Memphis Symphony Chorus Policies & Procedures
DR. LAWRENCE EDWARDS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
All prospective members of the Memphis Symphony Chorus must participate in an audition with the director to determine if the individual has the musical skills necessary to be a contributing member of the chorus. All decisions regarding membership in the chorus are at the discretion of the director. All individuals selected as chorus members are expected to make a contribution to the chorus and abide by its policies and procedures. Inappropriate conduct, abusive behavior, or actions that affect other chorus members’ experiences and detract from the overall musical performance will not be tolerated. Members engaging in such behavior will be asked to resign from the chorus.
Chorus rehearsals begin promptly at 7:00 pm at Balmoral Presbyterian Church. You will be notified in advance of a change of location for rehearsals. Please allow at least 10 to 15 minutes before rehearsal starts to sign in on the attendance sheet, take care of any chorus business, socialize a little, and be in your seat ready to sing at the scheduled time.
A schedule for rehearsals is distributed prior to the beginning of every season, although changes may occur throughout the year. Additional copies of rehearsal/performance schedules are available from the director. Complimentary parking passes for orchestra rehearsals and concert performances will be given to chorus members as necessary.
ALL CHORUS MEMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL REHEARSALS AND PERFORM IN ALL CONCERT PERFORMANCES FOR THE REGULAR CONCERT SEASON. The number of absences permitted per concert preparation period is determined by the Director at the beginning of rehearsals for each concert. An announcement will be made regarding absences allowed at the beginning of the season. Make-up rehearsals are usually scheduled to assist individuals with attendance problems. Individuals with more than the allowable number of absences will be dropped from the sign-in sheet and will be ineligible to sing that concert.
Attendance at all orchestra rehearsals and concert performances is mandatory. Permission to be absent from any orchestra rehearsal or performance must come solely from the director with consultation from the executive committee. Permission to miss an orchestra rehearsal or performance is not easily obtained. Being present for last minute changes and artistic interpretations with the conductor and orchestra is a vital requirement for a cohesive performance.
Being late for rehearsal is unacceptable. Three tardies will result in the equivalent of one absence.
When rehearsals run longer than 90 minutes, a break will be called by the Director. Please do not use break time as a convenient vehicle for leaving rehearsal early. At the conclusion of the break, chorus members are to move quickly to their seats, cease conversation, and get back to the business of making beautiful music.
You will be notified by email if rehearsals are canceled due to bad weather. You may also call 678-3767 for a recording that should indicate the status of rehearsals and performances due to inclement weather.
MUSIC AND ITS CARE
Our librarian issues music to all chorus members at rehearsals. Each piece of music will have a number which the chorus member should document. Each chorus member is responsible for the replacement cost of any music issued to him/her that should become lost or irreparably damaged. All marking must be in pencil, unless you purchase and use your own score. The music is being provided to chorus members by the Memphis Orchestral Society. DO NOT USE PENS OR OTHER MARKERS TO MARK YOU SCORES! ALWAYS BE SURE YOU BRING A PENCIL TO EACH REHEARSAL. ALL ISSUED MUSIC MUST BE RETURNED IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FINAL PERFORMANCE.
The current concert attire for women is a full-length, long-sleeved, black dress. The full cost of the dress is to paid before the chorus member may receive the dress. Information about ordering a dress and arranging for payments is available from the board member in charge of attire.
Men’s attire is a black tuxedo. Jacket lapels can be shawl, peak, or notched lapels. This 100% wool tux can be ordered through the chorus and can be purchased through a payment plan. Men must also wear a white shirt with the wing collar and black bow tie. Information about ordering a tux and arranging for payments is available from the board member in charge of attire.
CONCERT DRESS ACCESSORIES
Women may wear non-dangling, white pearl earrings and white pearl necklaces, without rhinestones, diamonds, or other reflective material. Hair combs or other hair accessories should be discrete and non-reflective. Shoes may be of any height (no more than 2" heels are suggested for comfort) and should be black.
Men’s cufflinks and shirt studs should be non-reflective, and no four square (handkerchief) should be worn in the tux jacket pocket unless clearly specified. Men’s shoes and socks should be dark in color.
USE OF FRAGRANCE AND PERSONAL HYGIENE
CHORUS MEMBERS ARE NOT TO WEAR FRAGRANCE IN THE FORM OF PERFUMES, STRONG HAIR SPRAY, SHAVING COLOGNE, ETC. AT ANY REHEARSAL OR PERFORMANCE.
Many people are allergic to fragrant products; this allergy can prove damaging to the serious singer’s vocal cords, not to mention the miserable symptoms. Also, it is critically important that chorus members practice appropriate hygiene by bathing regularly and using deodorants. We are often all in very close proximity and it is very important that chorus members take the time to be thoughtful and considerate regarding personal hygiene and the use of fragrances.
The Board of the Memphis Symphony Chorus consists of 15 elected chorus members who have shown an interest in the organization by their involvement in its continued development. All chorus members are encouraged to involve themselves in the “whole choral experience,” from musical performance to participation on project committees, as section leaders, and ultimately, as elected board members.
Don’t hesitate to take an interest; there will be numerous opportunities for volunteer work which will be presented during the year. GET INVOLVED AND HAVE FUN!