Below are many of the questions we are asked most often. If you can't find what you are looking for, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

How do I join the chorus? Do I need to audition?
What is the schedule like if I join chorus?
Do I have to know how to read music?
Can I come and check out a rehearsal before I commit to an entire session?
Do I have to sing in the concerts?
When are rehearsals and what are they like?
When are your concerts?
What is the cost to join the chorus?
Do you offer scholarships?
What is your refund policy?
What kinds of songs do you sing?

What if I need to miss some rehearsals?
Is the Brattleboro Women's Chorus a non-profit organization?
How can I make a donation to the chorus?
Is the Chorus available to sing at area events or for a personal event?

How do I join the chorus? Do I need to audition?

4-singers

SPRING 2018 Session Starts Wed., February 28 from 6:30-8:30 pm at All Souls Church OR Thurs., March 1 from 10 am - noon in the parlor of Centre Congregational Church.

No auditions required! Any girl or woman ages 10 and up who loves to sing is welcome to join. All you need to do is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know you are interested in joining. Someone will contact you about the details. Typically an e-letter is sent out in July / August and again in February for the upcoming session. Announcements are also made on our Facebook page, so “Like” us to keep current on updates. You can also download our current registration letter and send it to us with your deposit for the upcoming session.

What is the schedule like if I join chorus?

There is a fall session that starts in early September and ends with our concerts the weekend before Thanksgiving. The spring session begins in early March and ends with our concerts on Mother’s Day weekend. You do not need to commit for the entire year. Rehearsals meet on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 pm at All Souls Church in West Brattleboro or Thursdays from 10 am - noon at Centre Congregational Church. There are two extra longer rehearsals concert week: one usually on Monday or Thursday night and the other on the Saturday or Sunday afternoon the week before the concert. There are also sectional rehearsals once or twice a session. These are for each individual part to meet and focus on just their part - they are not required, but are very helpful and usually happen on weekends. Our current schedule (always subject to change) can be found here.

Do I have to know how to read music?

In a word, no. The chorus encourages all levels of music ability and appreciation from beginners on up. Although some sheet music is made available for certain songs, most songs are taught by ear. Each member receives a practice CD or can download the CD from our website with all the songs for their part recorded to help with learning. All songs are memorized (not to worry, you know the songs so well by concert time you won’t think of it as “memorizing”) as we do not use music during our concerts. Word sheets are provided to help with learning the words as well.

Can I come and check out a rehearsal before I commit to an entire session?

Sure! Each session usually starts with an Open Rehearsal that is open to anyone who is interested in experiencing what chorus is all about. We sing some songs that we will sing in our concert and (if time allows) others just for fun. At the end of the Open Rehearsal you may sign up for the remainder of the session.

Do I have to sing in the concerts?

Some people love to sing with the chorus, but have prior commitments on concert days. You are not required to sing in our concerts, though of course we encourage you to do so! It’s such a rich bonding experience to sing out together and share that experience. However, if you are unable to do so, please let the director know as soon as possible so she can be sure to have enough people on each part.

When are rehearsals and what are they like?

Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 pm at All Souls Church in West Brattleboro OR on Thursday mornings from 10:00-noon at Centre Congregational Church. There is a 10 minute break in the middle of the rehearsal for socializing. It is crucial that everyone arrive ready to sing by 6:30 pm (don't arrive at 6:30)! Rehearsals start with some stretches and warm ups (some are silly, but all have a purpose) and then we go right into learning songs.

The music is taught by rote and by ear, with parts layered one over the other bit by bit. We usually learn a melody first, and then the various harmony parts. Mid way through the session you will receive a practice CD that has all of the songs for your part recorded on it. Or you may download the practice CD tracks from our website. It is expected that everyone listen and sing along with your CD as much as possible in order to learn your specific part. All parts will be taught in rehearsals, but the CD helps people learn at their own pace. Word sheets will also be given out as we get closer to the concert to help you memorize the words.

The week before our concerts there is an extra rehearsal on Monday or Thursday night as well as the usual Wed. night rehearsal. There is also a rehearsal on the Saturday or Sunday prior to our concert for most of the afternoon. These rehearsals take place usually where our concerts take place, which varies semester to semester. We need to be at the concert venue about 2-3 hours before the concert starts. It’s a busy week getting ready for the concerts, but is such fun to hear the whole concert come together – from music to readings and working with amazing musicians to accompany us on some of the songs! Check out our photos to get a sense of our community of singers or learn more about us here. Chorus members also have great things to say about their experiences in chorus.

When are your concerts?

Our Fall concerts are the weekend before Thanksgiving and our Spring concerts are the weekend of Mother’s Day. There is usually one on Saturday at 7:30 pm and another Sunday afternoon at 3 or 4 pm. Upcoming concert information can be found here.

What is the cost to join the chorus?

The Spring 2018 fees are $120 per singer, $180 for family pairs & $70 for students (ages 15-25). Registration for returning singers (singers who have sung in the chorus in the past 2 years) is by mid-February, after which a $10 late fee is charged. Financial aid is available to those who need it and you can pay over time (if pre-arranged with our treasurer), though full payment is due by our third rehearsal. The Brattleboro Women’s Chorus is a non-profit organization and our fees only pay for a portion of our expenses.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes! It is very important to us to make chorus possible for those who would like to join but can not afford the full fees. Applying for financial aid is required by filling out the Financial Aid Form here and submitting with a $20 deposit by the date indicated on the form. Decisions are made within a week of the deadline.

What is your refund policy?

If a participant pays in full before or by the first session and then drops out within the first three weeks, we will give a refund  less $15 for each session attended at the time they inform us they are no longer participating. After three weeks there is no refund. Financial Aid recipients and others with extenuating circumstances will be considered by the Board.

What kinds of songs do you sing?

We sing a mix of spirited and spiritual music from a variety of cultures and genres, and every session has some semblance of a “theme.”  The words are usually in English, with the occasional Zulu, Baltic, KiSwahili, etc. song. Most songs are sung in three- or four-part harmonies, but some are in unison, some in rounds, and many with the accompaniment of guest musicians who play at our concerts. If there were defining qualities to all the songs, it would be ones that speak to the heart, are uplifting in some way, or that are just plain fun. You can check out all the songs we have sung in each concert or listen to a few sample tracks from our CD to hear a variety for yourself!

What if I need to miss some rehearsals?

The most you should miss is 2 rehearsals. Anyone who misses more than that should talk to Becky about if they’re adequately prepared to sing in the concerts. Sometimes people want to sing in chorus even though they aren’t able to perform in the concerts. That’s fine; just let Becky know early on in the semester.

Is the Brattleboro Women's Chorus a non-profit organization?

Yes, we are! The Brattleboro Women's Chorus was founded in the fall of 1996 by conductor Becky Graber, incorporated in the State of Vermont in January of 2002, and recognized as a 501(c)(3) in April of 2003. Read about our history here. We have a very spunky and spirited board of directors who can answer most any of your questions!

How can I make a donation to the chorus?

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your generous donation to the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus is completely tax-deductible. Our operating budget requires much more than the fees we collect from our chorus members and concert attendees. Any contribution, large or small is much appreciated and will go towards keeping the chorus available to all those who want to join. You may make a donation either by clicking here or by mailing a check. Please make checks payable to: Brattleboro Women’s Chorus and mail to: P.O. Box 2591, Brattleboro, VT 05303. And THANK YOU!!! Check out our Donate page to find out more!

Is the Chorus available to sing at area events or for a personal event?

Perhaps. We occasionally are able to sing at area events as schedules allow. Past performances include A Moment for Peace, the Pete Seger tribute, AIDS Awareness Day and Valentines Day serenades. Small groups have also performed at numerous memorial services, birthdays, Christmas tree lightings, First Fridays, and in nursing homes. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out our availability for your next event.

Connect With Us

Brattleboro Women's Chorus is active on Facebook and we send out regular newsletters to let you know about our events and upcoming sessions. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and welcome donations to help us meet operating expenses.

 

Contact Us

P.O. Box 2591
Brattleboro, VT 05303

info@brattleborowomenschorus.org

www.facebook.com

A portion of our 20th Anniversary Chorus in concert - Fall 2016