The BCS brings singers together to perform wonderful music to a high standard on the greatest stages in Brussels and beyond. But membership of the choir brings many other benefits.
Performance and musical discovery
The BCS programme planning blends the great choral masterpieces of the baroque and romantic periods with music from other genres. Even the most experienced singers are likely to encounter works that they have not sung before.
Developing your musicianship
Learning, rehearsing and refining pieces develops each singer’s vocal ability and their capacities as a musician. Regular rehearsals are supplemented by annual vocal coaching workshops, allowing accomplished guest choral directors to add their experience and knowledge.
Working with renowned artists
The Brussels Choral Society works with a range of professional orchestras, skilled soloists and conductors. This diversity offers members the chance to learn from several maestros during the season, maintaining freshness and vibrancy.
For the sheer enjoyment of it all
Whilst the choir takes its work very seriously, our strength lies in the cohesion and friendship between singers. We enjoy each other’s company, we learn and perform together, and we are always ready to hear the call “au bar” on a Thursday evening.
What I particularly cherish is the wide choice of music we sing and the wonderful mix of people who come from all four corners of the world. With a repertoire that ranges from the 17th till the 21st century, with the classical symphonic repertoire but also less obvious works like Schönberg or a capella pieces, rehearsals are never boring. A personal favourite will remain William Vaughn’s Sea Symphony.
Singing with BCS energises me. After a long day at work, sometimes the last thing I think I need is a two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal, but in fact, I leave feeling happier and with more energy than when I arrived. Thank you BCS for bringing the joy of singing back into my life.
The BCS is a great choir to sing with. My highlight so far was performing Freyhir in the Ardennes.
I'll never forget my emotion the first times I sang with the BCS on the stage of Salle Henry Le Boeuf, in front of the large audience in which I used to be sitting! 27 years later, wherever we perform, it is still a wonderful feeling to be part of such a marvelous choir!
Come sing with the very high level and well organized choir BCS: you'll feel welcome and forget all your troubles!
I was incredibly happy when I found the BCS as a choir that rehearses in English after arriving for my new Job in Brussels. I have been grateful for all the friends I made there ever since.
When joining BCS in 2011 I did not think I would meet the love of my life in the Alto section…we are now a happily married BCS couple.
As a new member of the Brussels Choral Society I had to prepare Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms for my first concert. I thought I could never manage to sing this strange and difficult music properly, as well as the pronunciation of Hebrew. But I did! In the end I thought it was the most beautiful music I ever sang. This was in 1986. In 2019 I shall sing the Chichester Psalms for the third time in a concert. I never left the Brussels Choral Society in 36 years. I may say BCS has changed my life!
I like every BCS rehearsal - we work with wonderful music and get energized and harmonized at the same time.
The Brussels Choral Society is a fascinating choir where enthusiastic singers of all ages and cultural backgrounds come together and create beautiful music.
It’s all about becoming part of a big sound … a unique experience. In music, history can and has to be performed for many happy and temporary revivals.
In BCS, you have the chance to build performances and interpretations that many professional choirs would envy. And what a fantastic sensation when you deliver them at BOZAR, Bonn, the Albert Hall…
I have sung with the BCS for half my life now. In a way it has become like a second family. And the many years have not altered the magic and emotion of joining voices to perform in concerts.
Singing with the BCS has offered me the opportunity to sing with professional ensembles, which until then had only been sporadic for me.
I find it fascinating to see so many people from different ages, backgrounds, nationalities and characters, uniting behind Verdi, Bach, Bernstein or Haendel, sharing what they have in common: their love of music…. Humankind at its best.
Singing with the BCS has been the most wonderful experience. I will never forget the final chord of my first Messiah on the stage at Bozar!
About BCS membership
The choir rehearses on Thursdays from 19:30 to 22:00 at École Saint Boniface, rue du Conseil 59, 1050 Ixelles. We take a break in the summer between late June and mid August. You are more than welcome to come along to a rehearsal and get a first impression of our choir.
Singers are required to attend all rehearsals, although we understand circumstances can make this difficult. Each voice part has a representative who will discuss any issues with you as they arise and who gives direct input and feedback to the Musical Director.
The reward is equal to the work put in. BCS singers are asked to work on their scores at home to familiarise themselves with their parts and to prepare before rehearsals, and this preparation is key to good performances.
Your financial contribution
The membership fee for the Brussels Choral Society is currently set at €120 per year. Members may pay in two instalments, and the choir is more than happy to discuss reductions on a case-by-case basis, for instance for students and those who are not in employment or face restricted finances. As an inclusive organisation, it is the objective of the BCS to ensure that no singers are unable to join for financial reasons.
Members are expected to acquire their own scores for each concert; these are normally sold in advance of rehearsals.
The choir holds an obligatory choral workshop, usually once per year, and members are asked to pay for their accommodation and the cost of the guest workshop leader. From time to time the choir performs outside of Brussels, and members will be asked to contribute to travel and accommodation costs in these instances.
Interested in joining us?
New member auditions are held throughout the season, and skilled choral singers in all voice parts will be considered. Prospective members are requested to attend at least one rehearsal prior to auditioning to get a feel for the choir. For the audition, prospective members should prepare a single, simple piece – ideally something they know well – that demonstrates vocal range and colour, intonation and musicianship. A pianist will provide accompaniment. Tonal recall and sight-reading exercises will complete the audition. A member must re-audition every five years to maintain his or her place in the choir.
We want you to be yourself and to sing the way you really sing! We really want you to pass the audition, so give it a go and we will be as helpful as possible.