Frequently Asked Questions
WheN do you meet?
Our regular rehearsal time is Monday nights from 7:00pm to 9:30pm, but right before concerts, we may have additional dress rehearsals. Our first rehearsal of the 2018-19 season will be September 10, 2018 at 7pm. If you’re new to the choir, please arrive a bit earlier to get oriented!
Where do you meet?
The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, at 603 Wellington Crescent. The church is centrally located by the Maryland Bridge (corner of Wellington and Academy). It is serviced by a number of bus routes. There is a parking lot with stalls for people with disabilities, and a bike rack to lock up bikes.
The building is also fully accessible: there is a wheelchair ramp to the main doors, which have entry and exit buttons, and an accessible, gender-neutral washroom on the main level.
Do I have to be a good singer to join the choir?
Not at all, but you should be interested in learning more about music and singing! The choir is made up of people from all musical backgrounds—from those who have been in choirs all their lives to those who have never sung a note. As a choir we all commit to practicing and striving to improve musically, but no matter where you are starting from, you are welcome!
How is the choir organized?
The choir has 4 singing sections for members, ranging from higher to lower voices: sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. Each section has 1 or 2 section leaders who send out communications to their sections, organize sectional practices, etc.
RHP is led by an Artistic Director who plans the repertoire and concerts and conducts the songs. We have an accompanist who plays piano for us, and we sometimes hire guest musicians to accompany us in performances.
We also have many volunteers who work behind the scenes: a board of directors who oversee operational, governance and financial matters of the choir; a Music Team that supports the Artistic Director in music selection and performance planning; rehearsal assistants who assist the Artistic Director with the music library and at rehearsals; and many more volunteers who make our concerts a success!
Are there auditions?
There are no auditions. Everyone is encouraged to choose the section that they are most comfortable singing in (soprano, alto, tenor or bass). On occasion, to find the right place for your voice, you may be asked to sing briefly for the Artistic Director, but your musical ability will not be evaluated. Also, some songs have small group or solo parts, so if you are interested in singing those parts, you would need to audition at that time.
Can I be a member of the choir and not sing?
Yes! We have a number of “5th section” members who pay their membership fee and perform a variety of tasks for the choir.
Can I join the choir if I don’t identify as LGBTQ2*?
YES! We welcome all those who want to be part of the choir, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or relationship status. In fact, many of our choir members are straight and allies of the LGBTQ2* community. Our diversity is what makes us stronger!
Do I have to be an adult to join the choir?
We love to have members of all ages join the choir, and youth are encouraged to join too! If you are under the age of 18, you require signed permission from a parent or guardian. All members must still pay the membership fee, regardless of age.
How much does it cost to join?
The full season is $175 and runs from September through May. The season is divided into 2 terms ($75 for the fall term, and $100 for the winter term, in case you can’t commit to paying for the full year up front). This year our terms run September-January and February-May.
To make the choir accessible for all no matter your financial situation, there is the option of Energy Exchange for all or part of the fee (see below for more details). Tax receipts are issued for all paid membership fees and/or donations over and above the fee. To register, visit our Member Registration page!
Can you tell me more about the Energy Exchange program?
This is a program designed for those who are unable to pay the full membership fee. EE participants are encouraged to pay what they can, and make up the rest by volunteering their time to the choir according to their abilities. To be considered for the program, you must fill out an application form. If your application is approved, you will become a full member of the choir. The choir allows for up to 6 members to participate in the EE program at a time.
All participants must also fill out a report at the end of each term to demonstrate the work they have done as an EE participant. Note that volunteering as a board member is not permitted under the EE program. If you are an EE participant and would like to serve on the board, you will need to take on additional volunteer tasks outside of your board role. For more information, please contact Lola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to register before I come?
We encourage all who are interested to come check out the choir for 1 or 2 rehearsals, and if you decide that the choir is a good fit for you, then you must register and pay the fee. This is normally done in the first month of each term (September and February for the 2018-19 season).
How much of a time commitment is the choir?
We have weekly rehearsals on Mondays from 7:00-9:30pm, with an extra rehearsal or two right before our big concerts, and occasional sectional practices. We also sing in several shorter community-based concerts and fundraisers and hold a couple of afternoon retreats throughout the year. All singing members are expected to attend as many rehearsals, sectionals and extra concerts as possible in order to be prepared for our end-of-term concerts.
Do I have to buy the music?
All music and performance binders are loaned to members, and must be returned at the end of the term or season in which the music is sung.
Do I have to memorize the songs?
Maybe. Ultimately this is up to the director and depends on how difficult the songs are, and whether there is movement involved when performing. Some simpler songs will be off-book (memorized), but we definitely use our music when performing more complicated songs or songs in other languages. We always have ample time to practice any music that we need to memorize!
What do you wear for performances?
Generally all black dress clothes, along with a specific accent colour, to be determined by the director. Each member is responsible for finding their own performance clothes.
What if I have more questions?
If one of your questions isn’t answered above, please contact Laura, our Membership Director, at email@example.com.