Frequently Asked Questions - TCK2016

Q1: I sing in a choir based in the London Borough of Bexley, can we enter?
A: Yes. Entrants are welcome from anywhere within the administrative County of Kent, the Medway Council area and the following areas within London Boroughs which have the word "Kent" included in their postal address, e.g. Beckenham, Bexley, Bromley, Chislehurst, Crayford, Erith, Orpington, Penge and Sidcup.

Q2: I live in Oxted in Surrey but sing in a choir based in Edenbridge, Kent. Is that OK?
A: Yes. Edenbridge is in Kent. It's where the choir is based that's important.

Q3: I run a school choir, are we eligible to enter?
A: Yes. Choirs of all ages and all age ranges are welcome to enter.

Q4: I sing in a barbershop choir. Can we enter?
A: Yes. All styles of singing are welcome just so long as there is a minimum of 12 singers.

Q5: What are the judges looking for?
A: See the section: Performance Hints, for a guide as to what the judges are looking for.

Q6: When's the deadline for entry?
A: See Rule Five: 30th November 2015 - all entry forms and audition CDs must be with the Competition Director by this date.

Q7: When will we hear, and how will we be told if we've been selected for the final?'
A: See Rule Eight: "Choirs selected by the judging panel from the recorded entries will be notified by 31st December 2015". The choir contact person (see entry/registration form) will receive the news

Q8: Parking isn't easy in Canterbury, particularly on a Saturday. Are there any parking concessions for contestants appearing in the Final?
A: Yes. Exclusive, free, car parking has been arranged within easy walking distance of Shirley Hall for choir members participating in the Final.

Q9: Why do we have to send two CDs of our programme?
A: One is for the selection panel - one is for BBC Radio Kent.

Q10: What use is made of the Entry Form details of the choirs?
A: These have two applications:

  1. Communications between Competition Director and the Choirs
  2. Basic information for BBC Radio Kent when they contact Choirs.

Q11: Is it guaranteed that my choir will be broadcast on BBC Radio Kent?
A: No. BBC Radio Kent has the final say as to who they broadcast in the run-up to the finals. However, the sooner you get your entry in, the better chance you will have of being selected for broadcast.

Q12: How often does BBC Radio Kent broadcast choirs?
A: Radio Kent aims to broadcast a live interview and a sample of each Choir as entries come in – a good reason to enter early!

Q13: If we are selected for the finals of the competition can we change our programme?
A: No. See second part of Rule Eight: "Choirs invited to the final will be asked to perform the items in their original entry programme (see Rule Four)".

Q14: Are choirs expected to stick to their ten minute limit?
A: Yes. Pleasingly this was so in previous years on CD and in timed performance.

Q15: Where will the surplus from the competition go?
A: Top Choir Kent is run and administered by the Rotary Club of Canterbury with a particular emphasis on encouraging and supporting Singing. Once the costs of running the event have been deducted from the income, the surplus will go into the Club's charity fund (Charity No. 1031915) for distribution amongst good-works and charities locally and internationally.

The 2015 Top Choir Kent Gala Concert raised over £7,000 for the Rotary Club of Canterbury to use in support of a wide range of charities.

Q16: Are there rehearsal facilities on the day?
A: Yes, two sessions are arranged:

  1. In the afternoon, choirs are escorted in sequence to the Shirley Hall for a 30 minute familiarization session on stage. This gives time for rehearsal and refinement in situ of the 10 minute programme.
  2. Prior to each choir's performance in the evening, a warm-up session is programmed. (There are no other facilities on-site to arrange additional sessions).

Q17: Do we get to hear other choirs?
A: Yes, seats are allocated in the Hall for all performers so that, apart from the warm-up session, choirs hear each other. This is consistent with the nature of the evening as a celebration of singing.

Q18: How do we know our choir is good enough?
A: There is only one way of finding out – send in your CD! Recently-formed choirs and choirs with member turn-over have gone through to the two Finals so do have a go!

Q19: Why can we not have more instrumental backing (eg drum kits)?
A: Constriction of space and timing does not allow setting up of static instruments (see Rule 3).

Q20: Why are we asked for actual choir numbers by mid February?
A: So that the organizers can reserve seats for Choir members (free) and release seats for purchase by supporters and the general public.

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