Do I have to audition for this choir? As long as you have solid choral singing experience in your background and can keep up with learning the music by attending rehearsals and practicing at home between rehearsals, we do not require auditions at this time.
Do I have to pay dues to join City Ballet Chorus? No. Since we are under the umbrella of the nonprofit, City Ballet of San Diego, no dues are required.
Do we rehearse all year round? We do not. We rehearse starting about 6-8 weeks out from any major ballet productions, like Carmina Burana, or Mozart’s Requiem. For smaller community events, we may only need to rehearse once or just a few times.
Is it okay if I have to miss a few rehearsals? We prefer for you not to miss any rehearsals. However, we do understand that unexpected things can cause a choir member to miss a rehearsal. If that is the case, simply email us to let us know, and it should not be a problem. If multiple rehearsals must be missed, we may ask you not to perform, unless there are extenuating circumstances involved and you are already proficient with the particular piece of music we are working on. In a nutshell, we will try to work with you, but please try to not miss rehearsals.
How do I get my copy of the music? We will advise you of all methods of obtaining music on a project-by-project basis. For example, for larger productions with the ballet, we will either provide the scores to you when we possess them, ask you to purchase your own scores, and/or provide files on our website that you can download and print from home. In the case when we ask you to print files, we will be operating under a strict copyright license obtained by City Ballet, so we will require that you only use your printed copy for the corresponding event in order to avoid any copyright license infringement penalties.
Can I participate in some, but not all, of the scheduled events per calendar year? Yes. As long as you can let us know which events you plan to participate in and which you cannot participate in, so that we can best plan accordingly, you are free to choose which events you wish to perform in. Having said that, ideally, we would like for our choir members to make it a goal to perform in all of our events, even the smaller community events, as they will be in support of the performing arts and will represent our choir to the communities where we perform.
Can I attend rehearsals at either or both locations? Yes. You have your choice of performing at either location - CBC North (in Vista, CA) or CBC South (in Spring Valley, CA). Additionally, if you must miss a rehearsal, you can and are encouraged to attend that week’s rehearsal at the other location, when possible. For anyone who wants to double up and attend rehearsals at both locations, for total immersion, you are certainly welcome to do that.
DRESS REHEARSALS & PERFORMANCES AT SPRECKELS THEATRE:
What should I know about the Dress Rehearsals?
Do not expect things to be perfect at the first dress rehearsal
Mistakes will be made – and corrected – at our two Dress Rehearsals. So, please do not panic if mistakes happen while we are finding our voice in the venue. This is normal during Dress Rehearsals and as they happen, they will be addressed and resolved by the Conductor, John.
Due to the configuration of the choir boxes and the conductor's podium, you may not be able to have a good view of the conductor. We know this and we know it is not ideal, but we give you this warning well in advance, along with the note that it is even more important to be well rehearsed and well practiced, so that you are on top of your entrances and cut-offs, even when you cannot see the conductor.
Because the choir is divided by voice sections, with half of the choir on one side of the theatre and the other half on the opposite side, you will most likely not be able to hear all the other voice parts from where you are positioned. Therefore, as mentioned above, it is imperative that you know how to count to execute your entrances and cut-offs. You should be able to hear at least one of the other sections and that can help you with knowing where to come in. This is the type of circumstance you will acclimate to when we begin dress rehearsals.
The dress rehearsal time is vital to how well we will perform. Please make every attempt to be at all dress rehearsals. Typically, with each rehearsal, the dancers, the choir, the soloists, and the orchestra all tighten-up and improve in performing together as a whole. So, each rehearsal brings great improvement.
The tempo of the music that John directs will likely be much slower than you may be used to, if we’re performing a work that you have done before. The reason for this is that John has the difficult challenge of ensuring that the tempo of the orchestra and choir are compatible with and in support of the dancer’s choreography. We are present to support the ballet. This means that their needs come before ours and this includes the tempo, which must be the best one for the dance they are performing. You can plan on our dress rehearsal being paused several times for John to correct tempos. Please be patient with these interruptions, as they are part of the process. Naturally, there will be more pauses at the first dress rehearsal than at the second.
Please be patient if we don’t start dress rehearsal at the exact call time; the dancers usually are working on a different piece before our arrival, and we must wait patiently for them to finish their portion of other parts of the program before we start rehearsing our portion.
Call times may be slightly adjusted depending on how well each rehearsal goes.
What if I can only attend two of the three performances? Can I still participate? Please talk to us about your situation and we will decide this on case-by-case basis for each particular event. It is highly possible we will ask you to go ahead and perform in the two of three that you can attend.
What attire will I need for performances? Attire for the Sitzprobe and the two dress rehearsals is casual. Attire for all three performances is as follows:
All: Wear all black outfits and look professional
Men: coat and tie are not required; black shirt, black pants, and black shoes are required.
Women: black dress, or a black blouse with a black skirt or black slacks and black shoes; no big or sparkly jewelry or hair ornaments. Skirts must be knee-length or longer. Sleeve length as desired.
All: black folders or black binders for music
All: ABSOLUTELY NO FRAGRANCES OR COLOGNES WHATSOEVER PLEASE. This means no perfumes, colognes, scented sprays, fragranced lotions, fragranced hair sprays, fragranced shampoos, and the like. Some people have severe allergies. When you must be in very close proximity to others for a long period of time, always be mindful about those members with allergies. We are not only talking about allergic reactions to fragrance such as a headache, we are talking about difficulties in breathing, including throat-swelling and asthma induced bronchial restriction. Please arrange to purchase non-fragranced hairsprays, lotions, etc., now, if you do not have them already, before the event arrives. You can save them for subsequent performances. We reserve the right to send anyone home who is wearing a fragranced product that affects those with allergies. Thank you in advance for your understanding and compliance with this policy.
Wear shoes conducive to standing and navigating stairs
Dress in layers, as it might be very cold outdoors, but very warm inside the choir boxes where we will perform
Will I get any compensation for my work in the performances? For the large ballet productions, choir members will each receive one guest voucher that can be exchanged at the event for a ticket. If you desire to purchase additional tickets for a group you are inviting to the event who would like to sit together, you can present your voucher when purchasing the multiple tickets at the event and they will sell the group of tickets, but will provide one among that group of tickets for free. Please note that to redeem your voucher, you must make an in-person transaction at the performance you are seeking the comp ticket for; you are unable to use it with an online tickets purchase. We recommend making this transaction ahead of your call time, similar to picking up tickets at a Will Call window before a performance. Vouchers are typically given out at the Sitzprobe, and not before then.
Do I have to pay to park? Yes. City Ballet does not have the budget to accommodate an entire choir’s parking at this time. Please plan in advance to pay for your own parking for the week at Spreckels Theatre. We strongly encourage you to explore your options before the week arrives. We also encourage forming independent carpools with other CBC members and then splitting the costs for parking throughout the week. Where do you recommend I park for dress rehearsals and performances the week of a concert series at Spreckels Theatre? We have several suggestions about parking to attend the week of dress rehearsals and concerts at Spreckels Theatre: Spreckels Theatre has valet parking only; however, there are several other garages located directly around Spreckels Theatre. Below is a link to a parking map for your general reference, but please call to confirm exact parking prices before using. This map is being provided only to show you where various parking options are located. The prices shown on this parking map may not reflect the evening timeframes, which may be cheaper. Parkopedia Map: https://en.parkopedia.com/parking/theater/spreckels-theatre-san-diego/?arriving=201805021500&leaving=201805021700 Please see the maps at the bottom of this page to view some of the parking garage options. Please plan in advance to have parking money handy for each Spreckels Theatre date during the week of the event. You may also wish to consult websites for public transportation, such as the Trolley.
Where do I need to enter Spreckels Theatre for the week of dress rehearsals and concerts? Once you have parked and arrive at Spreckels Theatre, please go to the Stage Door Entrance. This is located on the side of the Spreckels Building that is across the street from Panera Bread. As required by Spreckels Theatre of all talent/performers, do not use the front entrance. At the backstage door entrance, you will check your name off of their list and then enter. When you enter, please do so quietly, as the dancers may be rehearsing, and we do not want to distract from that.
What do I do with my personal belongings? Please take your personal belongings with you, including your music related items and any purse you need to bring. You can bring water with you, but please only use it before and after the show, and during intermission. Please turn your cell phones completely off during the entire performance. Please do not bring extra things beyond that. You can place your things directly underneath your chair, once you get to your seat in the choir boxes.
What are the call times for choir members and when will the choir be seated? We will specify the precise call times before each concert series. As a general guideline, call times for choir members are typically half an hour prior to the start time for the entire show, including the First Act, even when we do not sing until the Second Act. At such performances, the entire choir will go take their seats between 15-30 minutes (in order to trickle in quietly) prior to the opening of the First Act and will sit quietly during all portions of the show that it is not involved in. No talking, chatting, or whispering is allowed. Please always show courtesy to the dancers and musicians as they are performing, by remaining silent during their performance. Take advantage of this time and enjoy watching the show!
(Having said that, when we get to the portion of the show in which we sing, please do not watch the stage then, but watch the conductor).
What if I need to use the restroom, once I’m in the choir boxes? You must plan ahead to use the restroom at the theatre at the following times only:
Before we take our seats, prior to the First Act
During the intermission
After the performance concludes
Which restrooms may I use? If possible, use the restrooms in the greenroom, which is located downstairs under the stage. You may use the restrooms in the lobby if necessary, particularly during the intermission when we may have a large number of us that need to go there at the same time. Please be mindful to stay in a professional posture, if you must use the lobby restroom, and refrain from any talk that a patron might overhear that could be construed as unprofessional. Thank you.
Will I have to use stairs inside the threatre? To get to various places within Spreckels Theatre, such as the choir boxes, stairs are involved, often with no elevators available. If you need assistance with stairs, please speak to us in advance and we will try to ensure that you have assistance. Please plan to wear black shoes that you can go up and down stairs most safely in. Our shoes will not show to the audience when we are in our choir boxes, so if you have concerns about using stairs and need to wear black tennis shoes for surer footing, then do so.
Is there handicapped access in Spreckels Theatre to the areas I will need to be? Because the historic theatre is over 100 years old, it is, unfortunately, not ADA compliant with today’s building standards. There is no elevator access in the backstage areas of the theatre in the areas we will be occupying. If you are unable to use stairs, please contact us and we will see what we can work out to resolve any issues regarding the inability to take the stairs. Please do us the courtesy of letting us know your needs in advance of the week of the event.
How do you want us to be seated for performances – is there any particular order or assigned seating? There will be assigned seating. After you complete our survey regarding your height range, any health or mobility issues, and voice part, the seating chart for the series of concerts will be created. Seating in the front row of the choir box will be prioritized for people in the following categories: those with health or mobility issues, then shorter choir members, with taller members filling the back rows of the choir boxes.
NOTE: FRONT ROWS ARE TO REMAIN SEATED FOR THE ENTIRE SHOW, EVEN WHEN WE SING. This is to help those rows behind you to be able to view the conductor. (If you have trouble being seated for long periods of time, please let us know and we can put you in a back row, no matter your height, so you can both sit and stand).
Are there any “house rules” I need to know about before the week of dress rehearsals and performances at Spreckels Theatre? The House Manager requires that choir members/performers are never toenter or exit the building though the lobby, which is reserved for patrons only. You must enter and exit through the Stage Door only.
Please, always be aware of your surroundings inside Spreckels Theatre.
What should we plan and prepare to bring to the Theatre, in addition to our music in a black folder?
You will absolutely need a booklight to see your music! PLEASE OBTAIN A BOOKLIGHT BEFORE THE EVENT WEEK! You will need a booklight to clip onto your music folder in order to see your music. The house lights will be down while the stage lights are up during performances. This means that where we sit, which is actually part of the audience seats in the side boxes, will be dark.
Not only do you need to have a booklight, you need to TEST OUT the batteries in your booklight before the event week. Batteries wear out and die down from use or even from being idle. Do not assume yours will work. Our recommendation is to put a fresh battery into your booklight before the event week, to ensure that the booklight is viable for the entire week.
If any of you have a mini-flashlight and wish to serve to guide others, please feel free to bring your flashlight, to help guide choir members while using the stairs.
You can print your own copy of these FAQs by using the Download File link below: