Frequently Asked Questions
Who runs Starling Arts?
Find out more about our company history and philosophy here.
What sort of choirs do you run?
At Starling Arts we fuse singing with performance, and sometimes movement. We sing a mixture of rock, pop and musical theatre with a focus on bringing each song to life. Find out more in our blog post What is a Show Choir?
What makes Starling Arts different?
We believe that singing is a great way to bring people together and a strong community ethos, teamed with the goal of producing high quality events, is at the heart of what we do. We strive to create fun, supported opportunities and we love that so many of our members make life-long friends and uncover and develop performance talent through their participation. We don't do stuffy rehearsals or perform hiding behind music - we're all about using performance techniques to make sure our singers - and our audiences - have as much fun as possible.
Do I have to audition?
No, there are no auditions to join any of our choirs and anyone who likes to sing is welcome to join. We do occasionally hold in-choir auditions for solo parts within songs, but you won't have to sing solo unless you would like to.
Do I need previous experience?
No experience is necessary to sing with Starling Arts! Our singers have many different musical backgrounds, so whether you've sung all your life or are singing for the first time, you'll find a home within our choirs.
Do I have to be able to read music?
No, you do not need to be able to read music to be part of our choirs. We usually use sheet music to help us learn songs initially and we're sure that you will pick up some basic music reading skills through rehearsals. If you would like to learn even more about reading music, you can attend one of our interactive music theory lessons, Stepping into the Stave.
Will I have to do any movement and can I still join if I can't dance?
Some of our songs have simple movement to complement and enhance the overall performance effect. We appreciate that some people are less confident with dance than others and therefore we approach movement in a fun, accessible way. Any routines with movement will be broken down into manageable parts to make it easy to learn, whether you've got dance experience or not. Our singers - whatever their previous experience of movement - always end up surprising themselves by how much they enjoy and excel at dance elements.
What resources do members have access to?
As a Starling Arts member, you will have access to a range of useful resources such as downloadable rehearsal tracks to help learn parts and tutorial videos, as well as your own copies of sheet music to keep for Corvida, Forte and The Starling Singers members.
What sort of music do the Starling Arts choirs sing?
Starling Arts' three choirs sing a range of songs from pop, rock, jazz and musical theatre. The majority of songs are arranged for the choirs to be accompanied by piano or small band, or sung a cappella (without accompaniment).
Each choir has its own speciality, which you can read more about on their individual pages.
What is a typical Starling Arts rehearsal like?
All our rehearsals begin with a physical and vocal warm-up to relax and energise. We spend time learning new music, part by part, and look at vocal technique and delivery. We use easy-to-follow professional performance exercises to get the best from our singers and focus on the overall sound and effect of the group. For songs that require it, we look at movement as a group, broken down into smaller sections. Our evening rehearsals always include a break half way through sessions, which is a good chance to grab a drink, a piece of cake as part of our weekly charity bake sale, and get to know the other singers.
What sorts of performances can I be part of?
Starling Arts' choirs perform at a range of events, from large scale concerts in stunning theatres, to more intimate cabarets and charity fundraisers. In May 2016 we toured to Paris where we performed at Disneyland. Members can choose to take part in charity events such as carol singing or performing in community venues like nursing homes. You can visit our event archive here.
Who can join the choirs?
Our choirs are suitable for anyone aged 18 years and over. Most members of Corvida, Forte and The Starling Singers range from their 20s, 30s and 40s. If you love singing and want to be part of a welcoming, supportive and friendly community singing to a high standard then you'll fit right in!
When and where are rehearsals held?
Our three show choirs run on weekday evenings during term time as follows:
Forte: Tuesday evenings, 8.30-10.30pm in the Pimlico / Victoria area
Corvida: Wednesday evenings, 7.00-9.00pm in the West Hampstead / Kilburn area
The Starling Singers: Thursday evenings, 8.30-10.30pm in the Pimlico / Victoria area
Please email email@example.com for our current term dates and to see if we're recruiting.
How do I choose which choir to join?
Corvida is a choir for those who identify as female as well as non binary folk. Both Forte and The Starling Singers are open to one and all.
There are no set rules about what types of people join our choirs, but as a guide here is a little about the personality of each group to help you choose which you might enjoy most:
Forte will suit you if you like a relaxed, friendly and caring atmosphere and enjoy making a really good sound in a range of pop, rock and show tunes, including a cappella.
Corvida will suit you best if you are in your 20s or 30s and like to sing an exciting range of songs - from close harmony jazz to TLC and musical theatre - in a supportive, relaxed environment.
The Starling Singers will suit you if you like big performance numbers from the best of the charts and Broadway and West End shows, with a lively atmosphere and challenging vocal arrangements.
Can I try a session before committing to a whole term?
Of course! We welcome you to a no-obligation taster session, after which you can choose to sign up for the remainder of the term. Some members try two or three of our choirs before deciding which to join.
Can I join a choir at any time?
We usually only take new members at the start of each term, to make sure that we offer everyone the best possible experience. Sometimes we operate a waiting list due to high numbers of members. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about the next opportunity to join us!
How many members are in each choir?
There are currently around twenty-five members in Corvida, and thirty-five in both Forte and The Starling Singers.
How sociable are the choirs?
We aim to make rehearsals as friendly as possible and optional social activities - organised both by us and from within the choirs - are a regular occurrence, for anyone who wants to join in. Events include theatre and cinema trips, drinks, meals and regular karaoke/Rockaoke sessions.
How much does it cost?
Fees are £9 per session, payable by the term. You can attend your first session as a no-obligation taster session for £9. Your term fee covers access to all our resources.
How do I sign up?
The process is really easy. Please send an email to Anna and Emily and let us know which choir you would like to join. If we're recruiting new members at that time, we'll send you full details and a sign-up form to secure your place, otherwise we'll pop you on our mailing list to be notified as soon as we're next recruiting.
What do I need to bring with me?
We recommend that you bring an A4 folder for your sheet music, a pencil to make notes and a bottle of water. You may feel more comfortable wearing flat shoes and non-restrictive clothing.