Here are a number of frequently asked questions that we get:
Do I have to be a great singer?
Most of our members are not soloists. Because Barbershop music is sung without instrumental accompaniment, voices in the four parts must blend together to produce ringing chords. Vocal stylizing, vibrato, and tremulo are not compatible with producing the blended sound and therefore not desired for barbershop singing. The main requirement for barbershop singing, is a voice that can carry a tune, stay on pitch or key and blend with other singers. You also need to be able to memorize the notes, words and choreography for each song.
How do I learn the songs?
Music and learning CDs are distributed to members. Learning tracks can also be downloaded from our members' only website as mp3 files. Most of our members do not read music. They learn their parts by singing along with the learning tracks. Others prefer to "plunk" their part on a keyboard. When learning new songs, the sections practice in small groups to make sure that the notes are learned correctly and to develop a unit sound in the section.
What is the audition procedure?
After you attend three rehearsals and learn one of the songs from our songbook, you may do a practice audition. We expect you to start the regular audition process during your fourth or fifth visit and complete it by the tenth visit. During the audition, you will sing with the section leaders of the other three parts. The director and your section leader will listen to you sing in this quartet. The audition will be conducted away from the rest of the chorus.
How much personal time will it take?
In addition to weekly rehearsals throughout the year and learning the music and choreo, the chorus sometimes produces a scripted show for the general public. Everyone plays an important role in putting it together. We participate in a Sweet Adelines regional competition held in the spring of each year. We tend to perform in and around our area about once a month for local festivals, business, social, and charitable events, and retirement homes. The chorus usually has many performances during the Christmas season from Thanksgiving until about the 20th of Dec. Two or three times per year there are extra rehearsals or coaching sessions on Saturdays. Fundraisers are undertaken as needed and usually include a gigantic yard sale in the fall.
What is the cost?
If you decide to become a member after having passed your audition, monthly dues of $25 plus a one-time fee of $120 will be expected. As in most worthwhile hobbies, there are also other expenses, such as travel, meals, make-up and costumes. At present we have three glitzy, sparkling performance costumes, each of which brings definite audience approval!