What You Need to Know as a Member of LCC

We appreciate the commitment from each and every singer! Though the choir sings music predominantly of a sacred, faith-based tradition, the choir is open to singers of all faith traditions or no faith tradition. Membership is based on a successful vocal audition and a commitment to our prescribed rehearsal and performance schedules. Please become familiar with the following important information regarding your participation in Lux Cantorum Chicago:


Auditions

Membership is audition-based to ensure that LCC is the best singing organization that it can be, and in the process, continues to attract the highest caliber of musicians dedicated to singing a wide variety of sacred music with integrity and finesse. The process helps to: 1) ensure good vocal quality and musicianship throughout the entire choir; 2) foster a sense of musical excellence throughout the choir; 3) nurture healthy morale; and 4) further our mission.

There will be three audition dates (two in Chicago and one in Oak Park) for both prospective members and current members, at the start of the Fall Prep. Early auditions may be offered for returning members immediately following the end of the season in June, contingent upon interest.

  1. A successful audition will be based on beautiful tone quality, which is always the focus in our rehearsals and clinics, and above-average music literacy (sight-reading several measures of your designated part in an SATB choral selection). 
  2. Besides selecting the best singers, another goal would be to have a more balanced choir of voices and committed singers—ideally 48; 12 on a part. Realistically, we may have to go with 28 or 32 singers; 7 or 8 on a part. This would hopefully encourage all singers to recruit male singers, as the more men we have the more women we can have, as well. This most likely will not happen right away, and we may need to maintain an unbalanced ratio of women to men at the beginning of this process. 

There will always be opportunities to re-audition. If one did not have a successful audition and needs to work on his/her singing and/or sight-reading, future auditions may be held at other times during the season for those voice parts needed to further balance the entire choir.

Returning Member Auditions

Some returning members will be exempt from auditioning for future seasons based on the following guidelines.

  • Most recent audition score of 90-100: singer exempt from future auditions, unless singer does not sing all three concert preps in the season or there is a change of director
  • Most recent audition score of 80-89: singer exempt from auditions for the next season, unless singer does not sing all three concert preps in the season or there is a change of director

Members may contact the membership chairperson to find out their most recent audition score. At any point, the artistic director may require a reassessment of a member’s skill regardless of their score on previous auditions.

Member Dues

Dues for membership are $100 for anyone singing during the performance year.* Anyone is welcome to donate more to support fellow members. There is no cost to members for music. Payment is due to the treasurer by the fourth rehearsal. For assistance/payment plans due to economic hardship, please speak with the treasurer, Beth Fioritto.

*Dues payments for members who join for the third prep (after the December and March concerts) will be carried over to the following season. 

Fundraising

Lux Cantorum is a completely self-funded organization. Over the years, the choir has been creative in raising revenues for the ongoing financial health of the choir, and the vice president of the board of directors is in charge of fundraising. However, it is imperative for the fiscal health of the choir that all members of the choir are involved and invested in participating in fundraisers to the fullest extent possible. 

As new fundraisers are added, ideas and energy are always welcome!

Choral Conduct

All members of Lux Cantorum are expected to show respect for one another and to encourage one another. Members must listen when questions are asked and when instructions are given. If any individual’s behavior is contributing to stifling or corrupting the overall morale of the group, the matter will be discussed with the individual and if the behavior continues, the artistic director has the authority to dismiss them from the choir’s membership immediately. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is in the best interest of the entire choir. 

Communication

Email is our primary means for communicating important information to our singers. By the Wednesday after each Monday rehearsal, Wilbert emails his comments regarding the previous rehearsal including what worked well, suggestions for improvements, and recommendations of markings for the music for each piece rehearsed.
In addition, emails are sent to the chorus regarding (1) extra-curricular choral opportunities for which a reply is required by each singer, (2) other musical activities our singers are involved in, and (3) miscellaneous communications.    

These emails are very important and provide information that is integral to the success of the chorus. It is each singer’s responsibility to make sure to check email for these communications. If you don’t have email, please let the membership chairperson know so that you can receive this important information through alternate means.

For those not able to sing a prep: It is each singer’s responsibility to contact the membership chair, in writing, by the end of the preceding preparation period, if you are not singing with the choir in the following preparation period. This will allow ample planning time for both the artistic director and the librarian.

"Blue Sheet"

The "blue sheet" (which you’ll receive at the first or second rehearsal of each preparation period) is your ready reference to a wealth of critical information. Some of the many things you’ll find on the “blue sheet” are:

  • Concert overview
  • Rehearsal calendar and the order of selections for each rehearsal
  • Schedule of auditions for solo parts
  • Concert call times and locations for the entire current season

Refer to the “blue sheet” often for answers to all of the most frequently asked questions—it can also be accessed from the "members-only" section of our website.

"Members-only" Section on LCC Website

LCC’s website features a section for LCC members. From any page on the site, click on "LCC Member Information," found in the footer of the page and log in with the password: Wilbert. You’ll find information to support your participation, including important dates, listening links for practicing, and details about upcoming LCC projects.

Rehearsals

Rehearsals are held each Monday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church, 4939 W. Montrose in Chicago. Our rehearsals are used to learn the music for the upcoming concert and rehearsal breaks provide opportunities for fellowship with one another. Each preparation period has a maximum number of permitted rehearsal absences, based on the total number of rehearsals and determined by the artistic director.

Singers should plan to arrive on time for all rehearsals. As a courtesy to the chorus and your fellow singers, please let your membership chairperson know via email or phone call/text when you will not be at rehearsal or if you expect to arrive late. 

Attendance Guidelines

Each singer in LCC is important, contributing his or her ability and talent to making LCC a strong, vibrant and spiritually uplifting musical ensemble. Consistent, regular attendance on the part of each choir member is necessary to ensure that our performances will be at the highest level possible. Accordingly, the board of directors and the artistic director have worked together to formulate the following attendance guidelines.

Each singer in LCC is asked and expected to be present at 75% of all rehearsals leading up to a performance in which they desire to participate. All singers are expected to be present at the dress rehearsal, which is scheduled immediately prior to the first concert of each concert preparation period.

If you find that you must be absent for a rehearsal, please contact the membership chairperson, Linda Thurston, as soon as possible at 609-954-0899 (call or text). Messages will be checked up until the time of the rehearsal. The earlier you can provide notification of your absence (via phone or email), the better we can make adjustments to the rehearsal to compensate for your missing voice. If you must miss a rehearsal, we ask that you carefully review Wilbert’s weekly notes regarding the missed rehearsal, and that you spend extra time reviewing the music and incorporating any changes that may have been made. Wilbert may ask members to sing in quartets or small groups based on measures provided in the weekly notes.

If a choir member is absent in excess of the number of allotted absences, the artistic director will assess the member’s readiness to participate in the upcoming concert and be in immediate communication with that member regarding this assessment. The artistic director will then have the discretion to ask that member to forgo singing in the concert based upon his artistic judgment and the best interest of the choir. This, of course, does not mean that the choir member cannot participate for the rest of the season. When the preparation period begins for the next concert, that member is welcome to return and continue for the rest of the season. We really do want everyone to sing!

If, due to extenuating circumstances, you find that you must miss an extended period of rehearsals, please speak directly to the artistic director. This will allow the artistic director to make adjustments not only in his rehearsal schedule but in his concert planning as well. By notifying LCC of your leave of absence, we will also have the opportunity to include you in our prayers as appropriate.

Weather-related Rehearsal Cancellations

In the rare event that a rehearsal must be cancelled due to inclement weather, an email will be sent by 3 pm on the day of rehearsal. If in doubt, call or text the membership chair.

Music Scores

LCC keeps its own music library. Some scores are also borrowed from other sources. Unless specifically mentioned, music scores are not owned by the individual choir member and need to be returned to the librarian at the end of the final concert of the prep. Performance folders are loaned to choir members a few weeks before each concert and should be returned after the concert along with scores. If a choir member leaves the choir during a preparation period, it is the choir member’s responsibility to return the music to the librarian as soon as possible. Invoices will be issued for any non-returned music.

Unless specific permission is given, please do not hole-punch or highlight the music. Mark all music in pencil that can be erased easily. Treat all music gently; some of the scores are old and in fragile condition, some scores are borrowed from various choirs and must be returned in the same condition. Please see the librarian for repairs that may be needed.

Concert Attire

Concert dress consists of black attire and blue accents. Any jewelry should be unobtrusive. Please do not wear perfume, scented hair spray and refrain from using scented soap, lotions and deodorant, as some choir members are very sensitive to these odors. Specific requirements are detailed below:

  • Performance attire should always be free of wrinkles and ornamentation (e.g. embellishments in another color, studs/rhinestones, printed text).
  • Performance top and bottom should be opaque (not see-through); any sheer fabric must be fully lined.
  • Any jewelry and accessories (e.g. for hair) should be modest.
  • LCC will issue blue neckties to men, and blue scarves to women. These should be returned if a member is sitting out a prep. Replacement scarves or ties are issued at a cost of $5.00.

Men:

  • Black trousers/dress slacks (not jeans or cargo pants)
  • Black front button-down, long-sleeve shirt with a collar (not button down collar)
  • Black shoes, socks and belt

Women:

  • Black ankle-length skirt or trousers/dress slacks
  • Slacks should not be at all form-fitting. They should be more like trousers. Palazzo pants are acceptable.
  • Black blouse with ¾-length or longer sleeves and a modest neckline
  • Wash-worn knits and push-up sleeves are not appropriate.
  • Black closed-toe shoes, black belt (if belt is worn); black or opaque socks or stockings

No LCC member should feel obligated to make an undue investment in new additions. Contact any LCC board member:

  • If you have any questions
  • If you have difficulty obtaining the necessary pieces
  • If you have extra pieces in your own wardrobe that you no longer wear and would like to lend or donate to other LCC members

Please show your planned performance attire to the librarian by the 6th rehearsal—either by bringing it to a rehearsal, or sending a "selfie" by email.

Concert Ticket Sales

It is critical for the success of each concert that every singer take personal responsibility to help build the audience for each performance. Concert tickets are sold in advance by choir members, online, and at the box office on the day of the concert. Prior to concerts, each singer is asked to sell tickets and spread the word about our performances. More details will be provided when we reach that stage of concert preparation. The expectation is for each singer to sell at least 2 tickets for each performance.

Please share LCC’s website (www.luxcantorum.org) with friends and acquaintances, and encourage them to sign up for our email newsletters (from the footer of any page on our website). And of course, please “like” LCC on Facebook!