Frequently Asked QuestionsPlease read through these before contacting the festival.
How much does it cost to register?
- If your choir has 10 or more members, your registration will cost $700
- If your choir has 9 or fewer members, your registration will cost $70 per person
What do we get for our registration fee?
By registering, your choir will have the opportunity to:
- Learn new skills and a ‘do you dare?’ song from professionals in a workshop – details about the workshops will be announced later
- Attend a high energy masterclass and watch Suade Vocaltronics boost the performance of two choirs.
- Perform in your own right along our beautiful Blue Mile and in the City Centre
- Participate in mass choir performances in the City Centre
- Attend a choral jamboree, share one of your songs with other choirs, and pick up some ideas about new songs to add to your repertoire.
Wollongong has a fabulous location, between the escarpment and the sea. It’s within easy reach of Sydney – just 80km south – with easy access via train or road from the airport. Even though it’s the third largest city in NSW, Wollongong offers a beautiful natural environment, lots of exciting activities and its inhabitants are very friendly!
Who are "Out of the Blue Singers"?
We are a women’s a cappella chorus that has been entertaining audiences in the Illawarra for 15 years (have a look at us at www.outofthebluesingers.org.au/). We are also great friends who celebrate the highs in each other’s lives and support each other through the tough stuff too. This year we have taken a bold change in direction by parting company with the Sweet Adelines barbershop movement. We have a wide repertoire of songs and strongly believe in the importance of music in the community. We wanted to run a choral festival that would celebrate the glorious, melodious, sometimes whacky and occasionally wicked phenomenon of choral music in the community.
What performance opportunities are there for my choir?
As well as singing in the mass choir, we plan on providing each participating choir with at least one opportunity to perform in its own right. In the past, participating choirs have been very keen to perform in chOir-tly LOUD . If demand from choirs for multiple performances is higher than the number of performance spots than we can secure, performances will be allocated on a first come first served basis. So, the earlier you register, the higher the likelihood that your preferences will be satisfied.
Does our group have to perform on our own to participate?
No! It is your choice whether you decide to sing as an individual choir. Most choirs tend to sing at two or three different venues, while a couple of groups will sing on just one occasion by themselves. A couple of choirs intended not performing last year but ended up doing so at Sunday’s Jamboree where the relaxed mood and the warm sunshine proved to be irresistible conditions for sharing some songs (and yes, we will have umbrellas this time!).
Will there be any restrictions on what we sing?
No! You just need to keep in mind that you will be performing to the general community, and that we may need to ask you to adjust your repertoire to avoid repetition. At previous festivals audiences have enjoyed medieval madrigals, songs from musicals, retro – pop songs, gospel songs, African, Indonesian, Chinese and Burmese songs. There were also songs that celebrated environmental protection, and those that protested the rights of workers. Once you have registered, we will contact you to discuss the songs that you would like to sing in the program of performances planned for around town and down at the beach. We will rely on your judgement about whether your choir has the confidence to perform in public, either in the city mall, one of Wollongong’s fabulous cafés or at the beach.
What if we sing with accompaniment?
The nature and format of the festival program assumes that performances are for the most part a cappella. Almost all of the choirs in the last festival sang a cappella. However, if you usually perform with accompaniment, we would like you to provide your own, and for outdoor performances, it will need to be self-powered. If this is a problem, just call us and we will find a solution – we did last time!
Will there be any amplification?
Microphones will be provided for most indoor performances and all outdoor performances. As you can imagine, we want your performance to delight diners, not bombard them so the amplification will only be moderate in most cases.
Keep in mind that you will be standing in places where people are likely to congregate or walk. We will also make sure that you are located far enough away from other choirs to avoid your sound being drowned out by theirs.
What's the deal with the Mass choir performance?
Our mass choir performance will fall into two parts on the Saturday morning. The first part takes the form of a procession through the Mall and the song we wish choose to sing together will be a very simple chant. We will then assemble in the amphitheatre in the Mall where we will sing 2-3 more songs.
How will the songs suit my choir?
The songs will probably be in 3 or 4 parts – SSA or SATB – you may choose to sing all parts or as many as your choir feels comfortable to master. It doesn’t matter whether your choir is all male or all female or mixed, you’ll be able to join in the big sound.
How do we prepare the mass songs?
We will let you know about the songs early in 2017. Once you have registered we will provide you with audio recordings and sheet music – along with permission to make copies for your members. We have found that using audio tracks to learn the music is an effective way of getting the tunes under your belt.
When will the choirs come together to rehearse the mass songs?
At the festival launch we will devote about 45 minutes to rehearsing the mass choir songs. The launch is a wonderful opportunity to meet people from other choirs and to get in the mood for a weekend of musical fun.
How do you cater for participants with limited mobility?
We appreciate that you may have members of your choir who cannot walk far and cannot stand for long. With this in mind, we will provide chairs at each outdoor performance. Also if you let us know in advance about your needs, we will place your performances within easy access of parking.
What should we do about accommodation?
We strongly urge you to book your accommodation as early as possible as demand for places to stay is very high at that time of the year To help you with your booking, check out the chOir-tly LOUD Accommodation Page which includes very affordable holiday cabins through to 4-star hotels and apartments. All of the accommodation options are located within easy driving – or walking distance – from the main action of the festival. Some are within a short distance of a free shuttle bus service provided by Wollongong City Council.