Here are some frequently-asked questions:
I don't know how to read music? How can I learn the songs?
Each member is given a copy of the sheet music for our songs. However, most of our members do not read music. They look at the music and see if the notes go up or down! We have sectional rehearsals to help each member in each section learn her music.
We usually have learning CDs for the songs in our repertoire and our contest songs. Each member gets a learning CD for her part. We also have the learning tracks saved at our member site. If we don't have a learning CD for a song, our director plays each part when we first receive the music and each member records her part - or all four parts! Members also learn their music by recording songs during our rehearsals and playing the recordings back during the week.
As you grow and develop musically with the chorus, you will be amazed at how quickly you can learn your music wihout actually being able to read music!
How much personal time will it take?
In addition to weekly rehearsals throughout the year, there are two annual shows, usually in September and December.
We also participate in a Sweet Adelines regional competition in the spring of each year (usually March/April), plus two other regional educational seminars (usually in July/August and October/November).
Although the two regional seminars are optional, we strongly encourage members to attend both. They are great ways to learn more about our barbershop craft and to meet the members of the other regional choruses. Classes are conducted by regional instructors and international instructors. The summer seminar also has a novice quartet contest. The fall seminar has a novice double quartet contest and a Young Women in Harmony contest. And you don't have to pay for the registration fee! That's included in your annual regional dues.
Voices United has two Saturday retreats (usually February and August) per year to focus on preparing for contests. Attendance is mandatory for the retreats. The August retreat is usually a weekend retreat.
We also perform throughout the Fresno area at local festivals, business events, charitable events, as well as participating with holiday and arts festival events.
How much does it cost?
As with any hobby, there are fees associated with membership - but unlike other hobbies, you get hours and hours of education in addition to wonderful performance opportunities, all for $52.50 per month! You can't get vocal lessons for such a low fee!
New members have a one-time fee to join the Sweet Adeline International organization. Voices United has a costume deposit fee of $150 which is payable by installments and covers the cost of most of our lovely and unique costumes, with the exception of personalized items.
There are also additional costs associated with attending regional events and chorus retreats. Our members are usually billed on a monthly basis for the additional costs and dues.