Who we are
“So delighted to have discovered the Gasworks Choir this year. Everyone is incredibly friendly, the music is varied and beautifully arranged and most importantly the practices are relaxed and a lot of fun. Puts me in a great mood every week!” Ciara D.
"I've sung in other choirs before, but Gasworks is by far the most enjoyable. The choir leaders strike the perfect balance between professionalism and fun: we achieve a fantastic sound by the time we perform our songs in public without it feeling like hard work to get there." Jorge S.
Bristol's legendary Gasworks Choir is a community choir with over 160 members.
Directed by Ali Orbaum, the singing sessions are jointly led with her co-teacher, singer-songwriter Julia Turner.
There are no auditions and we welcome experienced singers and beginners alike. All our songs are taught by ear in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We learn new songs every term and reach an extraordinary standard very quickly, thanks to excellent teaching and the support our choir members give each other.
Our original repertoire is diverse: pop, soul, folk, funk, jazz, blues, world, classical and more. We provide audio recordings throughout the term for you to practice at home.
We meet fortnightly in 4 small groups (approx. 40 per group) at the lovely Gasworks Studio in St Werburghs. You can sing with us on Monday or Tuesday evenings, or Tuesday afternoons. Terms run Jan - May and Sep - Dec each year. There are 5 or 6 workshops at the studio each term, and 3 or 4 rehearsals all together with the whole choir in larger venues.
We perform at the end of each term. May concert locations vary and our December concert is always held in St Georges (a wonderful old church with fabulous acoustics that is situated off Park St in Great George Street and has been converted to a world class music venue holding 550 people).
Every term we also offer a couple of advanced songs for those who want more of a challenge and the opportunity to perform as a smaller group.
Most of our songs are arranged by Ali, Julia and Dee. If you are interested in our arrangements for your choir please contact us.
We do have a waiting list to join but spaces become available on a regular basis. Get in touch now if you're interested in joining and we'll offer you a place as soon as possible - perhaps as soon as next term.
If you'd like to join or find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“The teachers are inspiring; their energy infectious. Great people come together and sing! And I spend the rest of the week humming…” Kathy F.
“Working with Ali and Julia has been a delight and an inspiration.” Cathy R.
A Bit Of History
Gasworks Choir was the first community choir to form in Bristol and at one point had a six year waiting list to join! It paved the way for many more community choirs and, thanks to the explosion of similar choirs in Bristol in recent years, can now open its doors to new members much more quickly - usually within a year - while maintaining its reputation as one of the best choirs in Bristol.
Ali Orbaum and Dee Jarlett formed the Gasworks Choir in 1997 and directed it together until December 2013 when Dee retired. However, Dee still arranges songs for the choir and she leads the Gasworks Singers (see below). Ali and Dee both used to direct and sing with Naked Voices, a professional band who toured arts centres and festivals and had sell out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe. Previously they were also members of Sweet Soul Sisters and the Tea Ladies. They run harmony singing workshops all over the UK and are part of The Natural Voice Practitioners Network. They also run workshops and singing holidays known as "Sing Your Socks Off" with their colleagues Chris Samuel, Fran Bolton and Elaine Wilson. Click here to check out the website and see what is offered.
Julia Turner was our youngest member of the choir when it formed in 1997 at just 11 years old. Having subsequently completed a music degree, led her own choirs and performed as a singer songwriter in the UK and abroad, she came back to Bristol in 2013 and came in to assist Ali in leading the choir in Jan 2014. She currently performs as part of the Eko Collective.
This is a smaller version of the Gasworks Choir, made up mostly of members who have been in the choir for a few years. Directed by Dee, they perform regularly at a varied range of community events in the Bristol area. See Gasworks Singers page for more information. Contact Dee (email@example.com) directly if you have an event at which you'd like the Singers to perform.