The group starts rehearsals on the Sunday after Labor Day, with rehearsals
scheduled every two weeks or so. But the pace often accelerates, to more Sundays
rehearsing than not, as we near December.
We rehearse at Zion Lutheran Church, on Woodward three blocks south of Nine Mile near downtown Ferndale. Rehearsals are in the sanctuary from 5-7 p.m. Extra help or rehearsals may be arranged with the director or others in your section.
We sing most music from memory. Our season's repertoire includes secular and sacred standards, music we do most years, and new arrangements. Singers often bring portable tape recorders to rehearsals, and a rehearsal CD is prepared at the annual rehearsal retreat in mid-October. Memorization is a burden, especially for members in their first season. But it makes us a more flexible group, able to engage, to make eye contact with our audiences and to enjoy our performances thoroughly, as you should tell from our pictures!
The group also has a small repertoire of madrigals, love songs and folk songs for special occasions. We also have music ready for funerals or memorial services. We use music folders at all special occasions.
We have a good variety of “clients” who hire us for the Christmas season. We sing often at private clubs, but we also go to community events, private functions, office parties and nursing homes. We perform a public concert at Zion Lutheran on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving and in 2010 started a Concert for the Cure to raise money for Karmanos Cancer Institute.
The gig season usually starts the week after the annual concert, although an occasional one pops up before it. All members are expected to perform in the annual concert. All other engagements are by sign-up, and a minimum number of gigs is required to qualify for a mostly-free weekend at the annual retreat.
That's in Northport in northern Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula, usually in mid-October. Details are provided at the first rehearsal. It's not a required event. But it's invaluable as a means to learn about the group and its culture, to immerse yourself in the music in several rehearsals and to enjoy a beautiful place in a beautiful bayside setting.
There are no dues. All music and folders are provided. However, we perform in authentic Old English costume. Depending on how authentic you wish to be, costumes can be costly. Men's costumes are provided by the group unless the singer wishes to have his own made. New women must provide their own, using an approved pattern. Members of the group can help with the costume-making. Some companies, in the area or on-line, provide authentic reasonably-priced Renaissance costumes.
We are a group that takes pride in providing fine a cappella music and having fun doing it. We're always a class act, but we manage to be informal!