What do I need to do to join the chorus?
Come visit a rehearsal to see what our group is like, sing a few songs with us, and get to know the members. Guests are always introduced at the beginning of rehearsals and warmly welcomed. Check out our rehearsal page for location, dates/times.
What is the procedure to become a member?
We ask prospective members to attend at least five out of eight consecutive rehearsals (three in a row), memorize two short pieces of music (printed music and learning media are provided), and pass an audition. The audition consists of singing the two audition pieces in a quartet for the director and their section leader. It may seem like a scary proposition, but you won't find a more supportive group of people who want you to succeed!
Do I have to be a great singer?
All voices have different qualities, and each voice quality contributes something special to the sound of the ensemble. You don't need to have vocal training or even be able to read music. We do look for singers who can accurately memorize notes and words, and who can hold their own part when singing near others who are singing different parts. And we find that those who consider themselves lifelong learners have the easiest time adapting to the demands of singing barbershop.
How do I learn the songs?
Sheet music and learning media (downloadable sound files) are provided for all our songs. While the ability to read music is not required, members inevitably learn quite about about reading music, such as key signatures, notes, intervals, symbols, terms, and so on. Most people learn by listening to and singing along with the music (at home, in the car). Our director and section leaders provide tips on how to mark the sheet music, which makes learning your part easier. Several of our songs have choreographed dance moves. Choreography is taught and practiced during rehearsal, and there are usually videos of the choreography available to help members practice outside of rehearsal.
How much personal time will it take?
Chorus rehearsals are every Thursday from 7:30 to about 10pm. We do not meet during July 4th week or during the last two weeks of December. Members are expected to attend rehearsals regularly.
In late spring, the chorus participates in a competition with other Sweet Adelines International choruses in Region 12, which includes most of Northern California, parts of Oregon, and Hawaii. In preparation for competition, members are expected to attend rehearsals every week, as well as a few extra weekend rehearsals.
In normal (not covid) times, the chorus has a 2-3 shows each year, mostly for friends and family. We may also perform in the community for holiday tree lightings, the San Jose Harvest Festival, World Singing Day, and other special events. Participation in these community events is voluntary.
While we encourage our members to take part in all of these activities, obviously life's demands do not always allow that and we understand.
What is the cost?
Chorus dues are $40 per month for regular members. Youth members (under age 26) and Associate members pay $20 per month. Dues do not include the annual Regional assessment (currently $30 for adults and $15 for Youth members) and the annual Sweet Adelines International fee (currently $100 per year for adults and $50 for Youth members) that are charged separately. Incidental costs during the year include travel to conventions, overnight stays for occasional weekend events, stage makeup, and costume accessories.