Choral Ensemble Membership

Expectations | Vocal Commitment | Physical Commitment | Choral Artistic and Administrative Staff | Rehearsals | Performance Attire | Fees and Expenses


To contribute effectively to a choral ensemble, students are expected to:

  • Continue to develop musical skills.
  • Be a team player. (See Choral Management and Support below.)
  • Provide earnest input, feedback and support for the overall success of rehearsals, performances and other activities.

Vocal Commitment

Ambitious music standards for performances are set, and all members are asked to help maintain and improve upon these standards. All members are expected to invest time and energy into music preparation.

While students are not expected to have had formal voice training, they are encouraged to take up, or continue, private voice training. It is important to have voices that blend in and enhance the section’s quality.

Physical Commitment

Attendance to all mandatory rehearsals and performances is expected. It is the student's responsibility to resolve conflicts associated with work and other activities. The Director recognizes that academic work, family and other important personal commitments will sometimes intrude. Students who need to be absent should contact the Director and the appropriate staff member as far in advance as possible. Students who miss dress rehearsals may not be allowed to perform. And, students who miss dress rehearsals and performances may not receive a passing grade for the course.

Normally, all members participate fully in the entire year of rehearsals and performances. Exceptions are made for students who take advantage of off-campus study opportunities. And, on occasion, the Director will consider requests for other reasons.

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Choral Artistic and Administrative Staff

Students are asked to contribute more than just learning their music and singing. The Choral Director relies on all members’ creative and organizational talents and skills to help manage and aid in the continued growth and development of the choral ensembles. Suitably talented members should volunteer to work in various capacities, and may eventually want to serve on the choral staff.

Under the supervision of the Choral Director, a support staff made up of student workers assigned to various musical and administrative leadership roles manage the choral ensembles. Job descriptions are available from the Choral Director and the Student Financial Services Office. Interested students should contact the Choral Director to apply for a position. The staff positions may include:

  • Student Conductor
  • Accompanist
  • Rehearsal Assistant
  • Student Director
  • Library Manager
  • Wardrobe Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Publicity Manager

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See the ensemble course listings for rehearsal times. Most rehearsals are on the Concert Hall stage.

Rehearsal time is a valuable commodity. As such, all rehearsals are by default, mandatory. Punctuality is a much-valued virtue. Normally, there is no break during the regular one and one-half hour rehearsals. Rehearsals are intended for sectionals (to secure notes) and ensemble work on blend, interpretation, and the like.

Dress rehearsals may be required outside of the regular rehearsal times before performances. These rehearsals are usually announced before the beginning or during the first week of the term. Like regular rehearsals, these rehearsals are required. They follow the same format as regular rehearsals, but actual times may vary. When dress rehearsals are scheduled, the number of regular rehearsals is reduced appropriately, usually at the end of the term.

Optional rehearsals may be scheduled by the Director, the Student Conductor and the Rehearsal Assistants to aid in learning and memorizing (if required) performance repertoire.

All members are required to come to rehearsals armed with a functioning pencil.

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Performance Attire

The College supplies robes and formal performance attire. For formal attire:

  • Women wear a black tailored long-sleeve, ankle-length, A-line gown draped with a royal blue, burgundy chiffon or other scarf. Black character shoes and black sheer knee-high hosiery are also furnished.
  • Men wear a black peak-lapel tuxedo, black bow tie and cummerbund with a white tuxedo shirt and black studs. Black patent leather shoes and black dress socks are also furnished.

Dress-up, casual or informal attire is the responsibility of the members. On occasion, students are asked to 'dress-up' for performances where a 'collegiate' or business look is appropriate. From time to time, casual or informal attire (Carleton sweatshirts, T-shirts, etc. with jeans or khakis) is an option.

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Fees and Expenses

There are no fees or dues for members of the choral ensembles. As a credited course in the Music Department, support comes from budget allocations. The budget covers the necessary costs of music and other performance materials, performance attire, scheduled field trips (including off campus performances and tours), and a limited number of social activities.

Students are required, however, to reimburse the College for replacing lost or damaged music and other performance materials and performance attire. Students who cancel out of a field trip (including off campus performances and tours), may be required to reimburse the College for expenses that cannot be recouped.

When away from campus for overnight and extended periods, lodging and meals or modest per diem allowances are provided.