New Member Orientation - long version
Welcome to Pacificaires/Cedar Center Chorus. Our purpose is to create a musically satisfying community that supports the members by enabling them to develop and display their singing talents through the practice and performance of entertaining and inspirational music. This choir is a class in the curriculum at San Diego Community College’s continuing education music program.
To Get Started please follow these steps
1 - Have your voice tested by Eunice, the lead choral director for the class, for section assignment. Participation in the choir assumes you can carry a tune, have a reasonable choral tone and preferably be able to read music. The level of music we sing is at a college choir level.
******If you are accepted into the choir after your voice testing******
2 - Eunice will introduce you to a member of our orientation team.
3– The orientation team will help you with these important first steps.
- They will help you fill in a member information sheet (separate document) so we have all the necessary information. This is important as email is the main way we keep you informed on various aspects of the choir and its activities, especially what to prepare for in rehearsals and performances.
- They will get you a name tag.
- They will introduce you to other members of your section and the choir.
- They will help you get your music and music folder
- They will help you register for the class.
- They will review this document and the actions needed to be a good member with you.
- They will answer any questions you have or get answers if they don’t know.
4 - Most of what you need to know about the choir is also on the website http://www.pacificaires.org/ The password to the member area – whywesing
- Pacificaires - We meet every Thursday morning during the school year in Garman Hall at the Christ Lutheran Church, 4761 Cass Street, Pacific Beach. The full chorus meets from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, unless otherwise notified. The half hours from 9 am to 9:30 am and 11:30 to 12 noon are usually reserved for small group (ensemble) rehearsals.
- The Cedar Center Chorus, also conducted by Eunice, meets on Monday’s from 9:30–11:30 in the music room at First United Methodist Church, 2111 Camino del Rio S, San Diego (Mission Valley). You are welcome to join this group for extra practice; the two groups perform together at concerts in December and June.
- Be on time to start rehearsal – 9:30 am. That means please be seated and ready to warm-up.
- Attendance Sheet - Always please sign the attendance sheet when arriving to rehearsal and concerts. The sign-up sheet during rehearsal is located on the front table near the entrance in both locations. Sign-up sheets at performances will be passed around for your signature. Attendance is reported to the District and daily class size affects the District’s funding from the State.
- Name Tag - Please wear your name tag so others can get to know you. See your orientation team member for this.
- Music - Make sure you have all your music with you and sorted so you can access it easily. All original scores must be turned in at the end of the semester along with your music folder.
- Music Folder – everyone should have their own numbered and logoed music folder. You may use it for everyday use or use something else and save it for concert performances. You will be given this free of charge, paid for by the choir. If you lose it, we will have to ask for $20 to replace it. The music in your folder was organized alphabetically by title. You may find it helpful to use notebook dividers and tags to separate the pieces. Some people like to use post-its along the edge of the music, others like to have an alphabet notebook divider system so all the A titles go in one section and so on. Find a system that keeps you organized and makes it easy to find the music we are working on.
- Pencil-Pencil-Pencil – you will need a pencil with an eraser during every rehearsal to note difficult passages, dynamic markings, repeats, etc in your score, along with any changes to the score (cuts, repeats, etc) that the director chooses to make. The music folder committee did us all a favor by providing a pencil in each and every music folder. You can’t remember all the special instructions that come up during rehearsal. Think of the time we will be able to use toward making expressive music instead of repeating and repeating and…repeating singing mistakes.
- Rehearsal Song order - Check the song list posted on the board for the rehearsal order. Have your music in order to avoid any delays.
- Courtesy Prior to 9:30 am when ensembles are rehearsing, please keep all your conversations to a whisper. Report to sectionals and ensemble practice on time at the time indicated by the director.
- Rehearsal CD’s and tapes are available for your practice at home. See your section leader for these. Purchase and regularly use the rehearsal music CD’s Eunice creates for each semester’s music. The music is also available on the website www.pacificaires.org in the Member Area in the Music Downloads section.
- Highlighting - a good idea but is allowed on the photocopied scores only. Use only pencil to mark original scores. Make your own photocopy if you want to do highlighting.
- Concert music order - will be given by Eunice and we all rearrange our music according to that order as the performance nears. There are always programs available on the day of a concert too. If you have difficulty with turning pages a finger cot will help, or wind a rubber band around the tip of your index finger to give yourself some traction.
- Good posture - Sitting, in rehearsals - both feet on the floor, no crossed legs -back straight and away from the back of the chair Standing - one leg slightly in front - top of folder up to about the chin knees loose, shoulders relaxed.
- Talking - Practice basic courtesy. When a director is talking, all people in the choir should be listening so they can know what is expected, what changes are being made, where we are in the music, etc. If you have a question or need a clarification, raise your hand and be recognized. It’s likely others have the same question or concern. Listen to the questions and comments from other choir members as they may be asking your question. Don’t make the director answer the same questions multiple times. IFFFF you must talk with your neighbor, please whisper so the instructions are not being drowned out.
- Solos – will be auditioned. Ask Eunice if you are interested in soloing.
- Practice outside of Rehearsal - For most choir members the ability to correctly perform the music will need more than the face time we get in rehearsal. You are encouraged to use the MP3 downloads on the website and the CD’s when provided to reinforce what you learn at rehearsal. If you have questions about your music don’t hesitate to ask your section leaders for help. This is a team sport and requires team work. Be excited to produce more and have more expected of YOU. We are all here for the joy of singing and the fun really escalates when we do all we can to prepare well.
Other important items
- Non-solicitation - We have a non-solicitation policy with members, both in person and online.
- Scent Free - Please do not wear any perfumes or scented lotions, etc to rehearsals or performances There are members who are allergic to both men’s and women’s fragrances.. We provide a scent-free environment for our members.
- Coffee, other beverages and refreshments are available at rehearsals during intermission. A small donation is requested. Donations also cover the cost of paper goods and plastic ware. Some people prefer to make a monthly donation rather than a weekly donation. Donations can be placed in the small green metal box near the hot water urns. Members often bring refreshments – cookies, crackers, fruit, etc to share with all to celebrate birthdays, etc.
- Free parking is available on the church parking lots. For the Pacificaires rehearsals please be sure to observe the parking signs posted on the streets near the church in Pacific Beach, especially on the first Thursday of each month when they clean the streets. The city will ticket automobiles parked illegally.
- If you are selected for an ensemble the expectation is that you will not miss more than three rehearsals in a semester and not miss more than two in a row to provide continuity. Check the schedule for the times your ensemble practices.
- If you are planning to travel during the semester, please forgo participating during that semester and rejoin again when you are able to commit to the group.
- If you are selected for an ensemble you are expected to perform off-book (without music in front of you). Begin work on the piece early and expect to have it memorized 8 weeks before the main concert.
- If you are unable to commit to these guidelines please let Eunice know so she can find someone who can replace you. Please don’t wait to be replaced after the first month of the semester.
- Only ensembles that well represent their members’ talents and abilities will perform.
Performances - None at the present moment. Until further notice - If any.
- You must earn your place to sing at public performances. The directors will let you know if you are ready to perform with the full choir in concert. You should not assume because you are rehearsing that you will be asked to perform.
- We have two major performances a year – one usually on a Saturday afternoon in mid-December and one at the end of the Spring semester, usually on a Saturday afternoon in early June. We will need several volunteers for setup and tear-down for these events. Please help when we ask for volunteers. During each semester we also do several shorter performances around San Diego.
- Safety/Wellbeing - Keeping performance venues safe is a key issue for our choir. Please be aware of your surroundings: take note of potential hazards such as stairs, furniture, and especially wires and cords and navigate carefully. Keep your belongings from blocking the aisles. Please slow down, watch for others and minimize the urge to multitask when moving around. Ask for help getting around if you need it. Report any hazards or problems to one of the Directors. If you don’t feel well (difficulty breathing, over-heating, feeling faint), tell Eunice and take a break. It’s important you are registered for the course when it comes to this so proper liability can be accounted for, in case of accidents.
- Costumes - If you are new make sure you know what the dress requirements are for performances. It may vary depending on the venue and the time of year. Ask your section leaders. Currently we are wearing black slacks, black long sleeve collared shirts, black shoes and socks. You will be provided with ties (men) and scarves (women).
- Off Book – This is a recommendation, not a mandatory rule. All members should strive to be as ‘off book’ as possible as it makes us more professional performers and allows us to connect better with our audiences.
- Digital Support – The Choir has a Facebook page and a website to help us publicize our work and provide member support. Like us and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pacificaires/ . Check out the choir website at http://www.pacificaires.org/ Learn more about our past, get to know the people, check out the photos and access the Member Area to download the music we sing and learn more about the choir. The password for the member area is ‘whywesing’.
- Key contacts – Registration – volunteer needed, Music and Music Folders, volunteer needed, Facebook – Mike Wenck, Costumes (scarves/ties) – Vicki Moore, Website – Ellie Vivino, Orientation team members – Ellie Vivino, Pam Deegan, Denny Howe
- Steering Committee – A steering committee is in place to help manage the affairs of the choir. Current Steering Committee members are:
- There is no charge for taking this class. You will have to have a performance outfit, currently a black pair of slacks, a long sleeved, collared black shirt and black shoes and socks.
- Volunteer - Volunteer to help out with refreshment duty when it is your sections turn to prep/cleanup. Volunteer to be a part of the steering committee or support teams from time to time.
- If you have ideas to improve the choir please submit them to your section leader or the steering committee.
- This document has most of what you need to know to make your participation easier. Keep it in your music folder for reference. Be sure to ask a member of the orientation team or steering committee any questions you may have.
Thank you for joining our choral group. We hope it is a rewarding experience for everyone. We welcome you and encourage you to ask Eunice, Pat, Stewart or any of our other leaders if you have questions.
1. Music Folder Number (to be completed by choir librarian)
Music Folder Number
Auditioned with Eunice
Introduced to Appropriate Section Leader
Informed of Orientation Date and Materials
Given Music Scores and Folder
Enrolled in Class(es)
Given Scarf/Bowtie from Vicki Moore; Informed of Costumes
Completed Information for Address Book and Email Person
Introduced to President for Introductory Information