Membership and Organization

Membership in Sing, Montana! is by invitation only, at the sole discretion of the Director.  Having said that, however, we are quite interested in meeting anyone who is interested in joining.  This page is designed to let you know what kind of members this chorus is designed for, and how we are organizing the chorus.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP

  1. Must be socially mature–able to work well and congenially with individuals of many types.
  2. Must enthusiastically agree to the Mission Statement, Goals, and Code of Conduct.
  3. Must be of at least 13 years of age.
  4. Must meet the skill requirements of the particular level of ensemble in which he’d like to sing.  (This goes from basic pitch-matching skill for the Singalong Chorus, to higher levels for the Show Chorus.)

MEMBERSHIP DUES

We are currently exploring the topic of membership dues.  We will certainly have bills to pay—music, performance venue rentals, advertising, etc.  So we’ll need some money coming in.  We plan to sell tickets to our shows, however, and to conduct other fundraisers.  With this in view, we hope to keep member dues down to a minimum.  We’ll be working this out in these first few weeks.

ENSEMBLES

Our general membership will comprise two major ensembles and several smaller ones.  The goal here is to find a place for almost everybody, regardless of singing skill–with the minimal level of skill required being that one can match pitches accurately.  Here’s how that breaks down:

  1. Singalong Chorus.  Every member of Sing, Montana! will be a member of the Singalong Chorus.  This group will maintain a basic repertoire of song favorites that are fairly easy to sing.  This is aimed at being a shamelessly enjoyable experience, but with a twist.  The Singalong Chorus will sing during the first hour or so of every rehearsal, and will also include some best-practices warm-up exercises, along with instruction and reminders of excellent vocal and choral techniques.  This means that members who come in without much skill have a chance to improve, possibly to the point of being qualified for the other ensembles.  It also means that certain members who (regardless of their vocal skill) simply want a low-pressure and easily-manageable experience, can have a place to belong!
    The Singalong Chorus will sing in most of our performances.  While the Show Chorus (below) will carry the bulk of the performances, the Singalong Chorus will typically perform 3-5 songs, which will be well-polished and fun for the crowd.
    Singalong Chorus members are not only welcome to be present when the other ensembles rehearse, but are encouraged to do so as valuable members of the overall organization.  Plus, there will be other duties to which they can attend if they are willing and able, such as making the coffee, greeting new visitors, keeping attendance, and so forth.  Again, this is a fraternity that’s not only about the singing!
  2. Show Chorus.   In addition to providing a fun singalong environment for those who love to sing, Sing, Montana! also offers an outlet for that skilled singer who likes to “bring his A game,” so to speak.  Admission into the Show Chorus is with the Director’s approval, and is based on:
    A.  Pitch and rhythmic accuracy.
    B.  Vocal tone quality and resonance.  (We prefer the more-resonant-less-airy sound.)
    C.  Ability to show up to rehearsal knowing the songs already (through whatever means you want to use), or to read them accurately on sight.
    D.  Ability to memorize some (but not all) of the repertoire.
    E.  Skill in the finer points, such as matching vowel sounds, and executing constants appropriately.
    F.  Must maintain a suitable rehearsal attendance record.
    This group may sing several numbers per performance, and may be called upon for special performances from time to time.
  3. Smaller Ensembles.  We may, from time to time, put together smaller ensembles to perform a few pieces in each show.  These could range in size from 3 to 12 or so, depending on who is available.  Such ensembles could become permanent, but most of them may be built for specific occasions.  They may get a little bit of time in the regular rehearsals, but will generally rehearse at separate times, as their members (and the Director) are available.
  4. Solos and Duets.  For those members who are particularly skilled at singing, we’ll save a couple of slots in each performance for solos and duets.  These would mostly be accompanied by piano and/or other instruments, and the style of these pieces could vary significantly–from Classical to Pop.  Such acts will go on only with the Director’s approval, and will typically rehearse outside of regular rehearsal hours.

OTHER DUTIES AND ROLES

Promotion and Fundraising.   All members are expected to take an active role in promotion and fundraising–doing whatever they reasonably can to further the program.  For example, when we have a show, we’ll need help getting the word out through social media (Facebook, e.g.) and through posting flyers around town.  Further, our fundraising will consist primarily of sponsoring charitable raffles, so we’ll count on the members to do the bulk of ticket sales.

Setup and Cleanup.    All members will be expected to help out with these chores generally, but some may be particularly willing to come early or to stay late as needed.

Logistics.   We’ll need help from time to time with loading in and loading out for performances and other events.  This could include choral risers, PA equipment, lighting equipment, and so forth.  We may also have occasion to design and built various theatrical set pieces from time to time.

Attendance.  We’ll need volunteers from among the members to keep attendance records for rehearsals, as well as audience attendance counts for our performances.

Historian/Photographer/Videographer.  We need a member to help out with telling our story, particularly by way of photos and videos.  Much of this will go regularly to our website, as well as to YouTube and Facebook.  Indeed, showing people what we do is going to be far more effectively than simply telling them about it!

Librarian(s).  Eventually, we’ll need one or two volunteers to manage our library of sheet music.

Section Leaders.  
The Director may appoint (or not) section leaders, but only when excellent candidates for that position are present and willing to serve in that capacity.  We will not have section leaders just to have them, as having someone who is not well-suited to a role often causes more harm than good.

Assistant Director(s).  As with section leaders (above), if we find ourselves with excellent candidates to assist in the directing, while maintaining the particulars of the spirit of this whole project, the Director may appoint one or more assistant directors, as his sole discretion.

Afterglow Coordinator.  For some of our shows each year, we’ll plan an afterglow celebration–a big party with food and drink, to which members and their families (and potentially, even the public at large) are invited.  When done excellently, these events are loads of fun, and can be great not only for celebrating with our fans, but for fundraising, too.

Coffee and Water.    Perhaps the most important position(s) of all!  We’ll need coffee and water for the breaks at our rehearsals.  The most popular man in the group will be the one that makes this happen!  (Don’t worry–we’ll pay for it, but somebody’s got to set it up and serve it!)