Chorale Membership Guide 2015–2016


The Philharmonic Society of Arlington (PSA) is made up of three performing groups which are completely organized and run by the volunteer members. During the performance season these groups perform both separately and cooperatively. The PSA season begins after Labor Day and runs though the Pops Concert followed by the PSA’s Annual Meeting in June.

Annual meeting: Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 6:30 p.m. potluck dinner followed by a 7:15 p.m. business meeting. First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church, 630 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington.

Additional information about the organization and the performing groups can always be found on the PSA website, The password for the protected “Members Only” section is given out orally to members at rehearsals.

Arlington-Belmont Chorale (ABC)

No audition is required for membership. The conductor may check to determine your voice part.

Musical leadership

Music Director: Barry Singer
Assistant Conductor:  Sarah Telford
Accompanist: Michael Becker

Chorale officers

Chairpersons: Kristin McAdams
Vice Chairperson:
Librarian: Jack Connors

Section leaders

The conductor selects section leaders and announces them during rehearsal early in the season. They keep track of attendance and share rehearsal notes with members who miss a week.

Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus (ABCC)

The chamber chorus is a subgroup of the chorale. All regular members of ABCC must also participate in the ABC. Auditions, required for the chamber chorus, are conducted early in the season by Music Director Barry Singer. Members are selected based on sectional need and vocal ability.

Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra (APO)

No audition is required for membership. The music director may check to determine your instrumental seating.

Musical leadership

Music Director: Joan Landry

Orchestra officers

Chairperson: Adam Dixon
Librarian: Jim Battell

Board of directors

The PSA board of directors consists of members from both the orchestra and chorus, as well as members of the non-performing public. For the 2015–2016 season, the PSA board members are:

President               Jack Connors (ABC)
Vice President      Hagop Hagopian (ABC)
Treasurer              Christine Jensen (APO)
Clerk                      Alice Adler (ABC)
Librarian               Pam Ross (APO)

Adam Dixon (APO)              Sandy Reismann (APO)
Abigail Gertner (ABC)         Ernest Sabine (Public)
Kristin McAdams (ABC)     Gary Seligson (APO)
Fred Moses (ABC)                Eleanor Smith (APO)
Jean Nagle (Public)

APO — Indicates member of the orchestra.
ABC — Indicates member of the chorale
Public — Indicates non-performing member of the PSA membership

The Arlington-Belmont Chorale is an approximately ninety-voice chorus which is open to all singers. Our repertoire includes well known and little known masterpieces of choral literature. We are a community drawn together by music. Producing the highest quality performances for our audience requires that chorale members participate fully to facilitate a smoothly flowing concert.

You should expect to:

  • Arrive on time, 7:45 p.m., to rehearsal.
  • Attend all or most rehearsals in order to ensure that our performance is polished and that everyone has all appropriate notes and directions regarding each piece.
  • Perform in all concerts during the season and attend all pre-concert dress rehearsals, unless you notify the conductors otherwise.
  • Participate in other chorale community activities to the extent that you are able. These activities include: recruiting new singers and audience members, fundraising, publicity, concert setup and breakdown, and post-concert parties.


Annual membership dues are required from all members. Individual dues are $70 and family dues are $120. Members who join the chorale in midseason pay prorated dues.

Dues should be paid at the first rehearsal of the season and must be paid no later than the third rehearsal.ew singers

New singers are welcome throughout the year. You should expect to:

  • Stand and identify yourself during the first two or three rehearsals so that you can be welcomed.
  • Meet with the conductor after your first three rehearsals to verify your voice part.
  • Sign up for a name tag.


The PSA maintains a web site at where there is a passworded Members’ Resources page.  The current password is lyre.  Hardcopy contact information for all ABC members is usually available at rehearsals sometime after the third week of the season or may also be found on the website in the Members’ Resources section.

Information regarding upcoming concerts, rehearsals, volunteer opportunities, and other topics of concern to ABC members is usually communicated during the announcements at rehearsals or through the Yahoo Groups email list. The Yahoo Groups URL is  The conductor also sends an email each week with details of the material to be rehearsed the following week.

All members are automatically added to the ABChorale Yahoo Groups email distribution list. If you do not receive emails contact the Chorale Librarian who handles all ABChorale Yahoo Groups email issues.


If you have feedback or suggestions about ABC issues you can use one of the two feedback forms. Copies can always be found on the back table at each rehearsal.

  • ABC Productivity Observations/Suggestions Form (green). Use for administrative issues or non-music related concerns.
  • ABC Musical Mishaps Form (yellow). Use for issues regarding music being performed.


Unlike other groups, the ABC does not require its members to purchase their own music. Therefore, our music is part of our PSA library and as such it is on loan to members for each concert. You may take this music home to practice. However, we expect members to treat their music with the utmost care. Music is reused and may not end up with the same voice part the next time it is used by the group.


  • Keep your music in a black binder.
  • Write in pencil any music direction changes specified by the conductor.
  • Write in measure numbers in pencil when requested by the conductor.
  • 3-hole punch your music if authorized by the librarian.
  • Return your music at the end of each concert. (Should you need to leave the chorale during a rehearsal cycle please return the music at a rehearsal or by mail.)


  • Write in pen.
  • Highlight any portion of your music.
  • Cut or separate pages in any way unless approved by the librarian.



Rehearsals are every Monday evening, including Monday holidays, from the first Monday after Labor Day through the December concert and from the first Monday after New Year’s Day through the June Pops Concert. We begin promptly at 7:45 p.m. for warm-ups, which are not considered optional. Around 9:00 p.m. we break briefly for announcements and refreshments and then adjourn at approximately 10:00 p.m.


We rehearse at the Park Avenue Congregational Church, located at 50 Paul Revere Rd. at the corner of Park Ave., Arlington Heights, Massachusetts.


  • Wear your name tag during rehearsals. This simple act helps new members feel welcome and allows other members to get to know you.
  • Be flexible. Warm-ups may not always be familiar, seating changes may occur, or changes in voice parts may be needed.
  • If you arrive after 8:00 p.m. please wait silently in the back of the room until there is a break in the singing before taking your seat.
  • Practice at home. Practice CDs are frequently made available, and conductors may suggest specific recordings to help with learning a piece.
  • Employ healthy singing habits.
  • Stay healthy! Use discretion — think about not bringing illnesses to rehearsal.
  • Leave your troubles at the door. You can pick them up on the way out if you still need them!


We typically have over eighty members who sing with us during the year. Juice and cookies are served at the break during each normal rehearsal. The task is shared by everyone and all members sign up to bring one or the other for at least one rehearsal during the year. The sign-up book is on the table at the back of the rehearsal space or you may sign up online in the Members Only area. Refreshment needs are:

  • 3–4 half-gallons of juice and 80+ paper cups.
  • Cookie servings for 80.

Set up filled cups in the kitchen before rehearsal starts. Wipe the counter and leave the kitchen clean at the end of break.

Attention and concentration

Our conductors frequently give new music instruction changes or need to go over specific sections with one voice part at a time. When you converse in your section during this time it is both distracting and disrespectful to the conductors and other singers.

  • Even when voices are lowered, the sound carries in our rehearsal space.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, please limit talking to rehearsal tasks: asking specific questions of the conductors, or the conductors instructing the singers.
  • Respect the conductors by not talking when they are speaking, regardless of whether your section is being rehearsed at that moment.
  • Respect fellow singers in all voice sections by not talking unless you are the one asking a question of the conductor.
  • If you must have a conversation with another member, please consider taking your conversation outside of the rehearsal room or waiting until our 9:00 p.m. break.

Absences and cancellations

If you must be absent:

  • Notify your section leader when you have a planned absence.
  • Contact your section leader by phone or email prior to the next rehearsal to find out about music direction changes or other notes regarding music being sung so that you can return fully prepared.

If a rehearsal must be cancelled due to inclement weather or other unforeseen event, notification will be sent via the Yahoo groups email list.

Chorale concerts

Performing is intended to be for the pleasure of the listeners. As such, we strive to have as many concert-goers at each concert as possible. We are looking forward to increasing concert attendance by encouraging members to invite and bring several people to each concert, and participate as much as possible in all audience building activities.

The chorale also asks members to help out with supplying food for the Sponsors’ Concert in April and the Pops Concert in June.

Concert dress

Concert Men Women
All concerts except Pops Tuxedoes or dark suits, preferably black, white dress shirts, black bow ties, black or dark shoes and socks. Long-sleeved white blouses or shirts, floor-length black skirts or pants, and black shoes.
Pops Solid bright-colored short-sleeved shirts and black pants. Solid bright-colored short-sleeved blouses or shirts and long black skirts or pants.

At all performances, please do not use any perfume, aftershave, or other scented products. Women should not wear large, flashy jewelry.

You do not have to wear concert dress to dress rehearsals.

Schedule and special rehearsals

Extra rehearsal with Orchestra Wed., Dec. 2, 2015 7:30 p.m. UU
Dress rehearsal with Orchestra Wed., Dec. 9, 2015 7:30 p.m. UU
Winter Concert Sun., Dec. 13, 2015 3:00 p.m. UU
Dress rehearsal Sat., Mar. 5, 2016 10:00 a.m. UU
Spring Concert Sun., Mar. 6, 2016 3:00 p.m. UU
Extra rehearsal Wed., Apr. 13, 2016 7:30 p.m. UU
Dress rehearsal Wed., Apr. 20, 2016 7:30 p.m. UU
Sponsors’ Concert Sun., April 24, 2016 4:00 p.m. UU
Dress rehearsal Thurs., June 9, 2016 7:30 p.m. TH
Pops Concert Fri., June 10, 2016 7:45 p.m. TH

PSA Concert schedule

Nov. 1, 2015      APO Fall Concert                                           UU

Dec. 6, 2015      ABCC Not-Quite-Winter Concert               PP

Dec. 13, 2015    ABC & APO  Holiday Concert                      UU

Feb. 21, 2016    APO Family Concert                                      TH

Mar. 6, 2016     ABC/ABCC Almost Spring Concert            UU

April 23, 2016   ABC & APO Sponsors’ Concert                   UU

May 6, 2016       ABCC Spring Chamber Music Concert     UU

June 10, 2016    ABC & APO Pops! Concert                          TH

Chorale members are encouraged to advertise and attend orchestra and chamber chorus concerts during the season.

Performance locations