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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About Joining DWC

Learn even more at Join Us!

Audition
Fees
Performances
Repertoire
Rehearsals
Required Activities

Learn even more at Join Us!


Audition

What is the Diablo Women’s Chorale looking for in singers?

First and foremost, the Chorale seeks team players who will commit to our high artistic standards. Singers must be able to maintain pitch and learn the music in a timely fashion. Sight-reading ability is not required but is helpful.

How do I prepare for the audition?

Prospective singers are auditioned/interviewed by the Music Director. Singers might be asked to vocalize, sing scales a cappella (without accompaniment), or present a prepared piece of your choice; the Membership Chair will advise you on the specifics. Each audition takes approximately five minutes.

How do I know which part I sing?

During your audition, the Music Director will work with you to determine your vocal range and the part you might sing.

Do members have to re-audition each season?

Continuing members do not have to re-audition. Past members who return after taking a break of one season or more might be asked to re-audition if the Music Director has changed during the break or the Chorale is at capacity.

When will I know the results of my audition?

Potential members typically are notified within 24 hours, but always before the following rehearsal.

Are there solo/small group opportunities?

Yes. These opportunities vary widely depending on the program. Some will be auditioned, and some will be assigned.

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Fees

How much does it cost to sing with the Diablo Women’s Chorale?

Members currently pay $225 per season. This includes sheet music and access to the voice part recordings.

Do I need to buy a performance costume?

Yes. Each season will have a different theme and the concert attire will change slightly to reflect that. The basic concert attire consists of "performance black," which is a black top with 3/4 to full length sleeves, black pants or skirt, and closed-toe black shoes with opaque stockings. Seasonal accessories are recommended by the Concert Attire Committee and approved by the membership. The cost averages around $20.00.

Do I need to buy music?

The sheet music is included in the seasonal dues.

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Performances

When are the concerts held?

The fall concert is typically held in early to mid-December. The spring concert is typically held mid-May.

Are there dress rehearsals?

Dress/technical rehearsals are typically held the afternoon or night before and the morning of the performance. Singers are required to be concert-ready, i.e., full attire and make-up, for both dress rehearsals.

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Repertoire

Since this is a secular, community chorus, do you sing holiday songs? Do you have an affiliation with the houses of worship where you perform?

Our music is selected from the broadest range of compositions and the repertoire often includes holiday music. Pieces are selected for their musical qualities rather than for any liturgical message, and they reflect no specific faith tradition. The Diablo Women’s Chorale has no affiliation with the houses of worship where we rehearse or perform; however, they are well-suited to our acoustical and practical requirements, such as budget, audience capacity, and parking.

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Rehearsals

What happens at a rehearsal?

Singers are expected to be in their places at 7:00 pm. The Music Director may lead us in some physical and vocal warm-ups to prepare us for singing. The Music Director selects several pieces of music for the evening’s rehearsal from our season’s repertoire. There will be a 7- to 10-minute break for announcements and to refresh yourself.

What is the rehearsal attendance policy?

We ask that our members attend all rehearsals. However, we understand that work conflicts, family commitments, and illness will occasionally occur requiring a member to be absent. If the member misses more than three rehearsals in a season, she must obtain permission from the Music Director to perform at the concert.

How long is the rehearsal season?

The fall season rehearsals typically start in mid-August and complete in early to mid-December and the spring season rehearsals typically start in early January and complete in mid-May.

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Required Activities

Where and how long are the rehearsals?

The Chorale rehearses on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at St. Matthew Lutheran Church (399 Wiget Lane) in Walnut Creek.

Does the group have practice materials available?

The Chorale uses Choir Genius, where singers have access to practice recordings provided for each part.

What if I need extra help learning the music?

In addition to the Monday night rehearsals, the Chorale offers sectional rehearsals led by the voice part Section Leader. These typically are held at a member’s home on an agreed date, typically two to five times during a season. These outside sectionals help singers master pitches, timing, and rhythms.

What other musical activities are expected of the Diablo Women’s Chorale members?

During any season, workshops can be held where members work with a noted music clinician. Past clinicians have included Branice McKenzie and Kirby Shaw. There are also opportunities for optional outreach performances and touring.

Are members expected to volunteer?

Chorale members also contribute to the smooth functioning of the organization by volunteering their skills in finance, publicity, marketing, development, organizational support and the like. The seasonal concert is entirely dependent on members participating in all facets of concert preparation and performance. Occasional fundraisers may be held, and participation in these fun and essential events is strongly encouraged.

Do I need to practice outside of the weekly rehearsals?

We do perform "off-book" at our concerts, and the Music Director establishes the "off-book by" schedule for each song. While there is no specific requirement, each singer is expected to spend an average of 30 minutes per day rehearsing on her own.

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Contact us

Diablo Women's Chorale
Walnut Creek, California, USA

Phone: (925) 968-9962 - Anne

[email protected]

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