Reading Bach Choir is recruiting a new Music Director starting in September 2017. The current Director, Matthew Hamilton, is leaving the Choir at the end of the current season after 7 years as his time is increasingly taken up with his new role as Choral Director at the Halle, and with guest conducting work in the UK and abroad. The Choir is naturally disappointed to lose such a talented musician. However, when he was appointed, it was recognised he was at the start of what many anticipated would be an exciting career as a choral director. RBC is proud to have had Matthew’s fantastic musical leadership and direction over the last 7 years and to have been able to give him this opportunity in the early part of his career.
Reading Bach Choir
The Choir was formed in 1966 to perform a wide repertoire of choral music from early music to contemporary compositions to the highest standard.
For many years, RBC has had the reputation for being one of the leading chamber choirs in the Thames Valley. In the last 7 years Matthew has chosen varied, challenging and musically demanding programmes whilst being accessible to both choir and audience. He has directed the choir to give outstanding concerts to enthusiastic audiences who have welcomed the, sometimes, unfamiliar and new repertoire. His attention to the vocal blend within and between sections and an insistence on accurate tuning which, combined with the challenging programmes, has improved the overall musicality of the choir. It is a key requirement that candidates are able to continue this development.
RBC is a mixed choir of around 60 singers. Potential members are required to pass an entry audition with the Music Director, and existing members are re-auditioned periodically. They are expected to be competent sight-readers, to learn the music individually, and to take steps to maintain and develop their own vocal competence including through lessons with professional vocal coaches.
The choir performs an eclectic and adventurous repertoire of sacred and secular music. This is considered a unique feature of the choir compared to others in the Thames Valley and it is required that the continue exploration of unfamiliar repertoire alongside some of the more well-known choral masterpieces including those by JS Bach is continued.
The Choir will be seeking applications from November 2016 with the closing date of Friday 23rd December. A long list of approximately 6 applicants will be invited to attend an interview in central Reading on the weekend of 28th/29th January 2017. The interview will be with the Recruitment Committee, which comprises a representative from each voice part. A short list of 4 candidates will be selected to audition with the choir. This audition will comprise a 2 hour rehearsal and each candidate will be asked to rehearse one piece with which the choir are familiar (to be confirmed) and one 20th/21st century composition not previously performed by the choir to be chosen by the candidate.