Who are We? What do we do?
(Please visit our external site to learn more).
Formed in 1950, the Elizabethan Madrigal Singers (fondly known as “MADs”) remains Aberystwyth University’s longest running society. This auditioned choir started as a small chamber ensemble specializing in strictly pre-classical repertoire; however, over the past 60 years, the choir has broadened its literature to include sacred, secular, folk, jazz, and contemporary pieces as well. Since its conception, MADs has served as the university’s premier chamber choir, and now, MADs holds a prestigious and extensive history. Each new generation of MADs hopes to preserve the choir's venerability, high standards, and musical dedication.
As a chamber choir, our membership caps at around 10-25 singers each year. Furthermore, as a relatively small group, the choir always forms a strong bond--a bond particularly strengthened by all our concerts and our annual MADs Tour!
Alongside singing in and around the town of Aberystwyth, MADs go on tour every summer to international locations such as Prague, Czech Republic (2016), Krakow, Poland (2015), Martin, Slovakia (2014), Burgos, Spain (2013), and Friedrichshafen, Germany (2012). In November of 2010, the choir had the privilege of singing on the pitch of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium at the start of the Wales vs. South Africa rugby game. Furthermore, in addition to BBC Radio Wales performances, Aberystwyth University invites MADs to perform at the graduation ceremonies every year, continuing a tradition established in the choir’s infancy.
The MADs tour has been cancelled in previous years due to the pandemic but it has been revived this year and we are all very excited to travel and sing!
This year we will have a Christmas, Easter and Summer concert in venues all over Aberystwyth town as well as some smaller performances for charity and sports events. We will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other local choirs in workshops where we can broaden our own musical knowledge and connect with like-minded people.
Why Join Us?
Participating in the Elizabethan Madrigal Singers yields a great many rewards: the opportunity to develop further one's artistic, technical, and musical skills, the depth of feeling that resonates with a singer when performing masterwork, the chance to work in an intimate environment with close friends, as well as the sense of accomplishment that comes from performing in international music tours, festivals and Varsity. If you happen to be a vocally-inclined Aberystwyth University student or an Aber local, please consider adding this enriching experience to your life. Learn more by visiting our official homepage: www.abermads.co.uk.
When and Where Do We Rehearse?
Currently, we are holding weekly rehearsals every Monday and Friday for 2 hours from 19:00 - 21:00 in the Piano Room in Pantycelyn, with a social every Thursday and sometimes more informal socials following the rehearsal on Monday and Friday. Usually, we would practice twice a week at the Old College on Monday and Friday evenings from 18:30 - 20:30 however due to the college being under construction this is not the case until completion.
The MADs Committee
Conductor and Treasurer - Christian Berlin
"Hi, I am honoured to be the conductor and treasurer of this lovely choir for the next year and I'm looking forward to welcoming both current members and new singers to a year of good music, singing-joy and lots of fun! I'm a third year student in Human Geography and have a strong passion for music. Since I was seven I've always sung in a choir, along with playing violin which I am receiving a scholarship for from the university. I have also taken various conducting classes and studied conducting for a year through a talent program at the Norwegian academy of music. If you like a rich repertoire and have a passion singing, the MADs Is the place for you!”
President - Scarlet Porteus
“Hiya I’m Scarlet, I am in my second year of studying international relations and military history and I’m very excited to be president of this wonderful choir for the next year. I have been singing since I was around 7 or 8 and have been in many various choirs and singing lessons over the years and have always had a love for music and how it brings people together. MADs is a wonderful community to be part of and is always the highlight of my week. I am looking forward to working with current and future members with both the beautiful music and the friendships that can be made in MADs so I hope to see many of you soon!”
Secretary- Ally Bartly
"Hi, I’m Ally and I am looking forward to being secretary of the MADs for the coming year! I am a third year Fine Art student, and I’ve been part of this choir for one year. I’m so glad I joined, as I have loved being able to meet the fantastic people involved and having the opportunity to sing a wide variety of pieces in a welcoming environment. I was part of a choir for 9 years which gave me the opportunity to tour and compete internationally, and I also obtained my grade 8 singing qualification and enjoy playing the piano. The MADs has been a great experience for me so far and I can’t wait for a year of fun rehearsals, sharing the MADs’ 70+ years of history, and making beautiful music!"
Co-Conductor- Henry Howe
"Hi there, my name is Henry. I am the Assistant Conductor for the upcoming year. I am currently in my second year of studying Computer Science. My musical career began around the campfires of Beaver and Cub camps. However, I truly gained a love for music as a Chorister in Lincoln Cathedral. Alas, my voice is no longer high, but low. I’ve loved my musical time in Aberystwyth so far, having performed in both Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s requiem and the multitude of Welsh Madrigals, have really pushed my pronunciation. I can't wait to see what excellent music the year will bring, and I am looking forward to many great performances and memories."
Freshers week events
Freshers Fair: Tuesday 26th Sept- Come and say hello and see our performances
Open Rehearsal: Thursday 28thSept 14:00-16:00 in Lola Fach, Pantyceyln - Sheet music and refreshments provided
Welcome Social: Friday 29th Sept 20:00 The White Horse
Bonfire: Saturday 30th Sept on South Beach (more details on our Instagram @abermads)
The Audition Process
In order to preserve the rigour and prestige of the Elizabethan Madrigal Singers, singers interested in joining must take part in and pass an audition process. The audition is split up into two parts: a solo section and a technical section. We begin with a warm-up and then the singer must choose one piece to learn and perform for the president and conductors. This solo can be any piece of music be it classical, musical theatre or even a nursery rhyme the main aim is to see what your voice sounds like alone. The second section of the audition comprises of technical skills such as scales, a range test and a sample of the choir's anthem Laudate (sheet music will be supplied and we will go through the lines in the rehearsal).
Auditions are from Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th of October. Please email email@example.com to book an audition. You will then be notified of our decision on Sunday 8th and our 1st rehearsal is on Monday 9th October 19:00-21:00 in Lola Fach, Pantycelyn.
If you have any questions about the audition process, please contact a member of the committee, email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or message Martha and Scarlett on our Instagram @abermads. Please note that NO PRIOR SINGING EXPERIENCE IS NEEDED. We are happy to help anyone, no matter the skill level, prepare for the audition. We are a friendly bunch :)
Code of Conduct
Risk Assessment for Weekly Rehearsals
COVID-19 Risk Assessment
Committee Meeting Agendas
April 7th, 2021
March 10th, 2021
February 17th, 2021
January 8th, 2021
November 13th, 2020
Please visit our website--www.abermads.co.uk--to submit your comments and suggestions to our committee meeting agendas.