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Girls' Choir of Wilmington Concert Etiquette

A Choir should behave as a single entity, not as a group of individuals. To this end we should all be performing to the same standards. The purpose of this handbook is to provide a set of guidelines to Choir members on what is required of us when presenting a concert so that we can give the best possible impression of the Choir through a consistent and professional performance for our audience. Weekly rehearsals are the occasions when we as individuals come together to express our love of singing and to have some fun and enjoyment in doing so with like-minded individuals. Concerts are special. They are the occasions when our self- expression through singing and enjoyment through music is offered to the public for their enjoyment. To do this to the best of our ability we need to act as a team and to blend our individualities into a uniform whole.

Music Knowledge

All members are expected to do their best to memorize the words and music of all songs to be sung during a concert. It is the Choir's agreed policy to sing concerts from memory with exceptions specified by the Conductor. Singing from memory is a proven way to have undivided communication with the Conductor (Sandy Errante) so that the Choir's interpretation of the music can be clearly communicated with the audience. To enhance the audience's experience of their performance, members should be aware of the meaning of the words being sung. This understanding of the text as well as of the music will enable their performance to have appropriate expression through their singing, their facial expression and their stance. Every song tells a story and it is the duty of the choir as a whole to convey this story to the audience.

Use of Folders

During a concert, folders will be used only as indicated by the Conductor (Sandy). It is essential for a good presentation that all members of the Choir act together. When asked to stand or to sit members should respond as one entity. On standing to sing, members should hold their folders in their right hands. They should look at the Conductor for a direction to open their folders and to raise them. Whilst still looking at the Conductor members should raise their folders to a point at which they can see not only the Conductor but also the music. Eye contact should be maintained with the Conductor with only brief glances at the music to aid the memory. Folders should be closed immediately on direction from the Conductor. Entry To and Exit from the Stage: All members should arrive at the concert venue by the requested time to listen to a final briefing and to participate in a warm-up. The briefing will include the manner of entry to and exit from the stage. Members will then form up and proceed as advised. When proceeding onto or exiting the stage folders will be carried in the right hand with the spine downwards.

Behavior on Stage

Members must not talk amongst each other once inside the concert room. On reaching the stage members should initially sit and place folders across the knees with the spine on their knees, the body and hands holding the front. They must not open or refer to the folders whilst seated. Eyes Forward.

Stance

Correct stance whilst singing is important, firstly to create and project the correct sound but also to ensure all members of the choir look uniform, and all choir members should maintain a good stance to the best of their ability. The chin should be about parallel to the floor, shoulders should be held back and down, with chest held high, but not in a strained position. Abdomen should be flat and firm, held in an expandable position, hands should be relaxed and still at the sides. Knees should be flexibly loose, and never locked, feet should be about shoulder width apart, with one slightly in front of the other. The weight of the body should be slightly forward.

Fainting

To minimize the chance of fainting, members must eat and drink sufficiently before singing. All efforts will be made by the Board to monitor the temperature of the performance area. Members are advised to look out for others who become pale during a performance. Parents must include in the confidential Medical Release Form any reason why their child maybe susceptible to fainting. There is a safety protocol in place if health concerns should arise.

Behavior in Church

Be quiet and respectful when in a church. Don't stand on pews or other church furnishings. Don't use church notecards to pass notes during service. Pay attention to the people leading the Worship service. Parents need to sign a consent for children to receive communion.

Dress Code

High standards of dress and appearance are expected. We do not want to distract the audience by calling attention to any individual. Please ensure the dress is clean and wrinkle free. Shoes must be plain, black flat shoes - not patent or shiny. Hair should be neat and tidy and pulled back from the eyes and face. Please be mindful that flashy bows, clips and jewelry of any kind are regarded as distractions.

Make-up should not draw attention and be ‘natural’. Nail polish is not allowed. Piercings can be small studs and ears only.

Dress Code for Rehearsals

High standards of dress and appearance are expected. We rehearse in a church facility. Please be respectful and dress as if attending a church function.

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