Singing with Thanet Festival Choir

Who can join the choir?                                                                                                                             

Thanet Festival Choir welcomes people of all levels of experience to come and enjoy singing. Some of our members are beginners, others have many years’ experience of singing in choirs, but we all love singing and try to support each other. It helps a great deal if you can follow music, but it is possible to learn by ear with the help of rehearsal aids. The choir regularly sings in four or more parts, and most of the works we undertake require the ability to follow and stick to the part you’re meant to sing whilst other parts may be doing different things. 

Have you sung in a choir at school, or in Church, and are looking to get back in to it?  Maybe you have never sung in a choir before but always wanted to ‘give it a go’. Perhaps you’ve just moved to Thanet and want to meet new friends through your love of music and singing. Whatever your history, you can be sure of a warm welcome. 


What kind of music do we sing?         

As a traditional mixed choir we sing in harmony, which means that each section (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) sings different notes at the same time. We use vocal scores and do not usually sing from memory.  We tend to stick to mainstream classical choral works, although we do occasionally sing lighter music such as songs from the musical theatre repertoire. Stefan Catto is our recently-appointed Assistant Music Director/Accompanist. Stefan has  extensive experience in teaching, accompanying and conducting and has already brought a new and exiting dynamic to our rehearsals. His piano accompaniment provides the melodic and structural support for our vocal efforts, but he is also able to assist with separate sectional rehearsals and can step in if Clifford is away or unwell. 

When do we rehearse?

We rehearse each week during term time on a Wednesday evening, at St Peters Church Hall, Hopeville Avenue, St Peters CT10 2TR from 7.45-9.15 pm, and perform at least three concerts each year.  Voice-part recordings are usually available so that you can rehearse and learn at home and we also try to arrange separate rehearsals for individual sections when necessary. These can be both informal (eg. singing along to a professional recording at someone’s home) or formal, with our Music Director or Assistant Music Director.  Our members are friendly and supportive and will do all that they can to help. 

Is there an audition?

Although there is no formal audition for the choir, the Music Director (Clifford) will need to hear you sing a few notes, testing your range and your ability to hold your line. He will also ask you to undertake a few simple aural tests, for example pitching notes, or clapping a musical pulse. Prospective new members are invited to attend two or three rehearsals before being ‘heard’ by Clifford – you can either ‘sit in’ or sing, affording you the opportunity to meet and chat to current members, and vice versa, so that you get a feel for what we do and whether or not TFC is the choir for you before making any commitment. 

What do I have to pay?

 There is a small charge for hiring music, although if you wish to purchase your own copy that can be arranged.  You’ll need to bring a soft pencil every week as you will be asked to mark relevant instructions in your score at rehearsals. Bring an eraser as well, as these instructions can – and do – change! When it comes to performances, ladies wear a long-sleeved black blouse or top with a full length black skirt or smart black trousers (or a long-sleeved long black dress) and black shoes, and gentlemen wear a black suit (DJ preferred), white shirt, black bow tie and black shoes. Aside from the concert ‘glad rags’, you will need to purchase a choir branded folder which the choir will supply (currently £7.00 – subsidised price).

The annual subscription is £120 (2023/2024) and is due in September; some members pay in two instalments.  There is no reduction in the subscription for members who are unable to take part in a session, but membership is free to students in full-time education and in cases of  hardship a reduced subscription, or alternative arrangements for paying, may be negotiated through the Treasurer. 


The choir is renowned for its warm welcome and the social scene includes quiz nights, social evenings and the occasional  trip to perform abroad. We look forward to seeing you soon.

If you would like to come along and ‘have a go’ with no obligation then please do contact us