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University of Reading Chorus
Handbook for Members
2010-11
Aims

Chorus is a welcoming and fun ensemble to join and
enjoyment is high on its list of priorities.

We are a mix of experienced, inexperienced and new
choral singers. Whatever level of experience or training
we have had, we are united by the aim of singing
together.

We believe that the most fun is to be had through the
satisfaction of singing to the best of our individual and
collective abilities.

To this end we aim to rehearse and perform with concentration and understanding of
the music in order to present the best and most exciting concerts possible.
Summer Concert
19 June 2010
What we expect
Whatever your level of experience as a singer, you can contribute as a member of Chorus.
Performing is an essentially interdependent activity – we all rely on each other. Because of
this we all have a responsibility to prepare as fully as we can.
The principal method of doing this is at rehearsals.
Between rehearsals, even if you are not confident at reading music you can do a lot to get
yourself ready by sorting out words and rhythms and by reminding yourself of what we
covered in previous rehearsals.
Rehearsals, Joining and Attendance
Rehearsals



Rehearsals take place each Thursday of term until the concert.
The rehearsal time is 7.30 – 9.30pm.
Please arrive ON TIME (if not slightly early) in order to start promptly. This is
important as we start all rehearsals with a short session of exercises to “warm-up” the
voice. If you miss this section of the rehearsal you may
strain or damage your voice. These exercises also aim
Great Hall, London Road
to develop certain aspects of musical training and vocal
technique. They can aid your development as a proficient vocalist.
This term’s rehearsal dates and venues appear on our website:
http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/music/Ensembles/music-ensembles.aspx
Please follow the link for a map showing rehearsal locations:
http://www.reading.ac.uk/about/find/about-findmap.aspx
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HUMSS Van Emden Theatre, Whiteknights Campus is Building No 1 on the
Whiteknights map.
The Great Hall, London Road Campus is Building 45 on the London Road map.
Studio 1 in the Music block on the Bulmershe Campus is Building 5 on the Bulmershe
map.
Parking is available as shown on the maps.
Please bring a pencil with you to the rehearsal. Mark in directions from the conductor through
the rehearsal, e.g. volume, diction. This will help you remember these instructions when the
chorus returns to it again or you are practicing the music between rehearsals. These notations
must be removed, i.e. rubbed out before the score is returned at the end of the concert.
For this reason, DO NOT use pen to write in scores.
Concerts
We perform each term, normally towards the end of term. The usual
venue is the acoustically and visually beautiful Great Hall.
Joining
You can join Chorus by coming to a rehearsal. Please try to come
to one of the first two rehearsals in the term you join.
Great Hall, London Road
Music scores will be provided by Chorus unless otherwise advised.
There will be a registration period before these two rehearsals. From
6.30 pm you can register as a member, pay your subs and score deposit
and collect music. As part of this process, you will be asked to sign a
form agreeing to photographs of Chorus - which might include you being used for publicity. Please arrive early enough to do all of this and
start rehearsing at 7.30 pm.
If you wish to join after the first two rehearsals of term, you must
contact the Director of Music or the Music Administrator to ask
Spring concert
13 March 2010
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whether this is possible. Contact details appear at the end of the handbook. If this is not
possible, you are welcome to join at the beginning of the next term.
You are welcome to sit in and sing at a rehearsal before deciding whether to join.
Attendance
You are expected to come to all rehearsals.
There are usually 8 or 9 for each concert. If you miss more than 2 of these, you must ask the
conductor whether you can sing in the concert.
Subscriptions
For students the subscription is £10 for the year, whatever time of year you join. Subscription
is FREE for RUMS members.
For non-students the subscription is £60 for the full year or £25 per term. For non-students
joining in the second term, the sub will be £40 for two terms or £25 for one.
Score Deposit
In addition to the subscription, everybody must pay a deposit of £15 in case of loss of music
or folder. Please take care of your borrowed music and folder. If you lose a score or folder
supplied by Chorus, your deposit will be retained and you will be asked to pay another £15
deposit. Additionally, if the cost of replacing the lost music exceeds your £15 deposit, then
you will be asked to cover the extra cost. If you return a score or folder in a damaged
condition, and there is a charge for repair or replacement, then you will be asked to cover
this cost. When you leave Chorus any remaining deposit will be refunded.
Please pay your subscription and deposit by two separate cheques if possible, made out to
University of Reading.
Scores and folders must be returned immediately after a concert (unless there is more than
one performance of a programme). Please place returned scores in the boxes which are
available in the dressing rooms.
If you are not singing in a concert but have a score or folder, please arrange to return it
before the concert. Hire music will incur an additional charge if we are late returning it. If
your late return of a score is the cause of an extra charge, your score deposit may be retained
as if you have lost the music.
Concert arrangements
Concert Dress
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Great Hall, London Road
For men, concert dress is:
Dinner suit
White shirt
Black bow tie
Black shoes
For women, the concert dress is:
White long sleeved top
Black long skirt or trousers
Black shoes
Any jewellery should be discreet.
Concert day rehearsal
There will normally be a rehearsal on the day of the concert. Please make EVERY EFFORT
to come. On occasion this may be scheduled at an awkward time, but it is usually the only
chance we have to rehearse with soloists and sometimes with Symphony Orchestra too.
Warm-up
There will normally be a warm-up before a concert (or during the interval if Chorus only
sings in the second half). Please arrive well in time for this AND take responsibility for
warming-up your own voice before the collective warm-up.
Getting on to the stage
Chorus will usually line up before going on to the stage. There is limited space backstage in
the Great Hall, so lining up needs to be orderly and calm.
The procedure is as follows: 10 minutes before the start of a concert, or before the end of an
interval, where appropriate, please go to the UPPER dressing room, and get into platform
order under the direction of those responsible for its organisation. It is important that
everybody is present.
In special circumstances or at different venues this might be changed.
Platform etiquette
Chorus will usually only be on the platform in the part of a concert it is singing in. If for any
reason you are required to be on stage for the whole concert this will be notified.
In the Great Hall, if you are not on stage for a complete concert half, you are welcome to join
the audience, provided:
 There are seats available
 There is no reason specific to that concert which precludes it.
In other venues, you will be told whether you can join the audience.
At the beginning of the first piece in each half in which Chorus sings, please stand as the
conductor and any soloists enter. If you are not singing immediately (eg if there is an
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orchestral introduction) you may be asked to sit again. All other sits and stands will be
notified during rehearsals.
Before and after a concert
At the end of a concert please be ready to help with any clearing up that is required. Similarly,
if there is any setting up before a concert or re-setting within it, please be ready to do your bit.
The tasks are likely to be the usual ones, eg:
 carrying or stacking chairs or stands
 collecting, sorting or carrying music
 assisting with box office.
If we have a lot of help these tasks get done quickly and without undue strain. Do pitch in.
Contacts
When we want to contact you, the most efficient method is via email. If you have email,
please make sure we have your address.
Similarly, when you want to contact us, email is the best way. The address is
[email protected]
We will provide hard copies of information for those who do not have email, so that you can
pick one up at rehearsal.
If you want to phone, you can contact:
Alex Richardson, Music Administrator
Stuart Dunlop, Director of Music
0118 378 5256
0118 378 8518
We look forward to seeing you at University of Reading Chorus rehearsals.
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Rehearsals - University of Reading