Birmingham Choral Union

Celebrating great choral music

Our Choir

We are people who love to sing, and we come from all walks of life.

Birmingham Choral Union has been singing in the City since the 1880s, performing with professional orchestras and soloists in wonderful venues, including Symphony Hall, Town Hall and The Elgar Hall. For larger performances we sometimes collaborate with other local choirs.

We enjoy the challenge of singing a range of choral music, under the musical guidance of our charismatic conductor Colin Baines who has been with us since 1981. We sing sacred and secular pieces in different languages and from different musical traditions. Each Christmas we love singing in a lively family concert at Selly Oak Methodist Church, with a mix of traditional and popular carols and seasonal songs.

Covid 19 has had a huge impact on the Arts and theatres in 2020 and thousands of musicians have had to find creative ways to stay in touch and make music. As with other choral groups, BCU enjoys weekly rehearsals on Zoom and have made some fabulous recordings. We have quizzed, held virtual Bring and Buys and stayed in daily contact, all looking forward to making live music again. We will be delighted to welcome new singers as we prepare to meet again later in 2021 – get in touch if you’d like to join us.

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Birmingham Choral Union In Action

Despite COVID 19 the choir have continued to sing and support one another.  Our last concert was Christmas 2019, but we have managed to make some recordings from home, which you’ll find on our YouTube channel. We are very grateful for the skilled support of our sound and video editors and musicians. You can find out more about them using the buttons below.

Our Rehearsals

Until further notice, online rehearsals are every Monday from 6.45 – 8.00pm on Zoom.

In person rehearsals are currently suspended, due to Covid-19.

We rehearse every Monday evening at the Unitarian Church in Ryland Street during term time. There is free parking and the building is single storey with no steps. Members come from a wide area and some share lifts to choir.

If you’d like more information about access and transport please email us.

The evening starts at 6.45pm with a gentle warm-up and vocal exercises. We learn each piece with piano accompaniment from Darren Hogg. We have a short break for choir notices and refreshments (sometimes with cake!) and regular fundraising sales and events. We finish promptly at 8.45pm.

We always welcome new singers of all voices and it’s easy to join, with affordable membership fees. You’ll find us friendly and supportive.

Join Us

Enjoy singing? Fancy a challenge?

Come and join the friendly choir!

Singing in harmony with others is a great feeling, and when you add professional players and singers into the mix it’s wonderful. Singing is good for your physical and mental health, and with us it’s fun and sociable. You are welcome to come along for a rehearsal to see how you like it, and if you’d like to join the choir you’ll need to pass an informal audition with the Musical Director. It helps if you can read music and have sung in a choir before, even if it was some time ago.

Covid-19 Statement

Regrettably, we have had to cancel all forthcoming concerts and suspend in-person rehearsals for the time being. We will be up and running again as soon as it is safe and possible to do so. 

Although we are unable to rehearse and perform in person WE ARE STILL ACTIVE as a choir, singing and supporting one another through these tough times.

We are rehearsing on zoom each week, and recording some pieces to share on YouTube.

Members keep in touch via email and WhatsApp, and we have been running online quizzes and bring and buy sales, continuing to raise funds for future concerts.

If you’d like to join us please do get in touch.

Our best wishes go out to all our supporters and friends and hope you keep well and strong – and if possible, KEEP SINGING!  You will find some resources on this website for learning and singing.