Musarc

Choir

Rehearsing at the Serpentine Gallery with Ed Atkins, July 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing at the Serpentine Gallery with Ed Atkins, July 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Musarc rehearsing at MK Gallery, March 2015. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Musarc rehearsing at MK Gallery, March 2015. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Christmas 2014, Christ Church Spitalfields. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Christmas 2014, Christ Church Spitalfields. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Barbican, July 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Barbican, July 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Margate, April 2012. Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou

Margate, April 2012. Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou

Performing Corpus Sonus at Turner Margate, April 2012. Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou

Performing Corpus Sonus at Turner Margate, April 2012. Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou

Rehearsing for Jephte, April 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing for Jephte, April 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing at Bold Tendencies, July 2012. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing at Bold Tendencies, July 2012. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Performing again again at MK Gallery, November 2013. Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou

Performing again again at MK Gallery, November 2013. Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou

Rehearsing at the Cass, April 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing at the Cass, April 2014. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing at MK Gallery, March 2015. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

Rehearsing at MK Gallery, March 2015. Photo: Yiannis Katsaris

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Musarc choir rehearsals are led by Cathy Heller Jones at Cass Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, on Tuesday evenings from 6.45–8.45pm. A typical rehearsal will combine practice on current repertoire with comprehensive work on singing technique and movement. We start with exercises to promote healthy body alignment and a holistic approach to breathing and support. We practice extended vocal techniques, as much of the choir’s repertoire involves speaking and the exploration of various sound effects and vocal colour.

The choir draws its repertoire from the traditional choral canon stretching from the 15th to 21st centuries, but it is our work with contemporary composers, and our collaborations with artists and art venues, which define and distinguish our choir from other ensembles. The choir works with traditional and graphic notation, and also creates its own scores through its creative and improvisational approach.

The ensemble’s members are as varied as its repertoire and reflect London’s dynamic and international character. Some are students, some are seasoned, but most are young professionals, with a slight preponderance of architects and artists.

There are no auditions for Musarc. Whilst a background in music (vocal or instrumental) is preferable, it is possible for people to join Musarc who have limited experience of reading traditional music notation, but who like to sing and engage with the choir’s ideology.

The choir has friendships and links with various specialists and artists, some of whom come on a regular basis, to share their expertise with us. Phillip Bell is the choir’s resident singing teacher, and singers can supplement their work on vocal technique by booking individual lessons during choir practice. Melanie Pappenheim and Ben Hadley frequently work with the choir on stage direction and presentation, as much of the choir’s repertoire is theatrical in its nature.

How to join

If you would like to sing with Musarc, the best time to join the choir is September or January. But we welcome applications at any time. Please write to Andrew Price on new-singers@musarc.org.