Membership Handbook

History

Born of a casual dinner conversation between friends in the spring of 1999, founding members planted a seed. Nurturing this seed, they organized sing-a-longs, and were joined by RCD’s founding artistic director. This tender seedling reached deep and took root. Its branches began to grow and our first performance took place in December 1999.

Our Vision & Mission

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware, Inc. (“the Chorale” or “RCD”), is a non-profit Delaware organization community providing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and allies (LGBTA) with opportunities to perform choral music in a supportive and affirming environment.

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware seeks to represent the positive face of Delaware’s LGBTA community through high-quality musical performance. In addition, RCD supports other institutions and individuals who serve that community.

Love of music is common to everyone. When we sing, we hope to impart the ideals, hopes, dreams, and aspirations of our community. Our goal is to strike a chord of commonality with our listening audience and bridge the differences of our life experiences.

About Us

Membership in the Chorale is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ethnicity, national origin, political affiliation, or physical ability, who supports the vision and mission of the Chorale and satisfies the financial obligations and rules of membership.

Outreach

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware takes pride in not only contributing to the LGBT community, but to the Delaware community at large. On occasion, the Chorale is requested to perform or participate in events that expand our boundaries and fulfill our mission. Outreach events are planned by the Outreach Committee and are added to the schedule throughout the season. Outreach dates are well-communicated during announcements and are posted in the RCD Calendar and The Rainbow Connector. Participation in outreach events is optional.

Attendance

Attendance: Rehearsal

At the beginning of each semester, the rehearsal schedule is communicated to the membership. During the trimester, rehearsal is scheduled every Monday night, unless otherwise communicated. Rehearsals begin promptly, with all performing members seated and prepared to begin at 7:00 p.m. (If you anticipate arriving after the start of rehearsal, please let your section leader know). There is a short break midway through rehearsal. Rehearsals generally end at 9:30 p.m. The length of rehearsals may extend past 9:30 p.m. as we get closer to our concert(s).

It is expected that all singing members will attend rehearsals for the full time—arriving before 7pm so as to be ready to start at 7pm and staying until 9:30pm. If you consistently cannot make this schedule you need to discuss the matter with your section leader and/or the Artistic Director. If you leave rehearsal significantly early (for example at break) or arrive significantly late (for example at 8pm not 7pm) your attendance may be considered as partial (for example as half-a-rehearsal) for that rehearsal.

Depending on the number of regular rehearsals in a trimester, if you miss 3-4 regular rehearsals (approximately one-third the total number of rehearsals) you may not be eligible to perform at the concert. However, if you feel you have missed too many rehearsals, it is highly encouraged that you communicate your circumstances to your section leader or the Artistic Director. They will discuss your options and whether you are sufficiently prepared to continue for the rest of the trimester to the concert. The Artistic Director will ultimately make this determination.

Attendance: Sectionals

Attendance at sectional rehearsals is strongly encouraged for all singing members. The purpose of sectionals is to allow each section to concentrate specifically on its notes, rhythms, lyrics and Artistic Director’s instructions specific to the section. Sectional schedules are communicated via e-mail, the Rainbow Connector newsletter, and at rehearsals (announcements and white-board). Section leaders will schedule regular sectionals throughout the trimester; if you are unable to make sectionals because of your own schedule, please discuss the conflict with your section leader. Sectional attendance will be taken into consideration if you miss the maximum number of rehearsals and your progress is reviewed as described above.

Dues

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware is a dues-paying organization. This season has been divided into trimesters and dues are $50.00 per trimester for all members. Alternatively, you may pay, in a single installment, $120 (a $30 discount) for the whole season (all three trimesters) at the beginning of the Fall trimester. Dues are payable by the close of the second rehearsal of each trimester (not including open call dates). Failure to meet the financial obligation of dues may result in not being a Member in Good Standing, which may exclude you from auditioning for PRISM, singing in concerts, or voting in elections. Dues payments are non-refundable.

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware does not discriminate based upon ability to meet financial obligations and scholarships and payment plans are available. Scholarship requests and payment plans are held in confidence.

Scholarship Requests: Scholarships of up to 50% of dues per trimester are available to individuals who may have financial difficulty meeting the dues requirement. If you are in need of financial assistance contact the Treasurer in person or send an email request to treasurer@therainbowchorale.org.

Payment Plans: Should you need to set up a payment plan (for example, paying $5 per week until dues are paid in full for the trimester), contact the Treasurer in person or send an email request to treasurer@therainbowchorale.org.

Solos

There may be opportunities for solo singing parts. The Artistic Director will announce the opportunities and request auditions from interested members. The Artistic Director alone will make determinations as to soloists.

Prism

Prism is the Chorale’s select ensemble choir. Participation is voluntary and requires a formal audition with the Artistic Director. PRISM often performs repertoire designed for smaller choirs. Participation in PRISM requires participants to be Members in Good Standing. Acceptance means you accept extra rehearsal time that will be required outside of normal Chorale rehearsals.

Auditions for PRISM are scheduled at the beginning of each trimester and announced at rehearsals and via e-mail. For questions regarding PRISM see the Artistic Director.

Member on Leave

When performing or non-singing members are unable to commit to the rehearsal schedule and time commitment that membership in the Chorale requires, they may request a leave of absence. During this leave, members retain their membership rights and privileges but are not held to attendance requirements. Member on Leave status is valid for one trimester (or the balance of one). Members should inform their section leader, membership committee co-chair, member liaison and/or the Artistic Director of their need to take a leave and how long they anticipate the leave will last.

Member in Good Standing

Members are subject to the rules and regulations outlined in this Membership Handbook and The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware By-Laws, inclusive of, but not limited to, such matters as attendance, conduct, adherence to scheduled rehearsals, and payment of membership dues. Members in Good Standing are permitted to vote in elections and participate in performances and concerts. Member in Good Standing status is reviewed each trimester by the Board.

Member Liaisons

While open lines of communication are always encouraged and recommended, the Member Liaison has been established with the intent of providing a confidential “ear” to our members. Member Liaisons are approachable persons to go to with problems, complaints and suggestions. The Liaisons (or Membership Chair, in their absence) will promptly and anonymously relay member messages to the Board.

Open Call

At the beginning of each trimester OPEN CALL dates are established for individuals who want to join the Chorale. They are scheduled right before a regular rehearsal, where new singers may simply walk in — there is no need to make an appointment. OPEN CALL dates are promoted on our website, social media pages, and via email marketing. Non-singers are also welcome — we are always looking for members for our FIFTH SECTION.

Auditions

There is no formal audition or need to bring prepared music. During Open Call, new singers informally meet with the Artistic Director to determine voice section placement (soprano, alto, tenor, or bass). While music-reading and choral experience are not a necessity, it is desired that new singers have the ability to match pitch. The Artistic Director will provide ample guidance in vocal technique for all singers to improve their skills.

Email

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware maintains e-mail distribution lists for the purpose of disseminating information to its members and supporters.

RCD Members List:

All Members-in-Good-Standing are automatically subscribed to this list. The RCD members list is maintained solely to communicate information that is RCD-related in nature. Members should refrain from using this list for personal communications, chain e-mails, virus warnings, etc. Messages about non-RCD music or LGBT community events that the sender believes will be of interest to RCD members should have “Non-RCD” at the beginning of the subject line.

RCD Board List:

This list is for interaction of RCD Board members to communicate effectively amongst one another. Only members of the Board of the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware are included on this list.

Email Marketing List:

This list is used for the wider group of community and friends of the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware (as well as active members, inactive members, and alumni) by Marketing and Publicity to communicate upcoming Chorale-related events and functions to our supporting audience members and the greater community who have elected to receive electronic Chorale-related communications.

Committees may also request that lists be set up to conduct their business. Failure to use any of the e-mail lists appropriately may result in restriction of posting privileges.

The Rainbow Connector

A weekly member newsletter, The Rainbow Connector, is sent out each week highlighting important announcements, reminders, and dates. This publication, distributed by email as a PDF document (and also in text form), includes an Artistic Director’s Corner detailing past rehearsal wrap-ups, upcoming rehearsal schedules and important music and concert information.

The RCD Website + Social Media

The RCD Website is updated regularly. It contains information regarding the Chorale including details about upcoming events, buying tickets, and the RCD Calendar. Additionally, our social media sites like Facebook, and Twitter offer opportunities to publicize and share our events and mission with friends, family, and the public.

Announcements

Announcements are made each week at every rehearsal headed by the Vice President.

RCD Calendar

The RCD calendar of events is established at the beginning of each trimester and is includes all information relative to Chorale events, meetings, and fund-raisers. It is updated as necessary and can be found on the RCD website by clicking the calendar tab.

Performance Schedule

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware typically performs three major concerts each year. This season’s concerts will include a Winter concert, Spring Showcase and Summer concert. In addition, we perform a number of community outreach performances throughout the course of the trimester. Concert performance dates are announced to the membership at the beginning of each trimester and posted on the RCD Calendar. Outreach performance dates are created periodically throughout the season and are added to the performance schedule. Updates are made as necessary.

RCD Member Contact List

The RCD member contact list is distributed each trimester is updated periodically. You are asked to respect the privacy of your fellow members and bear in mind that the list is distributed for RCD use only and may not be shared. If there is information you do not wish to have shared or which needs to be modified, please notify the Membership Committee.

Study Page

Recognizing that 2 ½ hours of rehearsal per week (plus sectionals) is inadequate, for many, to learn and memorize their music — a special Study Page has been created. This directory can be found at the RCD website (by clicking the Member Access link). The artistic Director will also provide a link. Categorized by song title, it provides valuable study tools to assist in helping singers learn each concert’s repertoire during the trimester. Resources may include:

  • Printable sheet music
  • Downloadable audio tracks for individual songs and/or vocal parts
  • YouTube videos
  • Memorization aids
  • Choreography and movement notes

These efforts will help ensure that everyone has the best tools, and as much time needed to learn their music and motions.

Afterglow

Afterglow is an opportunity for members to interact with one another outside of rehearsal. Afterglow events will be announced weeks ahead of time so that members will have ample time to plan to attend. Afterglow locations are determined in advance and publicized via announcements and email. All members are encouraged to attend. Attendance at Afterglow is not required.

Board Meetings

The By-Laws of the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware require that board meetings be held at least once a quarter and typically occur once a month. Board meetings are open to all members who wish to attend. Meeting dates, times, and locations are posted on the RCD Calendar and announced at rehearsals and via email.

Music Distribution And Use

Music is distributed to all singing members each trimester. Members are reminded that music has been purchased by and is the property of The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware — some music may be on loan from other organizations. Members are responsible for returning all music in good condition in a timely fashion. Music should be handled with care, with any notes or marks made in pencil only. All music should be returned at the completion of each trimester in the same condition as it was received. Members will be held financially responsible for any and all missing or damaged music at the end of each trimester. For specific questions regarding music, contact the Music Librarian at librarian@therainbowchorale.org

Back Stage Etiquette

  • Out of courtesy to performers – dressing room doors should remain closed while changing clothes.
  • A sign will be posted on the door – indicating that non-performers should not enter, that they should knock.
  • Guests – can be received in the hallway or other public area.
  • The doors to the dressing room(s) may be opened before the show, if all persons in the dressing room(s) are finished changing and allow visitors.
  • During intermission – only RCD members performing in the concert, appropriate staff, and guest artists should be in the dressing room area. This will be posted on a sign.
  • Boxes for music, props, costumes, attire accessories, etc. – will be placed in the hallway or a designated public area, instead of the dressing rooms (when possible).

The Fifth Section

Non-singing members or performing members on leave who pay dues are considered part of the Fifth Section. They provide essential support to the Chorale by participating in committees and on the Board, and by volunteering at Chorale events. They are welcome at rehearsal and Afterglow and have the same rights and privileges as performing members.

Performance Attire

Performance attire for The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware is a critical part of its overall performance. In addition to promoting a professional appearance, it allows our audience to concentrate on the quality of our music. Performance attire is determined by the Artistic Committee and is communicated at the beginning of the trimester.

We have both formal (for major concerts) and informal (for outreach events) performance attire. Please speak with your section leader if you have any questions about your performance attire. Purchase or rental of concert attire is the responsibility of individual members. DO NOT wait until the day of the performance. On some occasions, when attire accents (like boutonnières, scarves, ties, etc of a specific color or type) are determined, the Chorale will provide these accessories.

Formal Attire (Black & White)

Men:

  • Black tuxedo (or all-black suit)
  • White tuxedo shirt (or white dress shirt)
  • Black bow tie
  • Black cummerbund or black tuxedo vest (optional)
  • Suspenders are permitted, but they must be either black or white
  • Black dress socks (no ankle socks)
  • Black dress shoes

Women:

Choose from the following:

  1. Tuxedo attire (as described above for men)
  2. Black jacket with black slacks (or full-length black skirt) with white shirt
  3. “A-line” full-length, solid black evening gown with a minimum of ¼ sleeves (A black jacket may be worn with a gown)
  • Close-toed black shoes, and black hose or socks
  • No flashy jewelry, sequins, or beading
  • No sleeveless or excessively tight tops

Formal Attire (All Black)

For some concerts the Artistic Committee may decide that we will perform in all black attire as described below.

Men & Women:

  • Black long-sleeved shirt (button-up shirt or blouse) — no sweatshirts or long-sleeved t-shirts (Long sleeves are ¾-length minimum)
  • Black trousers/long skirt OR long black dress with long sleeves
  • Black shoes/socks/stockings
  • No flashy jewelry, sequins, beading, or excessively tight tops

Informal Attire

For outreach performances the attire is described below.

Men & Women:

  • Rainbow Chorale of Delaware logo shirt (logo shirts are available for purchase for new members)
  • Black slacks or skirt
  • Black socks and black belt
  • Black shoes

Anti-Discrimination & Harassment

Anti-Discrimination Statement

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship.

Anti-Harassment Statement

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware is committed to providing an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive, including sexual harassment. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser. The following is a partial list of sexual harassment examples:

  • Unwanted sexual advances.
  • Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances.
  • Visual conduct that includes leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters.
  • Verbal conduct that includes making/using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, or jokes.
  • Unwanted verbal sexual advances or propositions.
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, or suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations.
  • Physical conduct that includes touching, assaulting, or impeding or blocking movements.

If you experience or witness sexual or other harassment you should immediately contact the President or any other member of the Executive Committee or Member Liaison. You can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal or retaliation. All allegations of sexual harassment will be quickly and discreetly investigated. To the extent possible, your confidentiality and that of any witnesses and the alleged harasser will be protected against unnecessary disclosure. When the investigation is completed, you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. Any Chorale Member engaging in sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the Chorale.