Revised 8/15/15 Roz Walters



Commonwealth Chorale provides its members with an enriching musical experience that includes performance of challenging choral works, vocal training and background appropriate to those works, and camaraderie with a group of dedicated choral singers.  As a volunteer organization, Commonwealth Chorale depends upon its members for participation in all facets of its operation: musical, financial and administrative.  This document summarizes both the privileges and responsibilities of membership in the Commonwealth Chorale.

A member in good standing is someone who:

 • is accepted by the music director through audition,

• is actively involved in the running of the chorus by undertaking tasks for at least one chorus committee or serving on the Board,

• meets all financial obligations such as payment of membership dues, purchase of music, payment for allotted tickets,

• participates in at least two concerts each season,

• participates in re-auditions as scheduled periodically,

• regularly attends Tuesday evening rehearsals to prepare concert music.


Member Privileges

A member in good standing may:

a.  participate in all performances both public and private,

b.  attend Tuesday evening rehearsals for the preparation of concert music, 

c.  audition for chamber ensembles,

d.  attend Board meetings as a non-voting participant, except meetings in executive (closed) session,

e.  vote on all issues brought before the general membership,

f.  discuss an idea or concern with any Board member,

g.  request that an idea or concern be taken up by the Board at a future meeting,

h.  review all records of the chorus, except those records that may be restricted in the interest of privacy of individuals or certain other confidential matters,

i.  ask a Board member, or the Board as a whole, to mediate a dispute between the member and the Music Director.


Member Responsibilities



To maintain performance quality, each prospective member must audition for the Music Director.  In addition, all members are periodically re-auditioned.  Any member singing in fewer than 2 concerts in a single season must re-audition in order to regain membership in good standing.


Rehearsals are the foundation for a successful performance. At rehearsals members are given an opportunity to learn the music in a unique way based on the Music Director’s vision. This includes learning notes, text and dynamics, as well as coming to understand the interplay between voice parts, which can only be accomplished in rehearsals. In order to maintain momentum during concert preparation, members are expected to review music previously rehearsed prior to each Tuesday rehearsal. A successful concert is the outcome of this collective effort.

Buddy system

a.  Each member should have one or two other members who are their “Rehearsal Buddies.”

b.  “Rehearsal Buddies” share with each other score markings, announcements and other important information from missed rehearsals.



a.  Rehearsals are held on Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 10:00 pm.

b.  During each concert cycle all sections are encouraged to hold at least one sectional rehearsal at a time and location determined by the section members



a.  Members are expected to attend all rehearsals and sectional rehearsals.

b.  Members must arrive sufficiently early to be ready for the 7:30 pm warm-ups, the tuning of your vocal instrument.

c.  Members who arrive more than one-half hour late or leave more than one-half hour early will be deemed to have missed one-half of a rehearsal. Special circumstances must be communicated to the Membership Vice-President and exceptions may only be made with the approval of the Music Director.

d.  A member not singing in a particular concert may attend rehearsals for the concert as long as such attendance is continuous throughout the rehearsal period and has been previously approved by the Music Director through the Membership Vice-President.


Missed rehearsals: 

a.  Anticipated absences:  Members must notify their section leader in advance of an anticipated absence and make arrangements with their “Rehearsal Buddies” to obtain music markings and details of specific material rehearsed as soon after the rehearsal as possible.

b.  Unanticipated absences:  Members must contact their “Rehearsal Buddies” or section leader as soon after an unanticipated absence as possible to obtain music markings and details of specific material rehearsed.

c.  A member who misses more than two rehearsals during a concert cycle must be prepared to re-audition to demonstrate proficiency in the music being studied and may sing in the concert only at the Director's discretion.

d.  Absence from a sectional rehearsal will not be counted as a missed rehearsal.

e.  Dress rehearsals: see “Concert  Responsibilities” section on page 4.




a.  Members who arrive late do not disrupt the rehearsal but wait for a break in the rehearsal to quickly and quietly take a seat. 

b.  Members bring their music and a pencil to each rehearsal and always wear a name tag.

c.  Members mark their music as required to ensure their performance is in conformity with the direction of the Music Director.

d.  Cell phones are turned off or silenced during rehearsals.

e.  Illness:  Members with an infectious illness are expected to stay at home!  Members who are no longer infectious but are not in good voice are expected to attend rehearsal.

f.  There is a 15-minute break in each rehearsal.  Snacks will be provided for a modest fee. Because the announcements follow the break, members promptly return to their seats.



a.  In the rare event that a rehearsal must be cancelled, notice will be sent via an email message.

b.  Generally, cancellation decisions are made by 3 pm on the day of rehearsal.



Commonwealth Chorale is recognized as one of the area’s finest volunteer choruses. Members support our high level of performance by accepting the responsibilities listed below.

a.  A member who is not singing in a particular concert notifies both his/her section leader and the Membership Vice-President as soon as the member is aware of the conflict

b.  A member attends all dress rehearsals. If a conflict prohibits a member from doing so, the member must speak with the Music Director and be ready to demonstrate satisfactory proficiency with the concert material before being allowed to participate in that concert.  After obtaining permission to miss a dress rehearsal, the member notifies his/her section leader and designates another member to save them a space on the risers.

c.  Members report to the dress rehearsals and performances at the appointed time.  Being late to the dress rehearsals is unacceptable. If the tardiness is unavoidable, the member notifies the Membership Vice-President as well as a member who can save a space on the risers for them.

d.  Members provide a black folder for their music and bring the folder to the dress rehearsals as well as the concert.

e.  Women provide their own concert attire consisting of a long-sleeved black blouse and ankle-length black skirt (a long-sleeved, ankle-length black dress is acceptable; black trousers are unacceptable), black hosiery, and black shoes. Jewelry is limited to unobtrusive earrings and a watch.

f.  Men provide their own concert attire consisting of a black tuxedo, a white shirt, a black bow tie, black socks and black shoes.

g.  In consideration of others, members do not wear scented products to rehearsals or concerts.

 Financial Responsibilities


a.  Annual dues must be paid in full at least one month prior to the first concert in which the member is planning to sing.

b.  Returning members pay full annual dues regardless of the number of concerts in which they sing that season.

c.  New members who join mid-year will pay pro-rated dues: 50% of full dues when joining in January and 25% of full dues when joining in March.

d.  Dues are non-refundable.



In order to facilitate rehearsals, members must use the score edition designated by the Music Director. Members may provide their own music if they wish, however, for convenience, music for each concert will be purchased by Commonwealth Chorale for any member in good standing according to the opt-in procedure below. Note that due to supplier policies, scores are not returnable. Payment for scores is due by the second rehearsal of each concert cycle, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Treasurer.


a.  The Membership Committee representative will announce the score order deadline through an email message.  Prior to that deadline, each member must indicate whether or not he/she is singing in a given concert, and if he/she would like music purchased for them.

b.  Scores will be ordered only for those members who have indicated that they wish to purchase a score from Commonwealth Chorale.  After the deadline, the member must pay for the score that has been ordered for her/him. Members who did not order scores must provide their own.



Since tickets sales are an important source of revenue and also insure a good-sized audience that inspires us to perform at our best, members are required to sell tickets.


a.  Each member is required to purchase/sell 4 tickets for each concert in which they intend to perform. This requirement may be satisfied by purchasing 4 concert subscriptions for resale. Two-member households are expected to purchase/sell 6 tickets for each concert.  Ideally these tickets will all be sold or given to friends or relatives who will actually attend the concerts, thus insuring a good-sized audience.

b.  Additional preferred-seating and general-admission tickets for each concert are available from the Ticket Manager.

c.  Payment is due to the Ticket Manager no later than one month before each concert. 

d.  Upon member request, paid tickets may be returned in exchange for a charitable contribution receipt for tax purposes in the amount paid for the ticket(s). This request must be made no later than the Tuesday rehearsal preceding the first dress rehearsal.

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Commonwealth Chorale
P.O. Box 600122
Newtonville, MA 02460

Telephone: 617-527-SING (7464)

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