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Uniform Questions

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  • Mark Penn
    Hello Group: Our little ensemble, Cantiamo Sonoma, is going to the next level in terms of uniforms. We have decided to formalize the look and go with tuxes
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 9, 2007
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      Hello Group: Our little ensemble, Cantiamo Sonoma, is going to the next
      level in terms of uniforms. We have decided to formalize the look and go
      with tuxes and floor-length dresses. But, of course, there are not many
      subjects that throw a group into turmoil more than what to wear. I'd like
      to get a few ideas from this group, rather than re-invent the wheel here.
      Any thoughts and/or experience you have on the following questions will be
      greatly appreciated:

      1. Options - We have at least one or two women who absolutely hate the
      thought of dresses, even more so of formal dresses. One of them is willing
      to wear a tux, but I'm not sure we like that option either - strikes me as
      too distracting. Does any group have a third option available to their
      singers - something that appears somewhat formal but does not necessarily
      fall into the same definition as a ladies' "dress"?

      2. Tuxes - I've found several possibilities, but does anyone have
      experience (good or bad) with a particular company?

      3. Cost - In your groups, who pays for what?



      Anything else anyone wants to share would be most welcome.



      Thanks.



      --Mark Penn





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • LJP
      At 12:57 PM 9/9/2007, Mark Penn wrote: 1. Options - We have at least one or two women who absolutely hate the thought of dresses, even more so of formal
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 9, 2007
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        At 12:57 PM 9/9/2007, Mark Penn wrote:

        1. Options - We have at least one or two women who absolutely hate the
        thought of dresses, even more so of formal dresses. One of them is willing
        to wear a tux, but I'm not sure we like that option either - strikes me as
        too distracting. Does any group have a third option available to their
        singers - something that appears somewhat formal but does not necessarily
        fall into the same definition as a ladies' "dress"?
        ----------------
        Perhaps they could wear a long pant. Something loose and sort of
        flowing, like a long gaucho pant. Fabric should be polyester, rayon,
        or silk, something that drapes nicely.

        In my daughter's group each member pays for their own concert
        wear. For black items, we have found that Good Will has the best
        selection year round.

        Sincerely,
        Mrs. P.
      • Scott Adler
        This is a really tough one! 1. Options: I think as a group you have to decide how much you are going for _uniform_. Are you requiring everyone to exactly
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 10, 2007
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          This is a really tough one!

          1. Options:

          I think as a group you have to decide how much you are going for
          _uniform_. Are you requiring everyone to exactly match, or are you
          looking to set up guidelines?

          A lot depends on your group and the personalities. I've been in groups
          where we all wore tuxes/dresses and they were specific - exact style
          and colors.

          I've seen many groups pull off a black/white/gray look where everyone
          can pick things that flatter them. Like a wedding party - it is very
          difficult to find one dress that fits all body types. If you go with
          guidelines, you may have better luck, but you do need to make sure
          that you have specific issues ironed out in advance - what is
          acceptable, how you decide, etc. For men you have to decide if you are
          going to allow tails vs regular. Bowties vs regual ties. Vests, etc.

          If you go for the second option, you are also asking people to put in
          a little more time in finding something, but also allows people to use
          something that they may already have.

          2. Tuxes:

          Check the rental companies, they typically will have good deals on
          tuxedos for sale.

          3. Cost

          The biggest issue here is turnover and ownership. If the group pays
          for all the outfits, does the group own them? What happens when
          someone leaves, or you add new members? Getting this in writing helps
          everyone out so that there are no hard feelings when someone leaves or
          is added.

          Personally if you are doing a full fledged uniform look, I think the
          group should cover most if not all of it. That way you can have the
          expectation that these items are going to be only used for concert
          wear, and always be in good shape.

          If you are doing a style/look I'd suggest doing a group stipend for
          people to use as they see fit. Enough to cover a sensible option that
          you've all decided on, but if you happen to use something from your
          own wardrobe you can use the money on something else.

          -Scott


          On Sep 9, 2007, at 12:57 PM, Mark Penn wrote:

          > Hello Group: Our little ensemble, Cantiamo Sonoma, is going to the
          > next
          > level in terms of uniforms. We have decided to formalize the look
          > and go
          > with tuxes and floor-length dresses. But, of course, there are not
          > many
          > subjects that throw a group into turmoil more than what to wear.
          > I'd like
          > to get a few ideas from this group, rather than re-invent the wheel
          > here.
          > Any thoughts and/or experience you have on the following questions
          > will be
          > greatly appreciated:
          >
          > 1. Options - We have at least one or two women who absolutely hate
          > the
          > thought of dresses, even more so of formal dresses. One of them is
          > willing
          > to wear a tux, but I'm not sure we like that option either - strikes
          > me as
          > too distracting. Does any group have a third option available to
          > their
          > singers - something that appears somewhat formal but does not
          > necessarily
          > fall into the same definition as a ladies' "dress"?
          >
          > 2. Tuxes - I've found several possibilities, but does anyone have
          > experience (good or bad) with a particular company?
          >
          > 3. Cost - In your groups, who pays for what?
          >
          >
          >
          > Anything else anyone wants to share would be most welcome.
          >
          >
          >
          > Thanks.
          >
        • Barry
          In several fo the groups I have directed, there have been women (sometimes of the lesbian persuasian) who do do not wish to wear dresses. This can be a
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 10, 2007
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            In several fo the groups I have directed, there have been women
            (sometimes of the lesbian persuasian) who do do not wish to wear
            dresses. This can be a difficult and sensitive subject, and must be
            handled with care. As a director, I always had an idea in mind, or
            maybe one or two, and then, as the group discussesd the issue, I was
            quick to agree with the idea that conformed most closely to my
            original concept! That being said, I think you have to think of what
            would appeal (or be the least noticable) to the audience. If the rest
            of the women were in black skirts, one woman wearing the same blouse
            but black pants would problably not stand out too much.

            There are many on-line vendors selling tuxes, some for $100 or under.
            What we had with one chamber choir I directed was black pants for the
            men, and black coats. It so happened that everyone had a tux coat. We
            added gold bowties and gold cumberbunds. For the ladies, white
            blouses and straight black skirts, with a gold sash belt which
            matched the cumberbunds. One of the choir ladies sewed them. I let
            the ladies decide the skirt stlye amongst themselves. One pointer,
            though. Be sure all the skirts are the same height off the floor
            (measured with the shoes they will wwear to the performance). I also
            required a fukll dress rehearsla 1 week before the concert. This
            helped to insure that everone would have their uniform correct and
            complete at the concert (Note: Always cary a few spare accessories
            yourself!).

            As far as cost, if your group has a positive cash flow (which I never
            had!) then each member paid for their own. We tried to keep it to
            things everyone would have in their closet. A white shirt or blouse,
            even a tux coat sometimes, can be picked up from a thrift store, and
            will look fine on stage. I believe the mens' bow ties and cuberbunds
            were $15-20 and the girls sashes were $5 in material cost.

            Good luck!
            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            --- In ba-acappella@yahoogroups.com, Scott Adler <scott@...> wrote:
            >
            > This is a really tough one!
            >
            > 1. Options:
            >
            > I think as a group you have to decide how much you are going for
            > _uniform_. Are you requiring everyone to exactly match, or are you
            > looking to set up guidelines?
            >
            > A lot depends on your group and the personalities. I've been in
            groups
            > where we all wore tuxes/dresses and they were specific - exact
            style
            > and colors.
            >
            > I've seen many groups pull off a black/white/gray look where
            everyone
            > can pick things that flatter them. Like a wedding party - it is
            very
            > difficult to find one dress that fits all body types. If you go
            with
            > guidelines, you may have better luck, but you do need to make sure
            > that you have specific issues ironed out in advance - what is
            > acceptable, how you decide, etc. For men you have to decide if you
            are
            > going to allow tails vs regular. Bowties vs regual ties. Vests, etc.
            >
            > If you go for the second option, you are also asking people to put
            in
            > a little more time in finding something, but also allows people to
            use
            > something that they may already have.
            >
            > 2. Tuxes:
            >
            > Check the rental companies, they typically will have good deals on
            > tuxedos for sale.
            >
            > 3. Cost
            >
            > The biggest issue here is turnover and ownership. If the group
            pays
            > for all the outfits, does the group own them? What happens when
            > someone leaves, or you add new members? Getting this in writing
            helps
            > everyone out so that there are no hard feelings when someone leaves
            or
            > is added.
            >
            > Personally if you are doing a full fledged uniform look, I think
            the
            > group should cover most if not all of it. That way you can have
            the
            > expectation that these items are going to be only used for concert
            > wear, and always be in good shape.
            >
            > If you are doing a style/look I'd suggest doing a group stipend
            for
            > people to use as they see fit. Enough to cover a sensible option
            that
            > you've all decided on, but if you happen to use something from
            your
            > own wardrobe you can use the money on something else.
            >
            > -Scott
            >
            >
            > On Sep 9, 2007, at 12:57 PM, Mark Penn wrote:
            >
            > > Hello Group: Our little ensemble, Cantiamo Sonoma, is going to
            the
            > > next
            > > level in terms of uniforms. We have decided to formalize the
            look
            > > and go
            > > with tuxes and floor-length dresses. But, of course, there are
            not
            > > many
            > > subjects that throw a group into turmoil more than what to
            wear.
            > > I'd like
            > > to get a few ideas from this group, rather than re-invent the
            wheel
            > > here.
            > > Any thoughts and/or experience you have on the following
            questions
            > > will be
            > > greatly appreciated:
            > >
            > > 1. Options - We have at least one or two women who absolutely
            hate
            > > the
            > > thought of dresses, even more so of formal dresses. One of them
            is
            > > willing
            > > to wear a tux, but I'm not sure we like that option either -
            strikes
            > > me as
            > > too distracting. Does any group have a third option available
            to
            > > their
            > > singers - something that appears somewhat formal but does not
            > > necessarily
            > > fall into the same definition as a ladies' "dress"?
            > >
            > > 2. Tuxes - I've found several possibilities, but does anyone have
            > > experience (good or bad) with a particular company?
            > >
            > > 3. Cost - In your groups, who pays for what?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Anything else anyone wants to share would be most welcome.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Thanks.
            > >
            >
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