The Simple Steps to Membership
Step 1: Visit A Rehearsal
- The Heart of Florida Chorus is more than just a men’s chorus, it is a family. We love getting together each week to enjoy friendships as well as make great music. Come and discover a truly American form of music and its unique ringing chords.
You are always welcome at our rehearsals, whether or not you have joining in mind. We will make sure you are comfortable and enjoy your experience. Consider this your official invitation to visit us from 6:30 to 9:00 PM on most Thursday evenings at North Lake Presbyterian Church (975 Rolling Acres Rd, Lady Lake, FL.)
- Please plan to arrive at rehearsals by approximately 6:15 p.m.
- Bring a friend or a member of your family with you for moral support, if you wish. Part of our mission is to introduce barbershop harmony to as many people as possible.
- Please check in at our guest table before the rehearsal starts to register and meet your “Riser Buddy”
- Until you become a member, a guest songbook will be provided with all the current repertoire. Please be certain to return it at the end of the evening.
- While in “guest status” you will be placed, when your are ready to sing, next to a seasoned member of our Chorus who will help you have a great experience. Please ask him a lot of questions.
- Early in your second visit, you will be asked to participate, privately, in a very simple voice placement exercise that will help us know which of our voice sections (i.e., Lead, Tenor, Baritone, or Bass) would benefit most from your vocal talents. This voice placement is the very first step in the membership process by evaluating your basic vocal skills – range, pitch matching, etc. No preparation is required. This voice placement is not a permanent decision.
- If you have previous barbershop experience, you will join your Riser Buddy as the Chorus explores song craft improvements and warms up on familiar barbershop tunes.
- If you have never sung barbershop, you and your Riser Buddy will attend a short New-To-Barbershop class during the first portion of the rehearsal
- You will be introduced to what makes barbershop barbershop.
- You will learn terminology specific to this type of harmony
- Your Riser Buddy will begin to teach you the barbershop “anthem”: Keep The Whole World Singing. This is sung at every gathering of barbershoppers anywhere in the world
- At the end of the class period (20 minutes-ish) you and your Riser Buddy will rejoin the regular Chorus rehearsal.
- Keep coming to meet new friends and continue the fun!
- If you have previous barbershop experience, you will again join your Riser Buddy and the Chorus for song craft and warm-up
- If you are new to barbershop, you will continue with the New-To-Barbershop class in which you, and your Riser Buddy, will polish your ability to sing Keep The Whole World Singing.
- You will rejoin the regular Chorus rehearsal after this session.
- You will be asked if you would ultimately be interested in applying for membership, if you haven’t already expressed your interest.
Step 2: Sing Some Barbershop Harmony
Hopefully you now know that there are so many reasons to join, like spending time with a wonderful group of men, learning some amazing music, and getting a chance to perform and strut your stuff!
As you know, the Heart of Florida emphasizes ensemble singing. So to be a good fit
- You should be able to sing in tune.
- You should be able to hear those around you and blend your voice with theirs.
To demonstrate these attributes
- For previous barbershoppers, you will pick a Polecat song (or Keep The Whole World Singing) and sing it accurately with the three other voice parts.
- For those without barbershop experience, when you and your Riser Buddy are comfortable with your knowledge of Keep The Whole World Singing, you will sing it with the three other voice parts. Your Riser Buddy will be there to help you succeed.
The links below enable you to download the sheet music and the Learning Track for your part of Keep The Whole World Singing . You will need head phones or ear buds to use the learning tracks effectively. They will enable you to hear your part in one ear with the remaining 3 parts in the other.
Step 3: Membership
Once you have successfully sung some barbershop harmony, the Board of Directors will be notified that you are eligible for membership in the Central Florida Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS).
- The Membership Representative will:
- Help make certain your BHS membership application is completed correctly.
- Fully explain membership dues that support Chorus/Chapter activities and expenses, District events, and Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) functions. At present the annual obligations are:
- Barbershop Harmony Society $144
- Sunshine District $ 25
- Central Florida Chapter $ 35
- One-time processing fee $ 10 (waived if submitted on-line)
- Discuss uniform requirements and attendance expectations for both rehearsals and performances.
- THIS CAN ALL BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE SAME NIGHT, if that is your preference.
- When the Membership Representative has your signed application with membership fees, he will formally present your name to the Board for final approval.
- Once the Board of Directors approves your membership, you’re IN! A wonderful musical journey awaits you!
Congratulations, you made it!! WELCOME to the Heart of Florida. We’re glad to have you!
Participate. Perform. Have Fun. Contribute.
- You are now a full-fledged member of the Central Florida Chapter of BHS. Like all current members, inclusion in the Heart of Florida Chorus relies on mastery of each of the songs in the current year’s repertoire. You will be invited to sing each song you master in any Heart of Florida Chorus performance.
- To keep the Chapter (and the Chorus) viable and vibrant, each member is expected to take on at least one of the small tasks contained in our “Job Jar”. Often these tasks will be a part of a larger committee effort.
- In order to continually improve your song craft as a member of the Heart of Florida Chorus, make sure you schedule time, at home, to practice your songs in between rehearsals. Singing is like any exercise . . . if you don’t use it, you lose it.
- Before you practice at home, you will want to develop a regular voice warmup routine. This will help protect your voice and provide the opportunity to work on a variety of skills at once (i.e. flexibility, range, breath control, dynamics (volume control, etc.)
Where We Rehearse
The time and place of our rehearsals are on the Join Us page.