Circle Singers Membership: What's it Like?

Circle Singers is a Cincinnati, Ohio based, mixed-voice, adult, community chorus made up entirely of volunteers. We are recruiting new members interested in singing and entertaining. All voices are welcome. No auditions or vocal training are necessary. Love of music and commitment to singing are the only requirements.

To those unfamiliar with us, it is natural that there should be questions about how we do things. Scan the Frequently Asked Questions below. For any additional information contact us.

To ensure variety in our programs, Circle Singers' concerts feature
full chorus, ensembles and soloists.

Frequently Asked Questions on Membership:

When do you audition for new members?
Circle Singers is a volunteer community chorus, not a professional performing group. We exist to give individuals the joy of singing together as much as providing entertainment for our audiences. Auditions are NOT required nor must you be able to sight read music. We do ask that you be willing to work at rehearsals in improving your music skills and learning more. Realize that many of us are not accomplished singers, so feel free to ask questions or point out passages where you are having difficulty getting the music right.
How much of a time commitment is required of members?
Since we are volunteers and many of us have full-time jobs, we understand what conflicting commitments are. During the season (Sept - June approximately), we have rehearsal every Tuesday except for the Holidays. We try to schedule performances on Tuesdays as well. About a third of our concerts are on other evenings or weekends. About 10% of our concerts happen during weekday working hours. However, we understand that business trips, sick child at home, important meetings, etc. all may take priority from time to time. Since many of the song arrangements we sing are challenging, we ask that you commit to attend as many rehearsals (and concerts) as you can.
What do I have to wear? Do I have to buy a suit?
Dress at rehearsals is casual and relaxed. Circle Singers concert attire is simple. During Autumn, Male (female) members wear a white shirt (blouse) with black trousers (slacks). During the winter and spring other simple costumes using items from your personal wardrobe are worn.
How much is this going to cost me?
While Circle Singers is a volunteer organization, we do pay our professional staff and there are other expenses such as sheet music, etc. to defray. As a result each member pays semi-annual dues of $35. Finally, there are high quality fund-raisers eg. hand-made artistic Christmas ornaments, tickets to the Playhouse in the Park, etc. (about 2 each year) that we hold to reduce our out-of-pocket costs.
Is Circle Singers affiliated with any church or civic group?
Circle Singers is not connected to any religious or civic organization. Members are not expected to hold certain political, social or religious views. That being said it is only fair to note that currently we are predominantly of middle-class background, white, middle-aged and up primarily from Christian faiths. However, we welcome others who differ from us and encourage you to join with us in "stretching" each others awareness, cultural, racial, religious appreciation and understanding.
How do I get to rehearsals?
Circle Singers rehearsals are held at Cottingham Retirement Community in Sharonville, OH. They are on Tuesdays from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Normally we meet in the chapel located in the center of the second floor. (An exception is the third Tuesday of each month when rehearsals are held at Brookdale at Long Cove Pointe Retirement Community in Mason, OH. We rehearse in the Dining Room directly ahead from the main entrance.) Check the schedule to assure a concert isn't scheduled that night!)

Cottingham is reached by taking I-275 to exit 46 (Sharonville/Mason, U.S. Route 42) — two exits east of I-75 and two exits west of I-71. Travel north on route U.S. 42 for one fourth mile to Cottingham Retirement Community on the left (west) side of the street. (To get to Brookdale take I-71 to Mason-Montgomery Road exit 19 then turn North on Mason-Montgomery Road and drive 1.15 miles until you reach Irwin-Simpson Road. Turn left on Irwin-Simpson Road and follow it approximately 0.4 miles until you reach Brookdale at Long Cove Pointe Retirement Community on your left (south) side at 5535 Irwin-Simpson Road.)
What are rehearsals like?
In many ways rehearsals are very business-like yet relaxed. We begin with some light voice exercises. We work straight through with no breaks. At the same time, we often laugh at our mistakes. Bill Osborne concentrates on not only getting the notes and timing right but also communicating the emotional payload of the music. It's actually fun to watch him use every non-verbal means he can to elicit the response he wants from us. Members feel at ease asking questions about difficult passages.
Can I try before I buy in?
Circle Singers encourage you to attend a couple of our rehearsals (and concerts) before you make a commitment. Get a sense of the atmosphere at both. Talk to some of us about how we do things and what it's like being a member. See if we are a good fit for you. Just be warned that if you really love to sing, its going to be hard to say no!
What else do you expect of me?
We ask that you work on mastering your part so that together or as a soloist we can perform as well as possible, including making rehearsals a priority. Handle chorus property with care (e.g. sheet music) and return it when you are done with it. Arrive at events in as timely a fashion as possible and show respect, courtesy (and patience) to others in the group. Finally, relax, have FUN, and communicate it.
I know you love to sing, but even your rehearsals sound like a lot of work.
Do you do anything just for the fun of it?
Sure! Since many of our concerts occur near the supper hour, some members gather for a meal at a nearby restaurant after an occasional concert. At least twice a season we break to have a party, relax, get to know one another better, etc.
What is satisfying and meaningful to you about Circle Singers?
Mastering a difficult piece of music and getting that balance of harmony, timing and emotional punch can be a joy to experience. For many of us though, looking into the tear-stained face of a nursing home resident after a performance as you shake her hand and she says, "Thank you so very much for coming! It was wonderful! Come back again soon!" has to rank right up there near the top!

For more information on membership call:
(513) 519-1838, (513) 777-7167
or e-mail us .