorus Rehearsals

Rehearsals are held from late August to early May on Monday evenings, 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Church of St. Michael and St. George, 6345 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton, MO 63105. Enter by the door for the St. Michael School at the far west side. Click here for a complete rehearsal and performance schedule in PDF format.

Membership

Each chorus member accepts a commitment to

– Attend all rehearsals and performances
– Come prepared to each rehearsal
– Read weekly email notices
– Participate for the entire season

Singers are encouraged to become members of the Bach Society of Saint Louis; membership levels begin at $50.

Policies

Attendance: Chorus members accept a commitment to attend all rehearsals, sectionals, dress rehearsals and performances. Members sign in at each rehearsal. A member will not be allowed to perform in a concert if he/she misses three rehearsals during a preparation period, two consecutive rehearsals immediately prior to a concert, or the dress rehearsal. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the conductor.

When an absence is unavoidable, the conductor (not the office) should be notified, preferably in advance. Email: musicdirector@bachsociety.org or call (618) 398-1624 or (314) 578-BACH (2224)

Snow/Ice Policy: Our membership comes from a broad region with differing weather conditions, so each member must make a personal decision in inclement weather. When conditions merit a cancelled rehearsal, an email will be sent to the chorus list.

Concert Absence: A member unable to perform in a concert must notify the conductor in writing, including the reason for the absence, at the earliest opportunity. For a last-minute illness or emergency, call the conductor. A member who fails to notify the conductor will be dropped from the roster.

Formal Concert Attire: No cell phones, alarm watches, or pagers. No cologne or perfume.

Men: Black tuxedo with white tux shirt and black bow tie; black shoes and socks. Coat buttoned when standing.

Women: A floor-length all-black dress; long sleeve or short sleeve but not sleeveless or bare shoulders. No velvet or sequins. Palazzo pants (not slacks) and black blouse acceptable; black hose; black flats or low heels; small earrings and necklace permitted. No jewelry that jingles!

It should noted that “dress rehearsals” do not require formal attire. On occasions when the Chorus will perform in anything other than formal attire advance notice will be given.

Music: Music is generally provided on loan from the Bach Society library; mark loaned music in pencil only! Music is available from the librarian before rehearsal only.

Tickets: Chorus members are encouraged to assist with ticket sales, and may purchase subscriptions or individual tickets at a discount.