Noctis – Blending voices purely and artfully

"We're slightly obsessed with pronunciation, accent, and dialect in this choir " singer Claire Miller shares. The result? Just beautiful.

Special thanks to Noctis singer Claire Miller for contributions to this article.

A favorite inspirational quote 

“The terror of performing never goes away. Instead, you get very, very comfortable being terrified.” — Eric Whitacre

Love it! Do you have any tips for choirs with shy singers?

Practice makes perfect! Performing regularly really helps as does sharing any solo opportunities to keep us all motivated. We’ve also been recording and sharing what we’re working on on Facebook, during rehearsals, which adds a little bit of healthy social pressure to work with.


Choir Name:  Noctis
Director: Francis Faux
Location:  Bath
Style:  Classical
Number of singers:  12-14
Find out more on our website!

What was a very special performance and what made it special? 

We’ve been very fortunate to be part of some high profile events in a number of prestigious venues in SW England, such as two WW1 centenary concerts at Bath Abbey. We’ve been on TV a couple of times now as well! 

TV?! Tell us more!

We appeared on some news items as part of the WW1 centenary in Bath Abbey and Bath’s Great Feast. Usually we don’t know that we’ll be on television and find out later on! We recently recorded in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Armagh, Northern Ireland that we believe will be published on YouTube and RTÉ Ireland soon.

Any traditions with your choir?

We’re slightly obsessed with pronunciation, accent and dialect in this choir. We spent 45 minutes after rehearsal discussing whether it was Falcon (fol·kn) or (fal·kn)… Like you say ‘tomayto’ we say ‘tomahto’ ?!

A stunning performance from Noctis for their autumn concert at St Mary’s Church, Bathwick

Any emotional moments during a performance?  

Sometimes we get choked up because the audience does! It’s a beautiful moment that happens almost every concert. It’s quite difficult to sing with a lump in your throat, however!  

Is there a particular song audiences have emotional reacted to?

‘Stars’ by Esenvalds always gets a lot of comments and sniffles from the audience! You can check out a live version here on our YouTube!

How does your choir bond as a group?  

Through our fabulous singing of course! Oh, and coffee breaks! We enjoy a good aftershow party too at the nearest pub to the venue. 

A turning point in the life of your choir?   

Despite struggling financially to put on concerts, and given that many of our group are working musicians who need feeding, we all wish to continue as a chamber choir despite the odds, because we believe we create a sound and performance that is unique.

What odds are you up against as a chamber choir?

The larger the choir the easier it is to get an audience as often each choir member will bring a +1. We’ve always wanted to stay a small choir, but it does mean it can be hard to pull in an audience. Sadly, as many people pay very little for the music they listen to nowadays with digital media; I personally believe that this has had a knock on effect with concert and gig attendance. 

Any plans to grow with this in mind?

For a small choir it’s about the blend. So, auditions are key and you could be an amazing singer in your own right, but if the tone doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

So it depends on the audition?

Yes. Some singers are great at blending, some are born soloists and it really is important when singing as a group to be able to adjust your own style, tone, (sometimes range!) to adapt to the group and genre you’re working on.

A favorite piece of repertoire & why  

Our director is obsessed with ‘Words’ by The Real Group. He even added it to our Christmas repertoire! We’ve also really enjoyed pieces by Esenvalds, Gjeilo, Whitacre and you can’t beat a bit of Poulenc to keep you on your toes.

Special thanks to Noctis singer Claire Miller for contributions to this article.

0 replies on “Noctis – Blending voices purely and artfully”