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 Vocalize Choir has 3 branches: 2 unauditioned community choirs (Didcot & Wantage) and a show choir in Didcot 

Photo of Vocalize choir at their rehearsal venue in Didcot, the UTC
 About Vocalize Community Choir 

Vocalize is a choir for everyone. No matter your taste in music or your experience (or lack of!) this choir takes a little bit of everything and a lot of fun and throws it all in to one great choir.

 

We welcome literally anyone over the age of 18 to join. No one needs to audition or be able to read music as everything will be taught to you step by step by our wonderful choir leader Sarah. Songs are taught using sheet music which is provided for you at rehearsals, so all you need to do is bring along yourself and a folder for the music to go in.

 

The Vocalize community choirs sing a great mix of songs often chosen by the choir members and arranged and taught to you by Sarah. Genres of song can range from pop to folk, rock to gospel, barbershop to classical: whatever YOU’D like to sing! You can vote for what songs you’d like to learn by going to ‘The Songs’ page.

Our evening Didcot-based community choir meets at the UTC (on GWP) on Wednesday evenings, currently from 7.15pm – 8.30pm. This time will be changing to 7pm - 8.15pm after May half term. We sing in the well ventilated cafeteria of the UTC and there is a carpark that you can park in next to the building (just drive up to the barrier and it will slowly open up - the car park isn't closed!). You then enter the building by going round the side where there's a black gate next to the car park and follow the path round to enter the building through the door there. Go through one set of double doors and then turn right and you will see the cafeteria where we rehearse. Your first session is free so you can try us out with no obligation to join!

The second of the Vocalize Community choirs meets at Grove Village Hall in Grove, Wantage on a Monday from 11am - 12pm. This choir started in September 2021 at The Beacon initially but then stopped due to low numbers. It has now been re-booted, but has moved to Grove Village Hall. If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining this daytime choir, then please do come and check us out, as we're still a bit short of numbers! You don't need to come to both community choirs, just one, but we often sing exactly the same things, so they can be interchangeable if you can't make one one week, just come to the other!

 

The choir sessions will involve some vocal technique, learning a song or two in harmony and having a quick break in the middle so you can get to know your fellow choir members. 

We love getting out and about performing in the local area and if you know of any events wanting choirs to sing at in the area, then please let us know. 

Our numbers are still affected by Covid so we need YOUR help to get the word out about the choir so that we can build up numbers and keep the choirs going! If you know anyone that loves to sing and could do with having a choir in their lives, then please show them this website and tell them about the choirs. Anyone is welcome to join (over the age of 18), whether they have sung before or not and everyone is so welcoming.

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 About Vocalize Show Choir 

Vocalize Show Choir is being launched this June, with rehearsals taking place on a Wednesday evening at the UTC after the community choir rehearsals. It will be from 8.30 - 9.30pm during term time only. This will be an auditioned choir, with those wishing to join needing to sing a short part of a song of their choice in front of Sarah, along with singing some scales to find out your range and check you have good tuning. 

This choir will mainly sing musical theatre songs as well as some more popular songs in a more 'performance' style. Sometimes songs will include movement, and if there are members that are keen to add dance, this could happen too!

This choir will cost £6 per session or £16 per month standing order. All sheet music will be provided. Please get in touch if you are interested in auditioning for this choir - you don't need to be a pro or necessarily have experience, just the ability to sing in tune and hold a harmony line among others!

You can be involved in both the community choir and the show choir, so you don't need to pick! 

Choir director Sarah standing with her choir at a Christmas performance in Didcot
About your conductor

Hello, my name is Sarah-Louise Chitty and I have been studying and teaching singing and choirs for many years covering a large range of vocal styles. I graduated Southampton University in 2011 with a BA in Music where I specialized in solo Musical Theatre singing and ensemble singing in the classical and popular style. Along with performance I also studied arranging, composition, music in education and orchestral and choral conducting. I had always loved arranging music, but it was at University that I discovered a particular love for a cappella. I became part of an a cappella group as part of my degree and also began leading 2 a cappella groups with the gospel choir 'Jazzmanix'.

 

This turned in to a love of teaching choirs, especially adult choirs, as I love how close we can all get through being in a choir together and love arranging music to suit each choir I've taught, whether it be with backing tracks, piano accompaniment or a cappella. I moved to Oxfordshire from Southampton in 2016 and started Vocalize Choir in Didcot as soon as I could as I knew I couldn't be truly happy without having a choir in my life (after leaving the 5 I conducted in Hampshire when moving up here)! 
 

I have worked at The Academy Of Music And Sound in Southampton, worked for LIPA (Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts), taught singing at several schools across Hampshire and run 5 choirs (2 community choirs, 2 work choirs, 1 children's choir). I now teach vocal lessons in schools all over Oxfordshire as well as teaching piano and singing privately from my home in Wantage. I also perform in and musical direct amateur musical theatre shows in the local area.

Vocalize choir singing at their concert at Harwell Village Hall
 Why join a choir?  

What possible reason could I want to spend an evening after a long hard day at work stuck in a room with other people? Joining a choir isn't just fun; it's actually good for you!

You make so many new friends

They come from all walks of life, ages and parts of the world. Music breaks down barriers and there’s no better example of that than at a choir. If you love meeting new people, join a choir – you’ll be in heaven.

It’s one of the best feelings

Yes you sometimes have to spend extra time going over bars of music in rehearsals and compute all the instructions from your choir leader, but then you get to perform this music you've worked so hard on and expel all your energy and outpour your emotion.

Nothing beats the feeling at the end of the concert when the audience erupts in applause. It’s a great sense of achievement and one of the best feelings you’ll ever have.

Singing is a great way to relax

No matter how much you love your job, work can be stressful and exhausting. At home there’s a whole load of other issues to deal with, so after a long hard days sitting at a desk, getting to sing will help take your mind off things. Choir is a great escape.

It’s good for your health

Studies have shown how singing in a choir can improve your health and keep your brain active, so why not start keeping your mind healthy by making music?

Here are a few things you’ll see improve when you sing in a choir

  • Multi-tasking  – you’ve got to watch the conductor, keep an eye on the music and know when to come in

  • Memory – you’ve got to sing off by heart sometimes

  • Focus – concentrating for an hour on a performance

  • Maths – Lots of counting!

Give it a go!

What have you got to lose? There are choirs of all shapes, sizes and styles and there’s one nearby that’s perfect for you, whether that's Vocalize or not. Give them a call, go along to a session and see if you like it or just dive straight in! You’ll be under no obligation and you never know – you might still be there in 40 years time!

 

"There is something so special about singing in a group, especially when it’s full of super friendly like-minded people".  Vocalize choir's main aim is having fun and enjoying singing with others in a relaxed and friendly community atmosphere - if you're interested in joining you can either show your interest by filling in the 'Interested in joining' section below or go to our 'Contact' page to find our choir leader's contact details.

Choir leader Sarah Chitty conducting Vocalize at a concert
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