Sbor a Orchestr Univerzity Karlovy

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” –Plato

A warm welcome to new and returning members of the Chorus and Orchestra of Charles University in Prague!

Please find the information for the Autumn semester 2021 below:

CHORUS

Rehearsals: The Chorus rehearses usually on Wednesday afternoons 5-7 p.m., at Charvátův Sál (address is U Nemocnice 1, and the hall is on the first floor of the hospital building; the nearest tram stop is Moráň).

New members are warmly welcome to join us. Rehearsals are held in English and in Czech, and we traditionally welcome many visiting students on the Erasmus programme and elsewhere, alongside Czech students. There will be auditions during the first rehearsal in person during the first rehearsal, at the Charvátův Sál (address is U Nemocnice 1, and the hall is on the first floor of the hospital building), 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, 13 October. In addition, those who prefer it may choose to have their audition via zoom on Sunday evening, 10 October, 6-7 p.m. (please email us for a zoom link). No prior preparation is required for the audition (which consists merely of a voice trial and an aural test).

Please keep checking our official pages for further information and updates; for instance, exceptionally, our rehearsal on 20 October cannot take place at Charvátův Sál, and the venue will be announced here, nearer the time. We usually have two weekend retreats each semester; the times and places for those will also be announced very soon.

The repertoire this semester will consist of:
Smetana, Dvořák, Janáček: unaccompanied choral pieces for mixed Chorus
Dvořák: Moravian duets (female voices and piano), selection
Ryba: Bohemian Christmas Mass “Hej mistře” (edition Milan Kuna)
Saint Saëns: Christmas Oratorio (excerpts)
A selection of Czech and international Christmas Carols

Concerts: We are to perform for the Hlávka Foundation in the morning of 17 November in a televised performance, and in the evening the Ladies will perform the Moravian duets. We also expect bookings for several Christmas concerts with Orchestra and Chorus performing together (if the epidemiological situation permits). This every year includes a charity concert at the magnificent Academical Parish Church of Nejsv. Salvátor in central Prague and an informal concert at Charvátův Sál, to both of which we are able to invite our friends free of charge. Further particulars will be announced here in due course.

Covid-related precautions: In accordance with the requirements of the buildings where our rehearsals are hosted, members must present a double-vaccination certificate (or proof of recent illness, or of recent negative Covid test) to be able to gain admission, AND are expected to wear masks or respirators at rehearsals. Please note that this is a non-negotiable condition associated with our use of the venues where we sing, and is for the protection of everyone. Thank you for your understanding at these rather tricky times.

For further details or in the event of any questions please email us on info@sboraorchestruk.cz

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ORCHESTRA

New members are warmly welcome to join us. Rehearsals are held in English and in Czech, and we traditionally welcome many visiting students on the Erasmus programme and elsewhere, alongside Czech students.

We are especially interested in string players in every department (especially violas and double-basses – but violinists and violoncellists are also most welcome!), and this semester also have vacancies for oboes, bassoons and horns. We shall also require a flautist doubling as piccolo (and in possession of their own piccolo).

We regret that we are not in a position to lend or otherwise provide musical instruments, and must urge potential members to make their own arrangements wherever possible.

Our repertoire this semester includes the Grieg Piano Concerto, Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, the Dvořák Serenade for Strings, the Jan Jakub Ryba Christmas Mass “Hej mistře” (which we traditionally sing with a quartet of soloists and our own Chorus). We have concerts planned for Saturday, 6 November (Beethoven and Grieg) and Wednesday, 17 November (Dvořák). In addition, we expect to have several Christmas concerts in December, including a traditional charity concert at the magnificent Academical Parish church of Nejsv. Salvátor in central Prague.

First rehearsal for new members will be on Wednesday, 13 October. The venue (in central Prague) will be confirmed very shortly – please check this space for more information. Our usual time is 7.30 – 10 p.m. We also expect to have two weekend workshops, on 23-24 October and 6 and/or 7 November, for particular sections and for Full Orchestra. Details will be announced very soon. 

Strings: Please write to us with an indication of your orchestral experience; we shall then respond, by sending you scanned music for you to print out in time for our first rehearsal on 13 October. We do not hold auditions for string players, instead inviting them to play in their section; after several weeks, on the basis of recommendations by desk partners, section principals and the concert mistress of the Orchestra, admission is almost always confirmed (subject to a good attendance record).

Wind: Please write to us as soon as possible, indicating your orchestral experience. We shall endeavour to audition you as soon as possible for instruments for which we have vacancies! Auditions include sight-reading, as well as an orchestral excerpt for which we shall send you the scanned part in advance. Wind players admitted to the Orchestra will then immediately be provided with scans of the music for the programme(s) for which they are needed.

Covid-related precautions: Please note that we are obliged to respect conditions associated with our use of the buildings in which we rehearse and perform. Accordingly, at rehearsals we are required to present certificates indicating full vaccination from an approved list of countries, or recent recovery from Covid, or, alternatively, sufficiently recent approved Covid tests. We are also required to use masks at rehearsals (with wind players removing those whilst playing). Since the exact requirements vary from hall to hall and institution to institution, please write to us for more specific information on a case by case basis.

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