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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. All members also have an audition every three years to ensure the standard of the choir is maintained and members are assigned to voice parts correctly.

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’, while the director accompanies you on the piano. You will be asked to sight read if you can, and your range will be tested so that you can be correctly assigned to a voice part.

When do you hold auditions?

Auditions are usually held in January and July, but occasionally more frequently if there is sufficient demand.

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 major concerts each year, of which there are usually three or four, and encourage them to participate in various smaller 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. Members are required to attend at least 80% of the relevant rehearsals to be able to sing in a performance. Attendance at conductor and orchestral rehearsals prior to a concert is compulsory. There are approximately 40 Monday evening rehearsals each year.

Do I have to wear a uniform when we perform?

Yes. The men wear black trousers, white shirt, and black dinner jacket with a tangerine bowtie, and the women wear black pants/skirts and a plain black top under a uniform choir top. Full details are provided to you once you join the choir, and you are responsible for the purchase of these items.

What does it cost to belong to the choir?

There is an annual subscription fee of R1100 per member, which covers the cost of day-to-day operations, such as rehearsal venue fees and equipment costs. This fee can be paid as a lump sum or a monthly debit order. You will be asked to sign a contract to this effect. The choir is an NPC (non-profit company) and relies on membership fees, ticket sales, and donations to cover expenses.

Do members pay for their music?

Yes. This cost is additional to the annual subscription fee. Depending on the work being performed, you may be able to purchase or hire the music, and sometimes you are required to print music that is made available online.

When does the choir rehearse?

We rehearse every Monday evening, from 7.30 pm to 10 pm, at the St Thomas’ Church Hall in Campground Road, Rondebosch. Prior to a concert we will often have additional rehearsals with the conductor and orchestra, which are compulsory.

How does a member practice their music at home?

We recommend that between rehearsals you spend additional time learning your voice part. Training CDs with your voice part are usually available for the bigger works, at a cost of R20.

What does a typical annual programme look like?

According to longstanding tradition, we perform Handel’s Messiah every year at Easter, usually on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We usually do two more big concerts each year, around June and October. We take a break for 2-3 weeks over the school holidays in June/July and for 3-4 weeks over Christmas. Our smaller concerts can take place at any time throughout the year, between our larger works.

Are members expected to be involved in running the choir?

We encourage members to assist with the running of the choir, whether this is assisting with setting up/packing away at rehearsals, teas at rehearsals, or other such small tasks. Many hands make light work! The choir’s committee also welcomes 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 publicity plan that includes putting up road pole posters, distributing flyers, and advertising through social media and other online, radio and newspaper platforms. We ask members to assist with these tasks where possible.

What kind of music do we sing?

We mostly sing traditional oratorio works, but also often sing more modern compositions, as well as Christmas carols towards the end of the year. Please refer to our performance record to view a complete listing of works the choir has performed.



Please complete our simple online application form.

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