Professional for a Day: the Experience of Singing in an Amateur Symphonic Choir


  • Rosalynd Smith Monash University


This paper deals with a kind of music-making that is in a sense quite commonplace. Most large cities and many smaller ones have choirs of the kind I have referred to as symphonic choirs, and which are sometimes called philharmonic choirs: large choirs that sing most often with an orchestra, concentrating on the standard oratorio and large-scale accompanied choral repertoire. These choirs are unusual in the sphere of amateur music-making in their relations with the professional music world, and my paper looks at the way in which this particular relationship affects the singers involved. Myconcern with such choirs stems from two sources: from my involvement with this kind of choir over many years; and from a survey I recently undertook of members in the choir in Australia of which I am currently a member.