FAQ

NCGC has gone digital!

Over the last several weeks we've been racking our brains about how we can keep singing together in these Zoom-laden times! And we think we've finally cracked it. Here's all you need to know about digital rehearsals...

HOW DO DIGITAL REHEARSALS WORK?

Since the government has allowed outdoor gatherings of six people, five singers and NCGC's director have been able to meet outdoors for a rehearsal each week. The five singers meet, socially distanced, and the rehearsal is filmed and shared with the rest of the choir later the same week via a zoom meeting.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING DIGITAL REHEARSALS?

Everyone who is joining in logs in to a zoom meeting at the specified time. We spend a little time together 'live', and then the zoom participants are muted, and the filmed rehearsal is shown via screen-sharing. The filmed rehearsal lasts about one hour. After the rehearsal has ended, participants can choose to stay for a ten-minute 'break-out room' session for a better chance to catch up with other choir members. The full digital rehearsal lasts between 75 and 90 minutes.

WHY ARE SINGERS MUTED DURING THE REHEARSAL? WILL I BE ABLE TO HEAR ANYTHING?

Differences in internet speeds mean that it is not possible for multiple singers to hear each other and co-ordinate efforts to sing at the same time. The virtual choirs often seen online are not done live, but are the result of many small videos edited together. Participants at zoom rehearsals can hear all three parts, however, because the five singers who were able to meet in person are all on the same screen in the zoom rehearsal. Participants at digital rehearsals can therefore hear their part being taught, and can join in with the learning and singing in harmony, but cannot hear or be heard by other participants on the zoom call.

HOW DO I TAKE PART?

We are taking payment for digital rehearsals online. You will need to use our 'Book Online' page and select a full-price or concession rate place for the week in question. We take payment via PayPal, and when your payment is complete you will receive access to a digital file via email. The file will contain the date and time of the digital rehearsal you've booked, along with the zoom codes you'll need to gain access.

DO YOU OFFER REFUNDS FOR ONLINE REHEARSALS?

No. For those who pay for rehearsals and are then unable to join us, or who wish to see the rehearsal later in the week, we provide access online. When you purchase a place at our zoom meeting, the document you receive will also contain instructions to access the digital rehearsal later in the week. The digital rehearsal will be available online only after the zoom meeting has taken place - from the Thursday after the zoom meeting, until the following Wednesday.

CAN I ACCESS THE DIGITAL REHEARSAL OUTSIDE OF THE ZOOM MEETING?

Yes. When you complete your purchase, the document you receive will also contain instructions to receive access to the digital rehearsal if you are unable to join us during the normal zoom meeting. The digital rehearsal will be available online only after the zoom meeting has taken place - from the Thursday after the zoom meeting, until the following Wednesday.

WHY CAN I ONLY BOOK ONE REHEARSAL AT A TIME?

We are not taking term payments at this time, because the national situation may change at any point and we don't want people to be out of pocket if we are locked down again. We will soon be arranging for singers to pay for rehearsals by standing order if they wish, so as not to have to keep booking rehearsals each week.

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR CONCESSION RATES?

We have never wanted cost to be a reason why someone cannot join NCGC, and offer concession rates to anyone who feels they need them. Given the odd nature of things at the moment, and that everyone's circumstances will be different, we do not specify who is entitled to concession rates and who isn't. Anyone is able to choose which price to pay - we ask for your support in paying full price if able to, but if concession rates are more appropriate to your circumstances for any reason, you are welcome to select them.

HELP! I'VE NEVER USED ZOOM BEFORE!

Zoom is a brilliantly designed application that's proved very easy for most of our members to use. You will need to download zoom free of charge from www.zoom.com, and when you have booked a rehearsal you'll be sent direct links to the zoom meetings for you to join. If you're concerned about using zoom and would like a 'dummy run' at it before a rehearsal, please contact us at hello@ncgc.org.uk and we'll be happy to help. We recommend doing so before booking rehearsals if you haven't used zoom before.

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