New Choir Leader

Sounding It Out is a sociable community performance choir singing songs from a broad range of genres in a wide variety of places.

It rehearses in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, but draws singers from Wiltshire and Somerset, including Bath, Bristol and Devizes.

It is founded on 3 principles: to develop a high quality of performance, to deliver fun enjoyable rehearsals driving strong enthusiasm for singing, and to foster a friendly and sociable community of singers and friends.

Caroline Radcliffe has directed Sounding It Out for the past 8 years and has, through her own beautiful arrangements and her gift of teaching and leading the choir, grown Sounding It Out’s quality, sound and performance to the enjoyment of both the singers and the audience.

The choir is looking for a new leader who can both maintain and develop the choir’s musical and performance skills and continue to support the energetic, vibrant and supportive community that is Sounding It Out.

About Sounding it Out

Our aims are:

  • to impart enjoyment and infectious enthusiasm to each other and to our audience
  • to work together on our singing technique and musicality
  • to give dynamic and interesting performances
  • to perform at a mixture of local gigs and some further afield.
  • to build together a friendly, supportive and lively singing community

Our singers come from a diversity of musical backgrounds – many don’t read music but most have lots of musical experience, mainly learning by rote and MP3 tracks. 

We ask our singers to:

  • to learn a song quickly, mostly by ear with the help of MP3s or through written music which is available.
  • to have good stage presence and enjoy performing
  • to be able to hold a harmony part on their own

Choir leader’s music skills

We are looking for someone who is:

  • a positive and enabling teacher of acapella close harmony, which will be fun and at times quite challenging to achieve, in a range of styles – including folk, blues, gospel, music in many different languages, some short classical and sacred pieces, pop and jazz. 
  • A strong musical understanding with an ability to choose and create own arrangements which suit the choir voices.
  • Able to support the choir to build their vocal technique.
  • Support the friendly and sociable style of the choir community.
  • Build good reputation of the choir and its performance.

Below is outlined how the choir runs itself.  The choir runs well at the moment but is also flexible and would be open and welcoming of ideas and changes that the new leader might wish to bring both musically and organizationally.

Present Structure

The choir is owned by the choir leader, with choir members paying a half termly fee up front directly to the choir leader.  The choir leader will make the musical decisions and drive musical direction, hopefully engaging with the choir members to get their views and ideas.  There is a committee (members of choir) to support the choir leader to organize performances and social gatherings.  The Committee also helps manage the admin for the choir leader. 

The choir generally runs to school terms.  We meet on Mondays, generally following school term times at 7.30-9.30pm at Bethesda Baptist Church, Gloucester Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 0AD. We have at present 36 members, both men and women, and would be keen not to exceed 50, maintaining a balance between the 4 voices.

Choir members are asked for a commitment to come to 3 out of 4 performances and rehearsals.  There is an expectation that words are learnt but sometimes with a particularly word heavy repertoire some exceptions are made.

We don’t hold formal auditions but have an informal lean in audition for new members.


As a choir we have enjoy a range of activities:

  • Singing locally in faith buildings, tithe Barns, pubs, halls and at festivals/markets
  • We have sung in local prisons and hospitals
  • We have organized singing country weekends – Cornwall/Devon/Brecons/Dorset– staying in hostels and singing in different parts of the coast and countryside – sometimes including a concert
  • We have invited other singer/songwriter/choir leaders from other parts of the county, eg Helen Porter (vocal technique coach)
  • We have been on European choir exchange visits – eg:  Ireland, Mallorca, Berlin, Bulgaria, Czech Republic

Some of these gigs the choir is able to secure a fee for the choir leader but this is getting rarer, and few events deliver a fee for the choir leader.  All overseas/out of region travel and accommodation for gigs for the choir leader is paid for out of the committee’s budget/fundraising.


Choir members currently pay £7 a session, payable half-termly in advance.  There is a reduced rate of £5 based on need – self assessed – this is rarely taken up.  Choir members expect to pay even if they don’t attend.  The choir subs are paid directly to the choir leader.

The committee also holds a bank account, which pays for outings/transport and receives income from gigs and fundraising.


Applicants are asked to provide a letter and CV outlining their background, how they meet the criteria, and how they would like to work with the choir.

These applications will be reviewed by the recruitment committee and then successful applicants will be asked to come to a singing rehearsal at end April / beginning of May and lead the choir for a half session (approx.1hr).  All members of the choir will be given a list of criteria to make comments on each applicant’s performance, to ensure we hear all members’ thoughts. That feedback will be reviewed by the Committee.  The committee will then conduct an interview with the successful applicants before a decision will be made.

We expect the successful applicant to start with the choir at the beginning of September 2024.

To apply please send a musical CV, and a short covering letter outlining your suitability for the post to:

Shelagh Beazley at

The closing date for applications is 8th April  2024.  For further information about Sounding it Out, please contact Shelagh Beazley at or Sarah Talbot-Williams on 07900 892867.