Chorus Handbook

Thank you for your interest in the Community Chorus of Detroit. Following is the information you will need to participate in the chorus. Please contact us (info@communitychorusofdetroit.com) if you have any questions.

HANDBOOK CONTENTS

OVERVIEW

The CCD welcomes singers from throughout the Metro Detroit area. Please refer to “Membership/Register” on our website for specific requirements and note that the CCD is a non-auditioned ensemble, but it includes many experienced singers. To register, please read the page entitled “Register.” Although the chorus is an enjoyable social experience for its members, it maintains a serious approach with regard to musical standards and commitment.

REHEARSAL & CONCERT SCHEDULE – Fall, 2017

All regular rehearsals are at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church (info below) on Sunday afternoons from 1:30-4:00.
Regular Rehearsals:
September 10, 17, 24
October 1, 22, 29  (No rehearsals on 10/8 and 10/15 as the CCD Touring Choir will be in England.)
November 5, 12, 19, 26
December 3
Concert Week non-Sunday dates:
Monday, 12/4, (1:00-3:00 set-up  with CCD volunteer crew)
Dress Rehearsal: Tuesday, 12/5, in Sanctuary, 6:00-9:30 (5:45 chorister call time)
Concert#1: Friday, 12/8,  7:30 (6:00 chorister call time)
Concert#2: Saturday, 12/9, 4:00 (3:00 chorister call time)

*Rehearsals in red, above, are open house rehearsals for prospective members; please contact us for info: info@communitychorusofdetroit.com.

REPERTOIRE (performed with orchestra) – Fall, 2017 

“Gloria” from Mass in B minor – J.S. Bach
“Let Us Break Bread Together” (SSAA) – arr. Edward Maki-Schramm
“Oh Freedom!” – South African folk song
“Even When He is Silent” – Arnesen
Three excerpts from The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace – Sir Karl Jenkins
“Save Me from Bloody Men” (TTBB)
“Agnus Dei”
“Benedictus”
“Dona Nobis Pacem” from Mass in B minor – J.S. Bach
“Laudate Dominum” from Vespers Service – Mozart
“Ave Maria” (TTBB) – Biebl
“Baba Yetu” – Christopher Tin
Symphony #9, 4th movement (choral – “Ode to Joy”) – Beethoven

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE VENUE

All rehearsals and performances are at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church, 8625 E. Jefferson Avenue, Detroit 48214. The church is located at the corner of Burns and E. Jefferson in the heart Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood. There is secure parking in the church lot on Burns. Please check directions prior to the first rehearsal.

Rehearsal Room Location: Most rehearsals will take place in Dodge Hall at the church. Information about any changes will be provided in the chorus’ weekly Wednesday Notes. Enter the building through the back door, off the parking lot. Go up the few stairs and follow the hallway to Dodge Hall.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

We ask choristers to be conscientious about rehearsal attendance, with a two-absence maximum per semester (fall or spring). In order to participate in the performances with more than two rehearsal absences, please check with our conductor, Ed Maki-Schramm.

REHEARSAL GUIDELINES
Choristers are asked to observe the following guidelines at rehearsals. Please:
  • Arrive a few minutes early, so that we may begin on time.
  • Only bring bottled water for a beverage.
  • If you are providing a snack for the chorus, the pastor asks that we avoid items that would stain if spilled.
  • Bring a pencil each week to put conductor’s notes in your music.
  • Procure a plain black, standard-sized ring binder or professional music folder for your music. A good source for a professional-quality folder is www.musicfolder.com (604-733-3995) in Vancouver, Canada. The folder with the hand strap, detachable bottom strap, black elastic bands, and three-ring adapter is excellent.
  • Restrict talking to a minimum during rehearsals.
  • If you miss a rehearsal, please arrange to get the conductor’s notes from your section coordinator or an experienced singer in your section before the next rehearsal.
SECTION COORDINATORS
Section coordinators are responsible for:
  • Welcoming new members and helping them to become acquainted with other choristers
  • Having all conductor’s notes for their section in their music
  • Being available to share conductor’s notes with section members who miss a rehearsal
PERFORMANCE GUIDELINES
Singers are asked to observe the following guidelines at performances. Please:
  • Bring your music in a black folder and hold it in your upstage hand when entering and exiting the stage.
  • Raise and lower your music folder when our conductor steps onto or down from the podium.
  • Avoid talking on stage.
  • Avoid wearing fragrances – both ladies and gentlemen.
  • Turn the pages of your music as quietly as possible.
  • Do not leave valuables in your car; there will be a locked room available for singers’ valuables, which will be announced prior to the performance dates.
PERFORMANCE ATTIRE

…is worn for concerts, but not for the dress rehearsal.
Ladies: Long-sleeved black top/blouse and ankle-length black skirt (or pants) OR long-sleeved, ankle-length black dress. One option for attire is this mail-order company, which offers reasonable prices and a wide selection of ladies’ black performance attire: Formal Fashions, Inc. in Arizona; 800-528-7909 or www.formalfashionsinc.com.
Gentlemen: Tux or tux look: white shirt, black or dark suit (or jacket/pants), and solid, dark bow tie (not long tie).
Ladies and gentlemen: Black stockings and black shoes.

SINGERS’ COSTS
Following are the costs of participating in the chorus.
  • Dues are $50 each for the fall and spring seasons, or $80 for both the fall and spring seasons if paid in full with fall registration. In either case, dues are paid upon registration. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact Diane Linn, who is authorized on behalf of our board to make confidential arrangements with a limited number of fellowships:
    info@communitychorusofdetroit.com.
  • Dues include each singer’s own scores. However, there may be a limited amount of music to print from emailed PDFs. This is either copyright-free music or we have borrowed scores that we will not use for these works, so we are covered under copyright law.
  • Each singer will need a black folder and concert attire (above).
  • Miscellaneous optional items, for a nominal fee may include but are not limited to: afterglow following the final concert, recording of our concert, etc.
TAX BENEFITS FOR CHORISTERS

Because the CCD is a 501c3 organization, we enjoy special tax benefits. As a CCD chorister, your vehicle mileage to and from rehearsals, performances, and other CCD functions is tax deductible.  Any choristers’ donations or patronages (in excess of the regular cost of tickets) are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

FINANCIAL NUTS & BOLTS
The CCD is an independent, self-sustaining State of Michigan not-for-profit organization with federal 501c3 status. Our costs for each concert semester – fall and spring – are in the tens of thousands of dollars, which we, as chorus members, must generate in order to sustain the chorus. This total includes building rental, professional fees for music personnel (our professional musicians, including orchestra), printing, building and orchestra-score rental, etc. While we work hard to advertise our performances so that outside ticket sales, plus a limited amount of grant funding and our fundraising activities will assist us in meeting our budget, the primary responsibility for generating revenue rests with chorus members. Because we are an independent chorus without any organizational subsidy, our tickets are comparable in price to other similar, self-supporting ensembles. Our necessary goal in order to be sustainable is to average 15 tickets sold/chorister/semester, minimum. For those who are able, it is helpful to exceed this amount in order to meet our average. If we make any profit, the money is rolled over to our next season to sustain our program. We accomplish our financial goals by asking our choristers to support the chorus in the following ways, as possible:
  • Selling tickets. While we do not have minimum required ticket sales, we ask our choristers to be conscientious about ticket sales and do their utmost.
  • Purchasing and/or promoting the sale of concert patronages. Choristers are especially encouraged, if they are able, to purchase a patronage, which offers preferred guest seating and recognition in the program; this is an excellent way to support the chorus.
  • Purchasing and/or selling program ads – either business or personal
  • Supporting any fundraisers; info TBA
TICKET SALES
Concert tickets are numbered paper tickets, which may be purchased in the following ways:
  • From chorus members, all of whom receive tickets to sell.
  • Through Paypal, online
  • By mail
  • At the door, by check or cash

Tickets ordered online or by mail will be held at the door; there will be no mailed tickets. We have open seating except for patrons, who have reserved, front-section seating. Further information about ticket sales will be provided closer to the time of our concerts.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

Our Executive Director, Diane Linn, will send the CCD Wednesday Notes to all chorus members each Wednesday during our fall and spring seasons with information for the next rehearsal.

RECRUITING

We welcome all new chorus members, both men and women, if you have friends who would like to join the chorus, and we especially encourage recruitment of experienced singers. Please refer prospective choristers to our website, in particular to Membership/Register, and our mission statement under About Us, and note our registration deadlines.

AD CARDS

We offer ad cards to our singers to assist with concert ticket sales. Details about availability of the cards will be sent by email to chorus members.

PAYMENT & REGISTRATION DEADLINES

A dues fee for all choristers, $50 for our fall or spring semester or $80 for both seasons (paid with fall registration only), is due at the time of registration (to have scores at the first rehearsal), or by the end of the second rehearsal. This fee includes the cost of each singer’s scores, except for some music that may need to be individually printed by choristers (info above).

To register and pay: Please see the registration form on our site for instructions. The deadline for registration is Sunday, September 17, at the conclusion of the rehearsal. Singers who would like to register after this date should contact Diane Linn (info@communitychorusofdetroit.com) to inquire about late registration and ordering music individually. Please register and pay dues in advance to be assured of having your scores by the first rehearsal; however, we may have a limited number of extra scores at the first rehearsal, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Refunds: If you need to drop out of the chorus, we will work out a fair refund with the fullest amount possible, depending upon the timing.