Handbook for Choristers midlandsyouthchoir co za by jennyyingdi


									The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir

       2011 - 2012 SEASON

Welcome to The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir Family!

This handbook contains the Rules and Regulations for the 2011 – 2012 season. All PMB & Midlands
Youth Choir Choristers must adhere to these rules and regulations. Please read this Handbook, and
return the signed Acknowledgement Form on page 7.

You may think we have many rules. This is because we are a group with an excellent reputation, and
each year we try to exceed our past accomplishments. Individual actions are a reflection of the
whole group - so all actions must be above reproach. Remember that each Chorister represents their
province, The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir, KZN, and South Africa.

With your support, we can continue our outstanding program and enjoy a successful season just as
we have experienced in the past four years. Thank you for your co-operation. If you have any
comments regarding this Handbook, we will be pleased to discuss your questions or concerns with

                               IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION

Music Director          William Silk                     0726103093      wilsil@michaelhouse.org
Accompanist             Anthea Hibbert                   0820518165      ahibbert@epworth.co.za
Organiser               Bernadine Elmer-English          0724638317      bernadinee@twc.org.za

                                             PART I
                                      GENERAL INFORMATION

Payment is due on or before the last day of the month. Payments should be made to The PMB &
Midlands Youth Choir account with the Chorister’s name as reference. No refund will be made for
any chorister who leaves the choir before the year end. Any returned cheques for non-sufficient
funds will be charged to the parents. Please contact the organiser if you need to make payment
arrangements. If payment is not paid in a timely fashion, in addition to any other remedies available
to The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir, the applicable Chorister shall be subject to immediate
suspension and/or expulsion at the discretion of The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir.

We consider punctuality and attendance to be essential for the success of our Youth Choir. It is
expected that Choristers will attend all rehearsals, performances and other events that apply to the
particular Chorister. Families must make every effort to ensure that the Choristers can meet this

Absences from our activities fall into two categories: (i) excused absences and (ii) unexcused
absences. Please see the discussion in Part II of the Handbook for further explanation of our
attendance rules.

We reserve all rights in determining the number, extent and type of absence applicable to each

                                     MONEY AND VALUABLES
Choristers should not bring large sums of money or other valuables to The Youth Choir rehearsals or
other events. Choristers are not permitted to carry personal belongings during concerts, and are
often asked to put personal belongings to the side of the room during rehearsals. The organisation is
not responsible if belongings are damaged, lost or stolen.

                                            YEAR PLANNER
Each Chorister will receive a year planner by the end of the first term. Year Planners are also posted
on our website at www.midlandsyouthchoir.co.za

                               PMB and Midlands Youth Choir
These rules and regulations governing the conduct of The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir reflect our
belief that choristers prosper best in an atmosphere of trust, courtesy and freedom tempered by
firm, clear limits for conduct. Our intentions are always to instruct and encourage PMB & Midlands
Youth Choir members, never merely to restrict or penalise. Choristers are expected to conduct
themselves in such a manner that the well-being and rights of other Choristers, and the well-being of
The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir, is not violated. Choristers should be held accountable for their
decisions and actions, and an appropriate disciplinary response is meant as a necessary learning

At the same time, PMB & Midlands Youth Choir members deserve reasonable opportunities to learn
from their misjudgements or mistakes. Choristers can expect to be listened to, to be respected as
individuals and to receive feedback regarding their conduct and/or misconduct. In return, it is
expected that Choristers will behave responsibly and operate within our expectations.

Honesty, openness and respect constitute the fundamental principles of our program. Maintenance
of these principles is the responsibility of our Staff, the families of the Youth Choir, and, most
importantly, the Choristers themselves. Any serious or repeated incidents of inappropriate conduct
or violations of the items listed below, or similar incidents of inappropriate conduct, will receive
prompt attention and appropriate response from the organisation:

    1. PMB & Midlands Youth Choir Choristers may not possess or use tobacco or possess, use,
       transmit, sell, distribute, conceal or be under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any
       other form of non-prescribed drug. We assume jurisdiction with respect to this rule when
       the Chorister is attending an event sponsored or affiliated with The PMB & Midlands Youth
    2. We insist on respect for property. Theft, vandalism, or other abuse of our property or the
       property of others, including all places of rehearsal and performance, will not be tolerated.
    3. We highly value the integrity of every individual. Therefore, any form of hazing or severe
       peer pressure - physical, psychological or otherwise - will be treated seriously.
    4. We are committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment where all individuals
       are treated with respect and dignity. Each Chorister and Staff member has the right to learn
       or work in an environment free of harassment. Accordingly, The PMB & Midlands Youth
       Choir will not tolerate unlawful harassment, will attempt to maintain a community free from
       unlawful harassment, and expects all persons associated with The Youth Choir to conduct
       themselves at all times in this spirit. In order for us to enforce this policy effectively and to
       take prompt, corrective measures, as appropriate, it is essential that any and all incidents of
       harassment be reported promptly to a member of staff.

    5. Failure by a Chorister to remain in the designated areas, unless otherwise granted
       permission, and/or failure to appear at the proper location and time, whether for a
       rehearsal or performance, will be treated seriously.
    6. We expect Choristers to use good manners at all times and to show respect for fellow
       Choristers, our Staff, the families that support our organisation.
    7. Physical or verbal abuse and vulgar or improper language have no place in our organisation.
    8. All Choristers are expected to attend their designated events and to be punctual for all
       events. An excessive number of absences or "tardies" could result in disciplinary process.
    9. Gross misconduct of any kind that has a substantially adverse effect on The PMB & Midlands
       Youth Choir will not be tolerated.

Although the list is not intended to be exhaustive, it does consist of hard, non-negotiable rules and
principles. Obviously, Choristers are also expected to obey the laws by which all of us, as citizens of
our society, are governed.

                                            Disciplinary Action
These rules and regulations apply to all The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir events, including
rehearsals, performances, and trips. When a Chorister is in violation of a rule or expectation of
conduct, our Staff will make an effort to explain the violation to the Chorister. Disciplinary action is
designed to be appropriate for the violation, and it is designed to change behaviour and uphold the
integrity of our program. Serious violations of the standards set forth in this Handbook shall be
recorded in the Chorister’s file and will likely have an impact upon our re-evaluation of the Chorister.
The organisation understands that Disciplinary Action can be stressful and upsetting for Choristers
and their families. Choristers and their families can always discuss Disciplinary problems and action
taken, with Staff, and if questions or concerns persist, the matter can be brought to the attention of
the Management. Once the problem has been resolved, the decision of The PMB & Midlands Youth
Choir Staff and/or Management is final.

The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir is committed to maintaining an atmosphere conducive to
learning, achievement and growth. In furtherance of that goal, The Youth Choir expects all Choristers
to conduct themselves in accordance with this Handbook and laws of our society. If a Chorister is
alleged to have violated a rule or law, or has otherwise acted in a way detrimental to the reputation
and integrity of The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir, The Youth Choir reserves the right in its sole
discretion to remove him/her from participation in The Youth Choirs' activities. Removal may be in
the form of a suspension (for a fixed period of time), indefinite suspension or expulsion.

                                  PARENT VOLUNTEER COMMITTEES
There are many volunteer opportunities with The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir. During the
upcoming season, you will be provided with more information.
If you as a parent would like to become more involved with certain parts of the Youth Choir please
contact the Organiser:

Parent Booster Committee
Alumni Committee
Benefit and Fundraising
Corporate Sponsorships
Individual Donors

                                               PART II

                                     RULES AND REGULATIONS

All concert and rehearsal absences must be phoned in to the organiser, Mrs Elmer-English
(0724638317) or Mr Silk (0726103093) in advance. If the phone call is not received in advance, then
the absence will be unexcused (with the exception of extreme emergency situations).

                                            Doctor's Excuse:
A doctor's signed medical excuse, for serious reason, must be mailed to the organiser for a Chorister
to have an excused absence if a call is not received in advance. A doctor or dentist appointment does
not constitute a serious medical reason. Choristers that have more than one absence due to
hospitalisation or communicable disease will be allowed to submit a doctor’s signed medical
excuse for the period of time they are unable to attend rehearsal/concerts and will receive one
excused absence for the leave period. These Choristers are responsible for demonstrating that
they have learned the music and choreography that they missed in order to perform with the

                                 Mandatory School/Educational Events:
If a Chorister has a conflict due to a Mandatory School/Educational Event such as Exams, Mandatory
Choir Concerts for credit, etc. the Chorister will not be charged with an absence if the office is
provided with written documentation on a school letterhead signed by the teacher or event
organiser. This applies to one-time, important events that do not conflict regularly with the
rehearsal schedule. If the event only conflicts with part of the rehearsal, the Chorister is requested
to attend the rest of rehearsal. This DOES NOT include end of the year school field trips, school
plays or any extracurricular activities you choose to participate in. Please do not abuse this
privilege. If you are unsure, please contact the office to discuss.

                                     UNEXCUSED ABSENCES
Not contacting Mrs Elmer-English or Mr Silk prior to a concert or a rehearsal when a Chorister will be
absent will earn an unexcused absence. More than three unexcused absences could mean expulsion
from the Youth Choir.

The organiser will document all unexcused absences and notification will be sent to
parents/guardians. If there is a question about the notification received, please contact the
organiser immediately to resolve the discrepancy.

Should there be any changes regarding a Chorister’s contact information, including telephone or
address changes, or medical information, the Chorister and/or his/her parents shall promptly advise
The Youth Choir Organiser (0724638317). If this is not done, and the organisation is not able to
contact the Chorister and/or family, missed performances and/ or rehearsals will be unexcused if

                                            At Rehearsals:

    1. Choristers will be in the rehearsal or concert venue on time. At all times, Choristers are
       expected to sit silently during rehearsal. During rehearsals there is to be no talking, gum
       chewing or eating. Cough drops for sore throats must be obtained from home. All drinks
       must be carried in closed plastic containers; no eating except during breaks.

  2. iPods or MP3 players, radios, walkmans, tape recorders, cameras, cell phones, video games
     or videos must remain in a book bag or purse throughout the rehearsal and breaks.
     Choristers are prohibited from bringing skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, shoes with
     inset wheels, and other disruptive toys, as determined at the sole discretion of The Youth
     Choir, to any rehearsal.

  3. Breaks are to be used to relax, use the rest rooms, and get a drink of water, or purchase a
     snack, if available. Choristers are not permitted to leave the premises during rehearsals or

  4. Announcements are given at the end of each rehearsal; Choristers must be prepared to take

  5. All property of The Wykeham Collegiate used by The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir must be
     treated with care and respect. All damages must be reported to a Staff member
     immediately. Parents are financially responsible in the event of any damage at the rehearsal
     hall by their child; littering or abuse of the rehearsal hall in any form will not be tolerated. At
     the end of rehearsal ALL papers and litter must be picked up from the floor.

                                            At Concerts:

  1. If a Chorister arrives 15 minutes later than call time, he/she will not be allowed to perform
     in most cases, with any exceptions decided in advance by the designated production staff
     (Music Director, Accompanist, Organiser). This decision is final. If a Chorister is not allowed
     to perform, they will stay at the concert venue, with no further action taken against them,
     remain in full concert uniform, watch the entire concert, and follow the concert rules of

      This rule is not a punishment; it can be a good learning experience to stay and watch the
      concert. This rule is necessary because there must be adequate time to set the show prior to
      the scheduled performance. If parents or drivers have questions, comments, or explanations
      related to the application of this rule to a Chorister, they may contact Staff to discuss the
      matter. The Staff is not able to meet or discuss the situation with parents/ drivers at any
      time while at the concert venue. The Youth Choir is hired to put on a professional show
      and outbursts and arguments are embarrassing and detrimental to the image of the Youth

  2. Once a Chorister reports for a concert, they are to remain with the group.

  3. No iPods or MP3 players, radios, walkmans, tape recorders, cameras, video games or videos
     are permitted at concerts by Youth Choir members. Cell phones must be turned off and can-
     not be used until after a concert. Cell phones, or other small devices, are not to be placed in
     any pocket of any uniform as they are visible to the audience and are a distraction and/or
     they may fall out of the pocket during a concert and cause a disturbance. Choristers are
     prohibited from bringing skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, shoes with inset wheels,
     and other disruptive toys, as determined in the sole discretion of The Youth Choir Staff, to
     any concert.

    4. A Chorister shall give full co-operation and attention during pre-set and run-through before
       concert. Talking or any display of unprofessional conduct while entering, during a concert
       (including solos and speakers), or returning from the stage will not be tolerated.

While on a "bus trip", or a "short tour" or a "winter tour" (in any case, a "tour"), each Chorister
represents The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir organisation and, accordingly, behaviour reflecting
badly on The Youth Choir organisation will not be tolerated. In order to have a successful and safe
tour, all rules and regulations must be followed. Remember that each person on a tour represents
their Province, The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir, KZN and South Africa. Good manners, courtesy
and non-critical acceptance of other people and accommodations while on tour will add to its
enjoyment. Permission Slips may be required to be signed by parents/guardians of any Choristers
going on a “tour”.
PMB & Midlands Youth Choir members will be prohibited from participating on bus or winter
performing tours if the following condition(s) exist: (a) member has an outstanding balance for
payment or other fees; (b) history of misconduct on prior tours; or (c) recent history of excessive

Curfew hours are set for the benefit of the tour members. Our days are long and full of concerts and
exciting places to visit and a good night’s sleep is vital to maintaining good health while on tour.
Youth Choir tours are known for being heavily scheduled and sufficient rest is absolutely mandatory.
Sleep is necessary in order not to jeopardise the concert performances, scheduled activities and a
Chorister’s own health.
The responsibilities of the Staff and supervisors are to guide each Chorister and to maintain the good
image of The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir with discipline and direction. Choristers are expected to
accept their authority, guidance and direction with respect. No Chorister should do anything on their
own without the prior approval of the Staff.
The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir are not responsible for personal belongings while on tour. Respect
for all property is expected. Restaurants, rest areas, dressing rooms, and the interior of buses, trains
and airplanes should be left on departure in the same neat condition as when The PMB & Midlands
Youth choir arrived.
The Tour Manager of The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir has the authority to expel from any tour any
Chorister or adult whose actions or behaviour violate the rules and regulations of this Handbook, are
considered detrimental to themselves or the welfare of the group or show a disregard for the
authority of the Staff. In the event that a Youth Choir Chorister is expelled from a tour, such
Chorister shall be sent home unescorted and any and all expenses incurred by reason thereof shall
be paid by the parents of such Chorister (regardless of the location of the tour). Prior to sending a
Chorister home unescorted, The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir will telephone the parents or
guardians of such Chorister collect in order to advise them of such expulsion.

By enrolling in The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir, every Chorister and his/her parents and family are
deemed to understand and agree to these procedures.
Under certain circumstances, The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir may choose a course of action that is
different from the ones outlined in this Handbook. We reserve the right to make known to the other
Choristers and our community any disciplinary action taken by us against a Chorister who has
violated the Rules and Regulations set forth in this Handbook.
As part of our on-going review of policies and procedures, changes to this Handbook could take place
during the course of the year. In such instances, we will communicate any changes to the Choristers
and his/her parents and family.

                             ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM

I have received, read and understand The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir Handbook. I will
abide by the policies set out in this handbook. Furthermore, if I do not abide by the choir
handbook policies or take care of my choir responsibilities, then the consequences stated in
the handbook will be applied to me.

Student Name Printed:

Student Signature: ___________________________________Date: _______________

I have received, read and understand The PMB & Midlands Youth Choir Handbook. I will
abide by the policies set out in this handbook. Furthermore, if I do not abide by the choir
handbook policies or take care of my choir responsibilities, then the consequences stated in
the handbook will be applied to me.

Parent Signature _____________________________________Date:_______________


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