Members Guidance

 

Voice Test

Prospective members of the choir will be required to take a short voice test with the Musical Director. This consists of the following:

  • Sing scales
  • Sing a verse of a hymn (music provided)
  • A short sight reading piece
  • An “echo” test

Vocal Scores

Music for concerts is hired from music libraries at quite a considerable cost, which is covered in the annual subscription, and is issued by the Society’s librarian (Tony Weatherhead – Bass). The condition of the scores should be maintained by following these guidelines:

  • Numbers should not be erased from the cover or flyleaf (put there by librarians).
  • A soft pencil should be used to make personal markings as required by the MD. These should be erased before the music is returned.
  • Copies are due back on the first Tuesday after the concert. If attendance at this rehearsal is not possible, arrangements should be made with another member or the Librarian to return the score on time. Overdue copies incur financial penalties for the Society.

Rehearsal Etiquette

  • Rehearsals are held every Tuesday evening during the season in the hall of the United Reformed Church in Vaughan Road, Harpenden. Occasionally rehearsals will be held in other locations but ample notice will be given.
  • Weekly rehearsals start at 8pm promptly and end at 10pm with a short interval at about 9pm.
  • As a courtesy to the MD and other choir members, members are asked to refrain from talking or practising their own part audibly when other sections are working.
  • Those members who partake of interval refreshments will be required to take their turn assisting with setting up and washing up.
  • Members should assist with the setting out of chairs before each rehearsal and be responsible for ensuring that their own chair is appropriately stacked before leaving the rehearsal hall.

Rehearsal Attendance

  • All members are asked to make every effort to attend rehearsals regularly.
  • Members should inform their Section Leader if they will miss a rehearsal or will not sing in the concert.
  • If a member misses a rehearsal it is expected that they will refer to the Rehearsal Schedule and make sure that practice is done at home on what has been missed. This is to ensure that an appropriate standard is achieved by the whole choir.
  • If a member misses three or more rehearsals in a term the MD reserves the right to ask him/her not to sing in that concert.
  • There will normally be three rehearsals during the week of the concert, including the Saturday afternoon. Members singing in the concert should make every effort to attend all three; if a member is unable to attend the Saturday afternoon rehearsal the MD reserves the right to ask him/her not to sing in the concert.

Concert Dress

Gentlemen

  • Black evening suit
  • Black bow tie
  • White shirt
  • Black shoes and socks

Ladies

  • All black. Ankle length dress, skirt or smart trousers. Dress, top or black blouse to have three-quarter or full length sleeves
  • Black legwear, black shoes
  • Small black bag
  • Discreet jewellery

Concert Performances

Our audiences pay to listen to us and have come to expect a high standard.

Members of the choir should conduct themselves professionally both on and off the stage by adopting the following guidelines:

  • Music is held in the Harpenden Choral Society folder which is available for a £10 returnable deposit when you become a member of the choir.
  • The choir assembles in concert order for the warm up (approx 20 mins before start of concert)
  • The performance starts on leaving the warm up room and the choir members should be silent from that moment.
  • Members of the choir lead on to the platform line by line. They should sit down as soon as they arrive at their place with a minimum of fuss.
  • If it is essential to take water on to the concert platform, it must be contained in a very small discreet container which cannot be seen by the audience.
  • On the entry of the conductor/soloists, the choir members stand together at the pre-arranged signal from a nominated member.
  • Pages should be turned quietly, especially during quiet passages.
  • At the end of the work, the choir members should remain still with scores open until the conductor signals to close them.
  • When the conductor leaves the podium the choir members should all sit down at the same time.
  • The conductor will indicate when the choir should stand to receive applause.
  • At the end of the applause, a signal will be given to indicate that the choir should be seated.
  • Applause for soloists and orchestra by choir members should only be given when seated.
  • The choir should leave the concert platform row by row, without talking.

Thank you for your cooperation.

If anyone would like to see a copy of the HCS Constitution please refer to the HCS website.

September 2016