DepList is primarily a resource for those who need to book musicians. It provides an easy means of locating suitably skilled and experienced deps in a specalised branch of classical music-making. It is not designed to be used by newcomers to the profession as a means of obtaining work or of gaining more experience.
Those in full-time education and/or under the age of 21 are not eligible to join. Recently graduated singers are unlikely to be admitted until they have gained at least a couple of years of relevant experience in the field or unless they have served as choral or organ scholars in a high-calibre institution where they will have acquired sufficient sightreading skills and familiarity with the repertoire. If any of the information on this page is unfamiliar, you will not be a suitable candidate for DepList Membership.
- You must be a good all-rounder and have excellent sightreading skills, as well as the confidence to deliver an error-free performance on minimal rehearsal and at short notice. An impressive operatic CV with glowing press reviews will not get you into DepList if you don't also have experience of mainstream church repertoire, or if your sightreading skills are inadequate.
- Equally, if you are a virtuoso organ recitalist but are unfamiliar with church liturgy, or would not be able to accompany a standard Mag & Nunc or Mozart Mass on 24 hours' notice, DepList is not for you. You must have experience of playing in several venues for various types of service, with and without a choir in professional-standard repertoire, before you should consider applying to DepList.
- We normally require experience of having depped in several of the mainstream venues that regularly feature in DepList job ads. This is to ensure that applicants have acquired a sufficiently wide repertoire and are able to adapt easily to a variety of "house" styles. Excellent sightreading is an essential requirement.
- Many of our jobs are for church work and a few are in synagogues. Some of these can have very specialised repertoire. Rehearsal time is usually a maximum of 60 minutes immediately before the event (or with only a short break beforehand), but is often considerably less. There may be only one run-through of some of the pieces. Some routine items of "house rep" may not even get a run-through! Top-notch sightreading skills, as well as familiarity with the mainstream repertoire, are therefore essential. You may be the only singer on your part, or be required to sing solos, so you must have the resources and the confidence to hold the line, as well as sufficient vocal power to balance with your colleagues in what may be a very large building.
- Music will generally consist of a Mass setting or equivalent (anything from one to six movements) and a couple of anthems, and possibly other bits and pieces like responses, antiphons, verses and hymns. Evensong will usually contain psalms, responses (chanted or set), the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, an anthem and hymns. Music covers all periods from the Renaissance to contemporary. In Roman Catholic and some Anglican churches you may be required to sing neumatic plainchant. Plainchant and psalms may vary considerably in style and notation from church to church.
- You will need to possess the ability to stay calm under pressure, particularly at Evensong when some pieces of music follow in rapid succession. You may have to juggle with several music sheets and books at once (with no music stands at worst and slippery ones at best), and to cope with scores that can be heavily and sometimes misleadingly annotated. In addition, there may be ceremonial aspects (processing, kneeling, genuflecting, bowing, etc) that must be observed and carried out in a slick and professional manner. All of these things can contribute to making depping on unfamiliar territory a pretty nerve-wracking experience, even for seasoned pros, and especially if you are wearing someone else's gown that's several sizes too long.
- The ideal DepList Member will be a first-class musician who is dependable, adaptable and unflappable - and who turns up on time.
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