Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve been asked. Don’t see the answer here? Ask away!
When and where do you rehearse?
Every Tuesday from September to mid-June, 7:30 – 9:45 at St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage Anglican Church, 1530 E. 22nd Avenue (at Dumfries, near the corner of Kingsway and Knight), Vancouver. In 2011, the first rehearsal of in the fall will be Tuesday September 6th. We also usually have a weekend retreat (Friday evening to Saturday mid-afternoon), also at St. Margaret’s, once per term.
Do I have to be gay to sing with you?
Nope. We welcome people of all genders, orientations, and levels of ability who want to sing together in community.
Is there an audition?
No! (Though if you would like some advice on which section or part to sing, the director would be happy to spend a few minutes with you at the piano.) You will never be asked to sing alone, though there are opportunities if you decide you want to try a solo.
Do I have to be able to read music?
No! We have a number of members who sing with us very successfully who don’t read music at all.
Do you use rehearsal tapes?
Not at this time. If this is a tool that works for you, you’re welcome to record rehearsals and practice with it.
Do I have to memorize the music?
No. It makes for a better concert experience (for both the singers and the audience) if you have your music memorized, so we do encourage you to try to memorize as much as possible. However, you can use music during concerts if you need it (and many folks do).
Do you only accept new members in September?
No, feel free to drop by any time! We have our major concerts in January and June. If you are joining right before a concert, you and the director will decide together whether you’re ready to perform, but you’re still welcome to come on Tuesdays and sing!
What if I need to miss a rehearsal?
We understand that we all have lives outside of choir, and sometimes that means missing a rehearsal. If you aren’t going to be there on a Tuesday, or for some other scheduled choir event, we ask that you let your section leader know. If you need to miss several rehearsals, we’d still like to have you come on Tuesdays and sing with us, and you and the director can decide together whether you’ll be ready to sing in the concert.
What if I need to miss an outreach performance?
Attendance at Outreach concerts is optional. When we are scheduling something for a time other than a Tuesday, we ask the choir as far in advance as possible to make sure that we’ll have enough singers to participate. We do ask that if you indicate you can attend an Outreach, that you make every effort to follow through.
What kind of music do you sing?
A variety. We sing pop/rock, vocal jazz, madrigals or light classical pieces, selections from musicals, folk songs, and music that defies categorization. We mostly sing in English, but we have been known to sing in Italian, Spanish, Russian and Zulu, to name a few.
Do you sing religious music?
Generally, no. Very occasionally we’ll sing something with the word “god” in it, but it’s usually music that leaves the definition up to the singers and audience.
Can I bring my child/pet to rehearsals?
Regretfully, no. Choir is a group of adults who get together for just two hours a week, and the focus is on singing. We’d be happy to meet your child/pet at a choir social event, but they can cause too much distraction at rehearsals. (Assistance animals are, of course, welcome.)
Does it cost money to join the choir?
We don’t want finances to be a barrier to anyone’s involvement. Everyone pays $5 per year to become a member of the Society. There is a $15 one-time music fee when you first join the choir. (If paying that all at once is a problem, talk to our Treasurer.) The amount you pay to help support the choir on top of that is up to you. The suggested monthly donation is $30, but some people pay less, and some pay more.
Do you receive any financial assistance from the government?
We are sustained primarily by our own fundraising efforts, including concerts, members’ dues and the generosity of our community. Some years we have received additional funding from BC government gaming funds.
Are you a registered charity?
Yes, we are both a non-profit society and a registered charity. Donations can be made through our website, and tax receipts will be issued for all amounts over $20.
How often do you perform?
We have two major concerts a year, usually late January and mid-June. We also sing at smaller outreach performances every few months. We’ve sung at community centres, seniors’ homes, hospitals, fundraisers, and church services, to name a few. Some years we make an out-of-town trip – the most recent have included Saltspring Island and Sechelt.
Will you come and sing for my group/event?
We do a number of smaller appearances throughout the season, both paid and volunteer. If you’d like to invite us to sing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.