THINKING OF JOINING US?
Please read the following to the end.
We are always on the look out for new men. Especially, men who can sing in the higher male range. Basses we have coming out of our ears. We're currently exchanging them for tenors at a rate of 2 for 1. In the case of excellent tenors, the rate is negotiable. (To be fair, we could still make room for basses but perhaps we'd not vacuum the red carpet as thoroughly as we would for tenors.)
Our rehearsals mostly take place in Ashton Keynes which is where the AKs first formed and is our spiritual base. Groups of us travel regularly from as far afield as Stroud, Swindon, Bath, Keynsham and Bristol. One chap even travels from Abergavenny!
WHAT WE DO
We are a performing choir and most of our activity is dedicated to performance. For an idea of our adventures and the places we’ve sung, see our About Us page.
Essentially, we operate on the lines of community choirs, which is to say there are not auditions in the traditional sense but we do require men to be able to hold a tune and, to this end, our leader, Chris, conducts a brief audio assessment.
GETTING UP TO SPEED
The AKs began singing together in 2008 and, as we add to our repertoire, the number of songs to learn can seem daunting. However, all soundtracks of songs and parts, together with lyrics and occasional scores for the musically educated, are available online for all of us to practise. Chris is also organising separate sessions for chaps to pepare them for joining the main performing group. Whilst it is essential that everyone is eventually familiar with all songs in a given setlist, newcomers are welcome to drop out behind the lines if they're not confident with a song in performance. Miming, or worse still, off-putting busking, are not options!
We are a friendly choir and we enjoy the sociability of pubs and opportunities to sing in them. However, we recognise the serious health and social damage that drink can fuel. Many of us like beer but we are far too grown-up to glorify excess or to pressure colleagues to join in anything but the singing.
Also, although we are a group of men, emphatically we are not misogynist. We respect and admire women and abhor men who would denigrate or abuse them.
In a nutshell, we aim to present ourselves appropriately as a group of brothers, partners, uncles, fathers and grandfathers dedicated to performing to family audiences and, whilst performing to the best of our ability, not taking ourselves too seriously. It’s not by accident that we have been twice presented with awards for being the best choir in prestigious festivals, not, we should stress, for our musical ability but explicitly for being the most entertaining. We’re proud of that.