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Re: [ustav] Re: Choir Guidelines

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  • Vojislav Micunovic
    He is riden indeed! It would be good if you could share your findings on this list for the benefit of those who are not registered on other lists. In Christ
    Message 1 of 5 , May 31, 2011
      He is riden indeed!

      It would be good if you could share your findings on this list for the benefit
      of those who are not registered on other lists.

      In Christ

      Vojislav, a sinner

      From: betsytumbas <betsytumbas@...>
      To: ustav@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun, 29 May, 2011 22:49:26
      Subject: [ustav] Re: Choir Guidelines


      --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John Whiteford" <frjohnwhiteford@...> wrote:
      > I was wondering if anyone has any written rules or guidelines for choir members
      >that could either post, or e-mail to me privately.
      > Presbyter John Whiteford

      Christ is Risen!

      Father, I would recommend that you post your request on the PSALM e-list. Anne
      Schoepp and Alice Hughes have excellent choir guidelines, and others have shared
      theirs as well.

      Yours in Christ, Matushka Betsy Tumbas

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • betsytumbas
      Christ is Risen! Below please find Alice Hughes e-mail sent to the PSALM list in February of this year which contains the choir guidelines. Yours in Christ,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 1 9:11 AM
        Christ is Risen!

        Below please find Alice Hughes' e-mail sent to the PSALM list in February of this year which contains the choir guidelines.

        Yours in Christ, Matushka Betsy Tumbas


        Dear all,

        ...Back in the early nineties our choir developed a list of policies / guidelines for members. At the time folks were frustrated with each other and the directors, I believe, because of a lack of expectations and norms. The choir members themselves gave a lot of input, I think we sent around a survey that solicited input on a variety of choir related topics, like:

        1. How often do you think rehearsals are necessary?
        2. What do you think the ministry of singing in the choir is? (Why do
        we do what we do?
        3. Should people be able to sing on Sunday if they weren't at rehearsal?
        4. How often is too often to skip rehearsal?

        (I don't recall the actual questions, but they were things like that.)
        Once we had everyone's input and our own, Anne and I drafted a "Choir
        Policy". That the choir then agreed to it wholeheartedly. That
        original policy has been modified and clarified over the years, but
        has basically stood the test of time in our community....


        St. Lawrence Orthodox Church Choir Policies

        The ministry and function of the St. Lawrence Choir is to effectively
        lead the congregation in worship at specified liturgies. Singing and
        leading in this manner requires unity, skill, understanding and
        preparedness among the singers. This singing ministry is indeed a
        high calling and one that requires labor, commitment and skill.
        Adherence to the following choir policies facilitates our proper
        functioning and the fulfillment of our ministry to the church.

        I. Church Year

        The Church Year divides naturally into three sessions:

        a. Fall/Winter â€" October through Theophany (approximately 4 months)

        b. Winter/Spring â€" Pre-Lent through Pentecost (approximately 5 months)

        c. Summer â€" beginning after Pentecost through the Elevation of the
        Cross in late-September, including Transfiguration, Dormition and our
        Patronal Feast. (approximately 3 months)

        To better plan and accommodate these three sessions, we will ask choir
        membersâ€"at the beginning of each sessionâ€"make a commitment to that
        session in its entirety. Individual concerns that arise within a
        session can be addressed, as necessary, according to the guidelines
        outlined below.

        II. Rehearsals

        a. Rehearsals are on Wednesday nights, beginning with Vespers at
        7:00 p.m. Vespers function as both a spiritual and a vocal warm-up,
        so please make every attempt to attend them.

        b. An additional Saturday rehearsal is usually scheduled before
        Nativity and Pascha.

        c. Attendance is required at ALL rehearsals.

        1. Regular attendance is a sign of respect for your
        director and the other singers, and of your seriousness about your

        2. If you frequently miss more than one rehearsal in six,
        your absence is hindering the progress of the entire choir and your
        schedule may need adjustment to allow your continued participation.

        3. Students & Parents: Choir is huge time commitment.
        Keep in mind that homework, being grounded, studying for exams, etc.
        are not acceptable excuses to skip choir rehearsal.

        d. Please bring all current liturgy books, and a pencil to every
        rehearsal. (Please do not mark music with a pen.)

        e. We will generally have two scheduled breaks during the year.

        1. One immediately following Theophany for one to three weeks.

        2. One shortly after Pentecost for one to three weeks.

        3. Occasional weeks off at the conductor's discretion.

        III. Liturgies

        a. At all services be ready at your stand in the kliros 5 minutes
        before you are expected to sing.

        1. For Sunday Liturgies this often means being in the
        kliros ready to sing at 8:45. However, we encourage you to arrive 30
        minutes before Sunday Liturgy begins to focus, pray and prepare
        yourself to lead the worship.

        b. All liturgy books should be prepared in advance.

        1. This can usually be done on Wednesday night after rehearsal.

        2. If not, allow yourself 10 minutes to prepare it before
        Liturgy begins.

        c. Please arrange yourselves at the music stand so that you can
        see both the music and the conductor.

        IV. Decorum

        a. In accordance with the seriousness of the calling of a music
        minister, choir members should conduct themselves in a respectful and
        prayerful manner while in church. Talking during the service should be
        restricted to any question about the service itself.

        b. Please refrain from leaving the kliros area unless absolutely
        necessary. Flitting in and out of the choir during a service is
        distracting and disrespectful for all involved.

        V. Weddings

        All choir members are invited to sing at weddings as they arise. Those
        who plan to sing will be expected to attend any required rehearsals
        and a warm-up 45 minutes prior to the Wedding Liturgy

        VI. Communication

        a. Good communication enables us to function as a unified group.

        b. It is essential that you notify the conductor in advance of
        any liturgy or rehearsal that you will be unable to attend. Many
        times we must plan accordingly to accommodate your absence.

        1. Let the conductor know as soon as you know regarding any vacation plans, illness or any other event.

        c. Keep the conductor informed of any upcoming schedule changes
        that may affect your participation.

        d. Please discuss individual concerns outside of general rehearsal time.
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