Chorus Policies

Weekly Rehearsals

Every member is expected to:

  1. Attend every rehearsal and to be on time; exceptions, of course, are made for family, work, traffic or unexpected emergencies.
  2. Always bring a pencil for marking music. (Professional hint: use red for mf and louder dynamics; use blue for mp and softer dynamics)
  3. Be kind and respectful at all times to all other chorus members.
  4. Warmly welcome new members and make them feel at ease by introducing them to other members of your section.
  5. Accomplish weekly homework assignments outside of the rehearsal. *
  6. Get all markings missed during an absence, before the next rehearsal, from a section member or Section Leader.
  7. Remember that silence is golden, although the occasional quip is permitted…and sometimes most appropriate.
  8. Wear a name tag at rehearsals to facilitate better camaraderie and to help members longtime and new to know who’s who.

*While we understand that family and work complications are a part of today’s hectic lifestyle, every Bella Musica member is expected to be current with the learning curve for each piece. Our collective inability to do so results in a compromised performance that is not indicative of our full potential.

Attendance Policy

Rehearsals will be held at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church on Tuesday evenings from 7-9:30, with a break and announcements (and occasionally refreshments) to be included.

  • If you will be late on a consistent basis because of family or work demands, simply let your Section Leader and the Director know in writing.
  • An Absence is considered to be in effect if more than half a rehearsal is missed; fatigue, sudden illness or unexpected family matters that require you to leave or be late to a rehearsal will not be counted as an Absence.

Three Excused Absences per cycle are permitted.

  • An Excused Absence is informing both your Section Leader and the Director in writing (i.e. email, text or hand-written) of an impending absence prior to the time of the absence (even if it’s the same day.)
  • An Excused Absence requires that you are responsible for obtaining any markings or other pertinent information given during your Absence; this is expected to be accomplished before the first rehearsal you attend following your Excused Absence
  • If more than 3 Excused Absences are necessary because of family, illness or work demands, the situation will be dealt with on a one-to-one basis with the Director

An Unexcused Absence is neglecting to inform both your Section Leader and the Director that you will be missing a rehearsal — and will be counted as 2 Excused Absences.

  • Emergencies such as a sudden personal or family illness, unexpected work demands, unpredictable car trouble or impossible traffic situations will not be counted as an Unexcused Absence.

After a total of 3 Absences, you will be expected to sing any passages from all music covered to date, in private, with the Director.

Not attending an announced section rehearsal at a date and time other than the usual Tuesday evening rehearsal must be communicated and treated as an Excused/Unexcused absence as described above.

Concert Attire

WOMEN: Formal concert black

  • Pants: full-length pants: no jeans or casual pants, OR Skirt: mid-calf to ankle length, straight hem or formal concert style;
  • Top: ¾ length or long sleeves, moderate to high necklines; jackets are okay; no sweaters
  • Fabric: matte true black; no lacy, shiny, sparkly or see-through fabrics;
  • Accessories: black low-heeled or flat dress shoes; very simple jewelry: i.e. small, non-shiny earrings, a simple necklace (pearls, gold—no pendants, etc.).
  • Black hose if a skirt is worn;
  • Hair: gracefully pulled away from your face.

Recommendation: Make-up, brighter and stronger than usual street makeup (including rouge, eye shadow, liner, foundation)
Why: to avoid the ever-present washed out look that is especially important when wearing formal concert black.

NOTE: It is a very wise idea to wear your performance shoes to the dress rehearsals so that you don’t have any surprises when/if you must stand for a long time during a concert.


A formal all-black tuxedo or convincing tuxedo “look”

  • pressed pleated pure white tuxedo shirt with wing tip collar;
  • neatly pressed pants;
  • solid black bow tie, black socks and polished black shoes;
  • black cummerbund optional;
  • no vests, please.

If not a tux:

  • Solid all-black (no pin striped) suit or solid black blazer and
  • black dress slacks neatly pressed;
  • ironed/pressed long-sleeve pure white shirt;
  • black bow tie.

Section Leaders

  1. Will be appointed at the discretion of the Director, with suggestions always welcome.
  2. Keep accurate weekly attendance records and all contact information, submitting them to the Registrar on a timely basis.
  3. Are expected to both call and email section members who have an unexcused absence before the next week’s rehearsal, letting them know that they were missed; accusations will not be tolerated.
  4. Monitor and immediately quell any gossip, dissent or unrest within the section, informing the Director and/or President as soon as possible.
  5. Maintain and encourage friendly and respectful interactions with all the members of the section.
  6. Be aware of member[s] having difficulty with the music and/or vocal production, informing the Director as soon as is discretely possible.

Music Folder

A black folder or 3-ring binder in excellent condition is required for all performances. An opportunity to buy a formal black concert folder with hand and music straps will be available during the weekly rehearsal period.

Membership Volunteer Opportunities

The Bella Musica membership is expected to volunteer and/or help recruit non-chorus members for the following opportunities that are necessary and should not be the sole responsibility of the Executive Board. Obviously, some categories require more than one person. With which position may we put your name?

  • Music Librarian
  • Archivist
  • Roster Management
  • Providing Nametags
  • Break Food/Beverage Manager
  • Performing Venue Acquisition
  • Program Advertisement Sales
  • Bookkeeping and Donor Listing
  • Concert Manager: Box Office and Usher Coordination; Concert Logistics; Concert Programs
  • Donor Relations
  • Friends of Bella Musica (fundraising)
  • Marketing: Publicity and Outreach (e.g. poster design, press articles, San Francisco Classical Voice Community Chorus division)
  • Rehearsal set up/tear down/clean up
  • Tax Preparation
  • Ticket Sales
  • Website Design and Maintenance

Personal Pet Peeves of the current director:

  1. Direct all questions to the Director, not your neighbor.
  2. Please do not talk when the Director stops.
  3. Never point out another member’s mistake.
  4. Never tell another member how to sing or comment negatively on another member’s vocal technique; should you have a concern, please speak only to the Director in private of your concern.
  5. Talking behind a person’s back, perpetuating rumors, gossip and negative feelings or discontent within any section is poisonous to the cohesion of the chorus. If it starts, please stop it immediately.

There are ways to privately express concerns of any kind:

If you have personal feelings of unhappiness or are having Bella Musica problems of any sort, they may be brought to the President and/or Director with the expectation of total confidentiality and respect for you as a person and respect for your feelings.