Midcoast Community ChorusFrequently Asked Questions, Fall 2023

Congratulations on joining the Midcoast Community Chorus! Whether you are a new member or a returning member, the start of a season is an exciting time. Listed below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) and some answers to them.
Question: Is Attendance at Every Rehearsal Required?Answer: Regular attendance is expected, and attendance is taken at every rehearsal. Rehearsal schedules are handed out at the beginning of the semester and should be added to your folder for reference. Even though our concert date seems a long way off, we have much to accomplish in a short period of time. However, we know you have a complicated life, so every chorus member is allowed (but not encouraged) to take up to two absences from regular weekly rehearsals. Attendance at dress rehearsal is absolutely required if you wish to perform in the concert. Chorus members who miss more than two rehearsals in a season are only allowed to continue for that season with the permission of Artistic Director Jeffrey Maynard. Every time you miss a rehearsal, if you miss more than two rehearsals, or if you are concerned about missing future rehearsals, please communicate with Operations Manager Tiare Messing at gro.sgnisccm%40ofni to discuss the issue.
Question: When Should I Come to Rehearsal?Answer: Rehearsals begin at 6:30 pm on Mondays. This means you should be in your seat and ready to begin at 6:30 pm. If you need 10 minutes to get ready for rehearsal once you arrive at the church, that means you should arrive at the church at 6:20 pm. The rehearsal space will be open to you starting at 5:30 pm. If being late is unavoidable, please enter silently and wait in the back of the rehearsal space until there is a break in the singing, then find your seat.
Question: What is the Chorus Policy Regarding Visitors?Answer: We encourage all members to recruit new members. However, visitors and prospective new members should contact Operations Manager Tiare Messing at gro.sgnisccm%40ofni before coming to rehearsals to avoid unnecessary disruptions. An exception to this recommendation is in the first three weeks of every chorus rehearsal season, when we invite all community members to visit the chorus and try us out.
Question: What Should I Bring to Rehearsal?Answer: For every rehearsal you should bring your music, a pencil to take notes, a bottle of water, glasses or hearing aids if you need them, your name tag so fellow singers can learn your name, and whatever else you need to be comfortable. Please note that non-water liquids and snack foods are prohibited in the sanctuary.
Question: What Should I Do When it’s Not My Turn to Sing?Answer: Please be actively engaged throughout the rehearsal process. There will be times when you or your section may not be singing. During these times, the Artistic Director may welcome you to softly sing your own part; please refrain from singing when other parts are being initially learned.
Question: How About Talking During Rehearsal?Answer: Please refrain from talking excessively during rehearsal. It is appropriate to consult with a fellow singer or section leader with a question about the music. When you have a larger question of concern to the entire chorus during rehearsal, please raise your hand and the Artistic Director will call on you when the time is appropriate.
If you have other suggestions or questions, we want to hear them, but we cannot possibly field questions and ideas from everyone in the limited time we have together in rehearsal. See the last question in this FAQ for contact information for various kinds of questions.
Question: When is the Best Time to Speak with the Artistic Director?Answer: Before rehearsals, the Artistic Director needs time to prepare. During our mid-rehearsal break, the Artistic Director also needs a break. These are not the best times to speak with the Artistic Director. After rehearsals, or at events that occur outside of rehearsal time, the Artistic Director would love to hear from you with ideas, comments, and questions.
Question: Will Members of my Section be Able to all Rehearse Together?Answer: Yes! These are called section rehearsals or “sectionals” for short. We will hold rehearsals for each section as needed. They will occur during our normal rehearsal time. We will also set aside some rehearsal time for other subgroups of the chorus, such as small ensembles singing a piece together or chorus members seeking to improve their musical skills.
Question: What Can I Do With the Sheet Music that’s in my Folder? Answer: If you selected the option to purchase your sheet music at the beginning of the semester, you can do whatever you wish to with that music within the bounds of the law. Otherwise, please remember that the music has been loaned to you but is not yours; it belongs to the chorus and took a considerable amount of money to purchase. This music is yours to use during our rehearsals and performances, but after that point you will need to return your music to the chorus to be placed into our music library in its original condition. The only alteration you should make to the sheet music is to make light pencil marks to help you remember the Artistic Director’s instructions. Please do not fold or punch holes in your music or use tape. Consider using removable highlighter tape or post-it notes as a safe way to add notes to the music. If you lose your music, please see Music Librarian Lois Lyman to purchase a replacement copy. At the end of the season, you must return your music to the chorus (unless you paid extra at registration to purchase the music).
Question: How Do I Obtain a Professional Binder for the Concert?Answer: MCC will lend professional quality black choral binders to all choristers free of charge as the concert approaches. If you would like to purchase your own binder, please ask us: we have some slightly used ones for $30. Each concert binder is numbered and checked out to you and must be returned in good shape immediately following the concert. Do not use any tape or labels on the binders or mark on them in any way. Please take good care of them. These binders are expensive and we need them to last for many years.
Question: Where are the Bathrooms?Answer: There are bathrooms located once you enter through the back door into the Fellowship Room into the hallway on your left. There are also bathrooms downstairs. There will be no formal bathroom break, although we usually do take a break halfway through rehearsal. When and if the need arises, please leave and return quietly.
Question: What About Rehearsal Cancellations?Answer: We will only cancel a rehearsal in the event of heavy snow or hazardous conditions. If a rehearsal is canceled, you should receive a message sent to the email address you provided at registration by 3 PM on the day of rehearsal.
Question: How do I Keep up to Date with Music Changes and New Information?Answer: As the semester goes on, sometimes new music will be added. Volunteer opportunities with sign-up sheets will be added on occasion as well. Every week, you also should sign in on the attendance sheets. All these information and attendance sheets will be made available on a table in the fellowship area of the church located between the entrance next to the parking lot and the sanctuary where we rehearse. Please check in to indicate your attendance and check this table for new information and new music before every week’s rehearsal. Section leaders will be in touch with you with notes or guidance.
Question: What more can I do to support the Chorus?Answer: This is a great question. The chorus is a non-profit organization with few paid staff, so we rely on the contributions of volunteers. There are many ways to contribute, including joining the board, recruiting new singers, serving as a section leader, buying concert tickets for friends, finding sponsors and advertisers, promoting the chorus and its concerts via social media, hanging posters, and so on. We will communicate with chorus members to let you know when these opportunities arise as we move closer to concert time.
Question: I Have More Questions. Who Should I Ask?Answer: If you have a question about the experience of being a member of a chorus that isn’t addressed here, please be in touch! We’d love to address any concern you might have. Musical questions should be addressed to your section leader, who will be announced in the first few weeks of rehearsal. Send organizational questions to Operations Manager Anna Jones at .gro.sgnisccm%40ofni Send policy questions to Board Chair James Cook at .moc.liamg%40koocmj Send questions about the music to Librarian Lois Lyman at .ten.retawedit%40namyll