A reputation for musical excellence

Our highly qualified musical director and musical assistant ensure that we are well trained and prepared for all our performances. Visiting and collaborative world class conductors, orchestras and soloists further enhance the quality of our music.

Our dedication to a challenging repertoire

From large oratorio works to modern day compositions, The Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town constantly strives to offer our city an exciting and interesting programme.

A demanding annual programme

Our year starts with rehearsals in mid-January and ends in early December, mostly following the school term schedule. We aim to perform 3 or 4 large works per year, interspersed with smaller concerts and volunteer events.

For the love of singing

We are a group of amateur singers that come from many different backgrounds and stages of life. The one thing we all have in common is a great love of singing and music. ‘Making beautiful music together’ is hugely rewarding, as is the social aspect to our group.


Do I need to audition to join the choir?

In order to join the choir, it is necessary for you to pass an audition. Once a member, you will also have an audition every three years to ensure the standard of the choir is kept.

What happens during an audition?

Our musical director auditions all prospective members. You are asked to sing a piece of music which can be as simple as ‘Away in a manger’ whilst the musical director accompanies you on the piano. You will be asked to sight read if you can, and your voice range will be tested so that it can be determined which voice part you are.

What times of the year do you hold auditions?

Auditions are usually held in January and July, but if you come across us and you want to join we’ll gladly make an exception.

How do I apply to join the choir?

Please complete the application form on this page.

Do members have to sing in every concert?

We ask that members commit to singing in the 3 big oratorio works each year, as well as two thirds of the smaller/volunteer performances.

Do members have to attend every rehearsal?

Ideally members will attend every rehearsal unless they are not in Cape Town at the time, or are ill. We have an 80% attendance requirement to be able to sing in a performance. It is essential that members attend the dress/orchestral rehearsals in the week prior to a concert. There are approximately 40 Monday evening rehearsals each year.

Do I have to wear a uniform when we perform?

Yes. The men wear black and white tuxes with either a black or tangerine bow tie, and the women wear black pants/skirts with a black top and their regulation choir garment over their top. These details are provided to you once you join the choir, and the member is responsible for the purchase of these items.

What does it cost to belong to the choir?

There is an annual subscription fee of R1000 per member which enables the actual day-to-day operations, as well as rehearsal venue fees and equipment costs. This fee can be paid as a once-off or a monthly debit order. As the choir is a NPC (Non-Profit Company) we rely on the memberships, ticket sales and donations to operate.

Do members pay for their music?

Yes. This is an additional cost to the annual subscription fee. Often members pay a small amount to hire the music, or purchase music. Sometimes you are required to print music that is emailed to you.

When does the choir rehearse?

We rehearse every Monday evening from 7.30pm-10pm at the St Thomas Hall in Rondebosch. Prior to a concert we will often rehearse at the venue in the days before/on the day of the concert.

How does a member practice their music at home?

It is suggested that during the week you spend additional time learning your voice part. Training cd’s with your voice part are usually available for the bigger works at a small cost of R20 which the members find hugely helpful.

What does a typical annual programme look like?

As is tradition we perform Handel’s Messiah every year at Easter – usually on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We usually do two more big works around June and October. We break for 2-3 weeks over the school holidays in June/July. Our smaller concerts can take place at any time throughout the year between our larger works.

Do members assist with the many tasks to run the choir?

We encourage members to play a role in some way to assist with the running of the choir. Whether it is assisting set up/packing away at rehearsals or specific tasks. Many hands make light work! The choir’s Board of Directors and service groups also require assistance in the organisation and administration of the choir.

How does the choir advertise its performances?

For every concert that we organise we usually follow a plan that includes road pole posters which members assist by putting up. We have flyers printed for members to distribute amongst their circles, advertise through social media and other online, radio and newspaper platforms.

What kind of music do we sing?

We mostly sing choral music, but often sing more modern compositions, and not forgetting our Christmas Carols at year end. Please refer to our ‘Repertoire’ page to view a complete listing of works.



Please note that our SOPRANO and ALTO sections are currently at capacity, although this situation can change at any time. We will be happy, therefore, to receive your application and send you an invitation to attend the next audition, after which your name would be added to a waiting list. HOWEVER, applications from TENORS and BASSES are strongly encouraged!

Please complete our simple online application form.