If you been to a rehearsal or two, and you're ready to take the plunge, here's what to do:
1. Tell the Membership Chair you're interested. She'll set up a time with the Director for an audition, usually before or after rehearsal.
2. Sing for your audition. An audition consists of singing the audition song in your voice part, without sheet music, in a quartet with the other three parts.
3. When you have passed your audition (you can try more than once), the Treasurer will contact you with information about ways to pay your international, area, and chapter dues (see Financial Commitment below). She will register you with Harmony, Inc.
St. Louis Vocal Project is a chapter of Harmony, Incorporated, an international non-profit organization whose purpose is to empower all women through education, friendship, and a cappella singing in the barbershop style. Our chapter belongs to Area 4 of Harmony, Inc., which covers Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and even a chapter in California.
Each year we compete in the Area 4 Convention and Contest (AC&C) in June, If our score is high enough, we will qualify to compete at the Harmony, Inc. International Convention and Contest (IC&C). We also look for opportunities to perform at community events and local venues around St. Louis.
The chorus is run by a Music Team and an Executive Committee, who together manage the music and non-music operations of the chorus. The key contacts for prospective members are:
Sandi Wright, Music Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-303-0877)
Susie Slavney, President (email@example.com, 314-443-4584)
Diane Abou, Membership Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org, 667-216-4362)
All members have access to the music on this web site and in a Dropbox folder. (Guests have access to a limited set of audition songs and vocal warmups.) You should print out the PDFs of the sheet music for your own use. It’s not necessary to be able to read music: learning tracks (MP3 files) are provided for each voice part. Most members download these to their phones, but if this doesn’t work for you, someone can put them on a CD for you. Regular attendance is an important factor in learning our music. The Director will help us learn the interpretation of new songs at rehearsals.
Each member is expected to learn the notes and words of the music on her own time. At rehearsals you should be ready to sing your part of any song in the repertoire. New songs should be “off the paper” – memorized – after a couple of weeks. Even after you know the music, you should practice on your own every week, applying what you learned at rehearsal.
For newcomers, learning the entire repertoire will take time. Just listening to the learning files whenever possible (while driving the car, while working out, while you cook, etc.) will help you learn a number of songs quickly.
You may come to rehearsals as a guest as long as you need to., but we hope after two or three visits you are ready to audition. When you are ready, let the Membership Chair know so she can schedule a time before or after rehearsal. You will audition in front of the Director (or a listener of her choosing). You will be required to sing your part in a quartet with no written or recorded music. It will be a private audition with just the other three parts to accompany you in front of the Director. You may choose your audition song from the songs available to guests on the web site, and you should let the Director know your choice when scheduling the audition.
Although each of us finds it necessary to miss rehearsal now and then, barbershop music relies heavily on regular attendance. Songs are often refined and reinterpreted long after they are first taught. Songs you learned long ago need to be practiced regularly to remain vibrant. If you are interested in joining the chorus but you have to miss a rehearsal, please let the Membership Chair know at email@example.com.
Harmony, Inc. has annual International dues of $65 and Area dues of $6. St. Louis Vocal Project chapter dues are $10 monthly, and members can pay their chapter dues monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Upon joining, new members are asked to pay the annual Harmony Incorporated International dues of $65 ($33 if age 25 or under) and Area 4 dues of $6. (The joining fee is cut in half if the member is joining in the second half of the fiscal year, October through March.) In the following years each member’s annual International and Area dues will be paid for her by the chorus, using her accumulated chapter dues . The remainder of the chapter dues is used for chorus expenses such as new music and costumes,
Occasionally members are asked to provide or purchase a part of their costumes, such as a scarf or a T-shirt. We do our best to keep member expenses low.
We compete in the annual Harmony Inc. Area 4 contest the second week in June in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Members are responsible for their travel costs, shared hotel rooms, and All-Events-Passes. If our contest score is high enough, we are eligible to attend Harmony Inc. International Contest in November (location varies each year) if we choose to go. We have a system for members to earn points for participation in chorus activities, and points will be turned into dollars payable to each member to offset the cost of going to International.
The Janet Johnston Memorial Scholarship is offered to qualified singers age 25 and under to offset some or all of the International, Area, and chapter dues.
If the financial commitment is a hardship for you, please talk privately with the President or the Treasurer. We don't want to lose good singers because of inability to pay.