HOW DO I JOIN? DO I HAVE TO
We do not have a formal “audition”
but ask each prospective member to spend a few minutes with our
director, sing a simple tune (such as “Happy Birthday”) to help
establish the vocal range and determine the best assignment within
the chorus. Our sole requirement is that you are able to sing on
pitch. Our music is in 3 or 4 parts, so we try to achieve balance
among first and second sopranos, and first and second altos. If you
are unsure of your placement, don’t worry – our director will
help you find a place where you are comfortable!
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A LOT OF
Our members come from all kinds of
musical backgrounds. Some have formal training or play an instrument;
others have less experience. Some read music, some don’t. Members
have different learning styles; we welcome everyone and help them
play to their strengths. Each member also receives a CD with her
part played by the accompanist; files are also available on line.
WHAT IF I’M NOT SURE I WANT TO
JOIN? WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
No problem! Sit in on a rehearsal or
two, and get a sense of how we work. Every prospective member and
every new member gets a “buddy” who is there to help guide you
through the initial stages. Our officers and director will be
available at the end of rehearsals, and are also listed below, so
please feel free to follow up with any of them.
WHEN ARE THE REHEARSALS AND WHAT DO
HTC rehearses Wednesday mornings any
time that school is in session during the school year, 9:30-11:00 AM
– convenient “mothers’ hours”. We meet in the sanctuary of
Congregation B’nai Shalom. HTC is unaffiliated with the synagogue,
which graciously donates space and a keyboard for our use. We do
not rehearse on snow days or during vacations or the summer.
Rehearsals consist of:
Vocal warm-ups of various types,
and some stretching exercises to loosen muscles, improve singing
posture and develop breathing capacity
Sight-singing work to build skills
Group singing and individual
section work to help with problem areas. If you feel “lost”
after a run-through of a piece, don’t worry! The director reviews
each part as many times as necessary during each season. Remember
that some members may have sung a particular piece before, or may be
more skilled at sight-reading. Other members really blossom when
they work with the CDs or digital files. The chorus incorporates
all learning styles and musical abilities.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF MEMBERS?
Regular attendance at rehearsals
and concerts is very important. We ask you to make every effort to
come on time and to let us know if you will be absent for any
Read your email from the chorus
director and officers; if you don’t have email, a buddy and some
printed information will be provided. Just let the secretary know.
At-home practice via your computer
or with the CD, which we will provide.,
There is no fundraising or selling
involved. No tickets for concerts or selling ads.
WHERE AND WHEN ARE THE PERFORMANCES?
We generally have 4 concerts in
December (primarily holiday songs and winter-themed pieces) and 4
concerts in May (a mix of show tunes, American classics, patriotic
songs, and others). Our Concert Committee investigates various
suitable nursing homes and rest homes, generally within 30 minutes’
drive of Westborough. Carpools are arranged for those who wish, and
chairs are provided for those who cannot stand during the
performance. Concerts are on Wednesday mornings during the same
general hours as rehearsals, so once you clear your schedule for
Wednesdays, you don’t have to make other arrangements for concerts.
ARE THERE COSTS TO JOIN?
Members are asked to pay dues of
$10 per season, or $20 per year. This can be paid all at once, or
in two payments in September and January. A sight-singing book is
used to teach new skills to those who don’t read music well, and
to reinforce skills for more experience singers. The cost is $7.95
and can be paid for with dues or separately.
We hold 1 luncheon during each
concert season to celebrate our successes and build social
relationships. These are generally held in moderately-priced
restaurants close to one of our concert venues, with members
ordering as they wish from the menu and paying their own costs.
Dues cover the purchase of sheet
music, costume items, instruments, luncheon costs and thank you
gifts for director and accompanist(s), director education, a token
donation to the synagogue, and miscellaneous office supplies.
DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE?
Not much! You’ll need:
A black 3-ring binder for
performances, and a pencil with an eraser for rehearsals.
Black slacks or a long black skirt and a
white blouse for performances.