New Member FAQs

Be a part of Sistrum’s upcoming season by joining the chorus as a singing member! The next orientation for new members will be held on Wednesday, September 7th from 6-7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church on South Pennsylvania, followed by rehearsal from 7-9 pm. If you haven’t already, please email info@sistrum.org to let us know you plan to attend.  Interested singers will find out about how the chorus is run and how we’re conducting rehearsals both in person and via Zoom. Regular Sistrum rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 pm. 

Is Sistrum the right chorus for you?
Yes, if you are a woman-identifying person who:

  • loves singing a variety of repertoire (world music, feminist, classical, pop and more)

  • can commit to our rehearsal/ performance schedule

  • can carry out Sistrum’s core values

What can you tell me about the orientation process?
The orientation to Sistrum consists of two parts—the voice check and short meeting with the membership committee. 

During the voice check, the Artistic Director will ask you to:

  • sing scales and warm-ups (to determine tone quality and range)

  • repeat simple melodic patterns (to ascertain tonal memory/pitch recognition)

During the orientation, you will meet with the membership committee who will share information on and can answer your questions about the pace of the season, rehearsal logistics, performance protocols, and member expectations.

What responsibilities will I have as a member of Sistrum?
Sistrum’s season typically runs from September through May and consists of two to three (2-3) concert preparation periods.

Performances

  • Typically, major concerts are generally held in December/January and May, with Friday and Saturday presentations of each concert. (Due to COVID-19, our concert schedule may vary). 

  • Community performances are scheduled from time to time.

  • A detailed schedule of all confirmed dates for the upcoming season will be provided at the time a member joins. Any additional performance requests will be brought to the director, the Board, and the chorus to determine feasibility.

Rehearsals

  • Singers are expected to attend weekly rehearsals, currently held from 7:00-9:00 pm Wednesday nights in person and via Zoom.

  • Occasional performances and/or festivals are also often scheduled in the summer months.

  • At least one additional rehearsal is held during the week prior to each major concert. Attendance is mandatory.

  • If needed, extra rehearsals will be scheduled at the Artistic Director’s discretion.

  • We usually have one, 4 hour, Saturday, “retreat” rehearsal 6-8 weeks before each concert.

Financial Contributions

  • A significant portion of our budget each year comes from member donations.  In addition to a non-refundable $40 music/facilities fee each term (fall and spring), each singer is asked to contribute as she is able on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, or annually) to help defray the chorus costs.

  • A suggested member pledge is a monthly donation equal to the wage one earns per hour.  Special circumstances can be discussed with the treasurer or another member of the Finance committee.

  • Other costs that members incur may include, but are not limited to: festivals, retreats, concert attire, social events and the purchase of promotional items. Scholarships may be available for festivals.

Committees

  • Singing members do a large portion of the administrative work of the chorus.

  • Each member of Sistrum is asked to serve on a committee that does its business outside of rehearsal time. In the first year, new members should attend/tryout meetings for at least one committee to begin to understand the structure and responsibilities.

  • Committees include the following:  Finance, Production, Internal Communications, Marketing/PR, Special Projects.

Concert Attire

  • For most performances, concert attire is dress black.