Do I need to audition?
The Choral Society of NEPA operates under the guidance of two principal philosophies: “Artistry through Opportunity” and “Excellence through Education.” In short, if you love singing and choral music and are willing to work hard on behalf of both of those accounts, then we want you to be a part of our musical family. Of course, we still need to hear you (or your child) sing and try a few musical skills, but rest assured, we are on your side each step of the way.
But do I need to read music?
While that skill is always a plus, we don’t expect it of our adult, youth, or child members. We supply our adults with professional section leaders at all rehearsals/performances, and with audio recordings to assist their learning of more difficult pieces. And, we teach our children and youth to read music as part of their weekly rehearsal process, providing them not only with great musical and community experiences, but with a life-time skill.
New members are always welcomed at the start of each fall and spring semester. We suggest that you (1) look over our CSNEPA Adult Calendar 2019 2020 and if it looks doable , then simply attend one of the first two rehearsals, borrow a set of music, join the vocal section where you think you will be most comfortable singing, and “audition” us. If you enjoy yourself, consider that to be a good omen and speak with the director at the conclusion of the rehearsal. They will ask you to declare any conflicts you foresee with the rehearsal/performance schedule, and perhaps guide you in singing some simple scales (to determine your vocal range and color) and allow you to sing some of the musical passages you just rehearsed. That’s it!
New singers are invited to join us for their first semester free-of-charge; no tuition need be paid, though the music must still be purchased.
Continuing members thereafter pay per-semester tuition of $75.00 to help underwrite the cost of director, accompanist, those professional section-leaders, and rehearsal space. In return, each paying member receives 2 tickets to a society-produced concert of their choice. Members also purchase and retain their own musical scores at a per-semester cost of $ 15.00 – $25.00. Women also purchase a required black “top” to wear in performance with black slacks or long skirt of their choice while men wear tuxedo or black suit with a black bow tie.
Attendance is expected at all rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances, though prior conflicts will be considered for approval by the director when they are reasonable and declared before the start of each semester. Any member who misses more than two rehearsals may be asked by the director to either step aside from the performance or demonstrate their mastery of the music.
New members are always welcomed at the start of each fall and spring semester. To arrange for a brief interview/audition, please call our director of children’s & youth programs, Becky Burdett, or send us an email using the “Contact Us” page on this website.
At your child’s interview and audition, they will be asked to sing some simple scales and to hear and repeat some short melodies and rhythms. Our directors will also use this time to determine if they believe your child has the attention span and social skills to insure their enjoyment of rehearsal. While they’re singing, you’ll have the chance to get some additional information and fill out some paperwork. We are looking to encourage and educate young singers, so previous musical experience is not necessary.
Per-semester tuition is $ 100.00, with a 50% discount ($ 50.00) for additional siblings. All singers have the opportunity each semester to defray their tuition cost through a voluntary candy sale or other such fundraiser, with each box (48 bars) of candy sold resulting in a $ 24.00 credit towards the semester’s tuition. Each of our children’s & youth ensembles has a performance uniform, but every effort is made to keep this cost minimal though maintaining a stock of previously-worn uniforms.
To help insure the safety of children during rehearsals and performances, each parent is asked to contribute one evening per semester to work as a “parent on duty.”