We are first and foremost a community choir. This means several things:
- The choir is a community. We operate no restrictions on who may join apart from being an adult. To involve children and young people would require us to operate a Child Protection Policy and we do not have the necessary skills and personnel to do that. It would also require us to hold separate rehearsals at times suitable for children and again we do not have the resources to do that. However, if a piece requires children’s voices then we do endeavour to find a children’s choir to join us. Apart from that anyone may join—we do not require an audition. All that is required is an enthusiasm for singing and a commitment to the rehearsal process. We are not all white middle-class people either, nor all British. We have members from several European countries and from more than one ethnic minority. We have several female tenors, showing we impose no restrictions based on gender or sexuality.
- The choir is part of the wider amateur musical community. Over the past four years members of the choir have been involved in several Welsh National Opera Community Projects:
- The most Beautiful Man From the Sea
- Belshazzar’s Feast
- On the Rim of the World
- Ode to Joy
This has benefited the choir enormously as those of us involved have learnt a lot about singing and performing technique. Additionally these members have gained hugely increased self-confidence, especially when singing “off the book”. We have forged links with other singers across South Wales and performed in the WMC and other public performance spaces; not just in Wales.
- We have links with the professional musical community too. When financial considerations permit and artistic conditions are suitable we use a professional orchestra and soloists. Often the soloists are graduates of the RWCMD and we offer valuable experience and exposure at the start of their careers.
- We are part of the wider community. We perform in different churches in Canton and Splott and try to promote the concert to the surrounding communities through the local congregations. We are working on ways of making this more effective. Our use of professional musicians brings a high standard of performance into the community at a relatively low price.
We are an open community on other ways. Our new website is intended as a channel to our members and supporters (both present and potential). As part of that transparency we intend to make annual reports available to the public. We are also actively working towards gaining full charitable status as an improvement the governance process of the organisation.
We are largely self-funding, receiving only a small amount of money from the public purse. Subscription income from members is the mainstay of our income with ticket revenues making up the rest. We use “angels” to provide interest-free loans to cover cashflow issues and are looking to develop sponsorship packages and advertising deals to increase our income and financial stability.