Terms and Conditions

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Membership Guidelines

Introduction

Jazz Choirs is a membership funded choir and our vision is to make learning and singing jazz music accessible, fun and social and provide our members with a gateway into the wider network within the Jazz Music community.

Jazz Choirs is open to everyone over 18 years of age and members do not need to sight read or audition. We provide learning tracks and vocal scores of all of our arrangements to support learning during our terms.

We currently run our rehearsals from 7pm until 9pm on Tuesday evenings in The Old Chapel at Camden’s London Irish Centre.

Jazz Choirs runs across three terms of 12 weeks (with a one week break for half term) each year with breaks over winter, Easter and summer.

MP3 learning tracks (SATB: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) for all of our arrangements are provided for all Jazz Choirs arrangements and are solely for the purposes of supporting our members’ learning of our material. Jazz Choirs retains all rights to resources provided and they may not be shared or used beyond Jazz Choirs.

All rehearsals are with a live accompanist on piano and performances typically take place with a minimum of two accompanists on piano and bass or drums. Performances may include other instrumentation as directed by our MD.

Jazz Choirs works towards a summer and a winter performance each year to show case our work and our members’ development…and just to have a good time! Performances are not mandatory for members who may not wish to take part in a particular show, but participation is encouraged as part of developing both technique and confidence.

Jazz Choirs actively explores performance opportunities throughout the year, both paid and unpaid, to offer members as much opportunity to share what they have learnt and show off their skills as possible. Income from paid performances is channelled into choir funds to support the growth and development of our groups and cover performance overheads.

Whilst some income is derived from paid performances, the majority of our running costs, for rehearsal facilities and for the Musical Director and Accompanist, performance venues and additional musician, marketing events and growing our groups is met from membership fees paid by members each term.

Membership

Membership is on a term by term basis and during each term, members receive 12 1.5 hours of Jazz Choir sessions in their chosen group – subject to availability. One of the 12 sessions may be a performance, and performances may vary in duration from a standard rehearsal.

Members also receive access to the members area of our website where all of our learning material for the term can be found including;

Bespoke MP3 learning tracks for each voice part

Vocal Scores

Rehearsal Recordings

Jazz Choir Playlists

Tips and Techniques Resources

You will also be given access to our private Facebook group where members can discuss their development, add photo’s, audio and video clips, share news about upcoming gigs and their musical experiences with one another.

Access to the members’ area and learning materials for the duration of the time paid for will be confirmed upon receipt of payment.

Membership Fees

Jazz Choirs membership fees are arranged on a term by term basis at £120 per 12 week term (12 sessions over 13 weeks with a half term in the middle). Members are invited to confirm their membership (a minimum of another 12 week term) towards the end of each term so we can ensure we can assess membership numbers and waiting list for spaces in each particular group as each term comes to a close. Confirmation of membership or membership extension will be provided upon payment of membership fees.

Membership fees must be paid in full before the first session of each term in order to extend access to the members area and Jazz Choir learning material. Access to our members’ area will be deactivated where payment has not been received before the first session of term.

New members can sign up for Jazz Choirs during term time on a pro-rated basis but may be asked to wait until the following term if joining late in the term to ensure existing members learning is not disrupted.

Existing members may only sign up for a minimum of one full 12 week term following the end of their joining term with Jazz Choirs to ensure consistency and safeguard attendance numbers and voice parts for each group.

Payment

We politely request all payments are made at time of booking by bank transfer.

Payment Details:

Bank: Santander

Account Name: Jazz Choirs

Sort Code: 09-01-29

Account No: 39781873

To avoid confusion, please:

Include your full name as payment reference

Email payment confirmation to: jazzchoirs@gmail.com

Cancellation

Should you need to cancel your membership for any reason, fees paid for each term are subject to a seven day cancellation period where the cancellation request is received within seven days of the date of payment and where payment has been made more than 14 days before the commencement of the first session of the period the payment relates to.

Where payment is made less than 14 days notice before the first session of the period the payment relates to, no refund will be possible.

Should you not attend a particular rehearsal within the period you have paid for, no refund will be possible and fees may not be carried over to another period where forfeited.

Musical Director

The role of the Musical Director is to rehearse, develop and train members of Jazz Choirs to the highest possible level, in order for them to:

Develop their knowledge and repertoire as well as their confidence and vocal technique

Gain a high degree of personal satisfaction from singing

Be well prepared for public performance

The Musical Director has the final word on all musical matters. These include:

Selecting and teaching repertoire

Developing vocal sections and overall choir blend

Organising programmes for concerts and shows

Selecting and approving soloists and small groups for feature spots

Booking and directing accompanists

On occasion, the Musical Director may call upon one or more members of the Jazz Choirs team or associated depts. to run warm ups, excersies or  full or sectional rehearsals.

Rehearsals

Jazz Choirs rehearsals should be fun and relaxed but also purposeful, we want members to get the most out of their rehearsal time.

Each 2 hour rehearsal will be accompanied by a pianist and the MD will initially rehearse 4 – 6 songs, this number will increase towards the of term as members learn the material. There is typically a 15 minute break half way though each session.

The aims of each Jazz Choir rehearsal include:

To make the most of our singing time

To teach and finesse new and existing material

To improve the quality of singing and blend

To minimise interruptions and disturbances

To achieve this, members are expected to:

Arrive for rehearsals on time and prepared, with the right music

Commit to giving our MD your full attention throughout the rehearsal, keeping

discussions amongst yourselves to after rehearsal

Leave your fellow singers to manage on their own unless help is requested

Use the learning tracks to learn the material for each rehearsal

Rehearse songs we are working on outside of rehearsals

Musical suggestions on repertoire are welcomed, and can be communicated though our jazzchoirs@gmail.com email or by speaking to the MD or one of our Jazz Choir team before or after rehearsal.

Preparing For Rehearsal

The Musical Director will prepare a rehearsal schedule in advance of each session, identifying which songs will be rehearsed at which sessions. Although once a song has been introduced into our rep for the term, it may be called on during any rehearsal.
Members have access to the accompanying learning tracks and sheet music to begin learning the material ahead of the rehearsal in question via the members are of our website.

It is important that everyone in Jazz Choirs takes personal responsibility for learning the music and words outside of rehearsals, so that rehearsal time can focus on technique and maintaining a high standard of performance.

Attendance

Jazz Choirs only works as co-operative effort with our members, so it is important that, particularly when we are working towards a show, all members commit themselves to rehearsals.

Of course life will sometimes mean we can’t do everything we would like to, but members are encouraged to attend as regularly as possible to ensure the quality, sound and blend of the group…Jazz Choirs really is a team effort!

The Musical Director will prepare a rehearsal schedule for those Tuesday evening sessions, which will be for a specific event. Everyone should attend all rehearsals whenever possible, but as an absolute minimum any member who cannot attend 75% of the rehearsals for a performance may be ruled out of that event at the discretion of the Musical Director to ensure the quality of the group is maintained.

The final rehearsal before any performance will also be regarded as mandatory (unless absence of a member has been agreed by the Musical Director, via liaison with the Jazz Choirs team), as this will be the occasion for final decisions on musical and stage direction matters.

Absences

Singing with Jazz Choirs is something we do for relaxation and enjoyment. However, there may be occasions when outside circumstances (such as work, family, another spare time activity) dictate that a member needs to take a break from the group.

Please do discuss this with the Jazz Choirs team so that, with the Musical Director, we can plan programmes and performances around your absence.

If you can only attend part of a term, you will need to pay for the full term in order to keep your place for the term.

If you need take a break you will normally be able to return to the group immediately, provided this fits into the rehearsal schedule and there is space in the available session, and we will always do our best to accommodate your needs.

After an extended absence, you may be required to wait for a vacancy in your voice part and session of choice but we will also work with you to look at where else their might be a suitable space for you.

The Musical Director must maintain the vocal balance and blend in our groups, and therefore may need to fill the place of somebody likely to be away for an extended period.

Similarly, any solos or small group parts members may have been allocated before an extended absence may have been reallocated while you were away.

Communicating With the Jazz Choirs Team

It is important that communication within Jazz Choirs is manageable and effective, and supports the smooth running of our Choirs.

Queries and suggestions about repertoire should be directed to the Musical Director via our jzzchoirs@gmail.com email address.

General queries, feedback, complaints and suggestions should be directed to the Jazz Choirs team via our jzzchoirs@gmail.com email address.

Communicating With Each Other

Our Jazz Choirs private Facebook group is great way to connect and stay in touch with other Jazz Choirs members and groups to share your thoughts and experiences and document your developments, post articles, videos or events or just join the conversation! We encourage all members to join the group once you sign up.

Conduct

Jazz Choirs was established to be a fun social and safe space for singers of all abilities and from all walks of life. We expect all members to behave in a way that is respectful, collaborative and supportive.

We want Jazz Choirs to be somewhere members are excited and conformable and a space to be themselves, make friends and socialise as well as learning lot and singing some great Jazz music!

Members who are negatively disruptive during rehearsals may be asked to leave.
We celebrate all of our members and do not tolerate any form of prejudice, bigotry, hatred or abuse.

Any member whose behavior is inappropriate will be removed and all further interaction with Jazz Choirs will be refused.

Membership Eligibility and Refusal

To become a member you must be of legal age and capacity.

Your membership is personal to you and non-transferable.

Jazz Choirs reserves the right to refuse or revoke membership at any time at our sole discretion.

These Guidelines

These guidlines intended to set out the terms and conditions of Jazz Choirs membership for members and potential members.

If there are repeated breaches of any of the guidelines, following a discussion between the Jazz Choirs Team and Musical Director, we will either:

Where appropriate, raise the general topic for discussion irrelevant rehearsals, or
discuss the matter privately with the member/s concerned.

In either case, should there continue to be guideline breach’s, the member/s responsible may be asked to leave the group.

Should any form of violence or serious abuse occur the member or members involved will be asked to leave immediately.

These guidelines were adopted by Jazz Choirs when the organisation was established and were updated in January 2020.