Dear Choir Families,
Happy Friday! Another beautiful day!
I am sorry this cover letter is so long, but it contains some very important information. Please read it carefully.

In the next few weeks a lot is going on and it can get confusing so please don’t hesitate to call, text or email with questions. Here we go!

Please accept my apologies for being late with the Senior Audition Invitations this year. There are two reasons. First, I have been contemplating a special audition this year and it took some time to think it through. Second, the flu, don’t catch this one, I’ve never had anything like it. Today I’m now starting to feel like myself again. I missed me J

Here is what I would like to do this year with the auditions. Please consider this the invitation. The music list for the audition is attached. The children are already prepared, there is no need for extra coaching or rehearsal. Due to the numbers, I would like to invite them to audition in pairs. The audition takes about an hour. Wednesday and Thursday right after school is possible after the Concert next week. If those times don’t work, we can schedule a special time that will.

A. All current fifth graders in both the Girls’ and Men and Boys Choirs are invited to audition to be senior choristers. They have worked very hard and I am very proud of each of them. If you look at the choir family orientation sheet you can see how the schedule worked this year for the seniors and I anticipate no changes next year.

Rafael Bruder James Spindler Taber Cannon Lila Hussein Esme Towles
James Cave Julia Geniesse Eleanor Livings Sarah Weber
George Cheung Kiera Hackett Natasha Rensky

As you can observe we have had several years in a row with a very small senior boys group. This group is intended to have a maximum of 16 boys singing and we are well below that. Observing our fourth graders in action this year I think we have a special opportunity. I would like to invite all the fourth grade boys to audition for senior, one year early.

Bryan Cepeda Xander Farringto Ian Godfrey
Oliver El Hadj Reid Farrington Charlie Head
Alabama Embry

B. Each fourth grade boy family must decide if they are ready to take on the senior schedule. For some it may make weekday afternoon sports and other activities easier to schedule. But I understand that some may not be ready to make the commitment. Please think about it, this is a special option, not a requirement. If we are able to promote the whole fourth grade class of boys it will put the Senior Boys group in a very good place to rebuild and grow it’s sound and energy.

C. Families of Fourth Grade Girls – please do not feel that the girls are being left out. This is a special solution due to the numbers problems with the senior boys. The fourth grade girls are on schedule and doing a brilliant job, since the senior girls are in a healthy number, I can’t seat any more senior girls next year than the anticipated move up of the fifth grade class.

D. Why not just combine the boys and girls? This is a great question. The Choral Foundation of Grace Church is based on the Anglican Cathedral Tradition. This tradition has it’s beginnings in the musical practice of the Temple of Jerusalem. In the middle ages as the great cathedral, monastic and convent communities were being founded the church looked to the old testament and what oral history remained to found these choirs to support the worship life of the community. Over a thousand years of evolution has created a special “musical instrument” in the sound of the men and boys choir. A separate and equally beautiful repertoire for women’s voices also evolved.

There really is a difference in the physical properties of young boys and girls voices. One isn’t better than the other but they are different and in training and musical practice it is very special to be able to continue and support this tradition at Grace Church.

Our Men and Boys Choir was founded in 1894 which caused the founding of Grace Church School. It took another hundred years before the community was ready for the Girls’ Choir. This was a very emotional process for the parish, one that continues today still in many places. I am so proud of both our choirs. This is just a beginning talking about this and I am happy to continue to the conversation with anyone who is interested.

E. Please ask questions and don’t worry, this is a really special and rewarding process.

THE ANNUAL CHOIR CONCERT FRIDAY 29 April at 7:00 p.m.
A. Only Senior Choristers Sing this concert.
B. Juniors are encouraged strongly to come with their families and friends and enjoy the concert. You gave your concert with Dr. Rose in January, it’s the senior’s turn.
C. Buy tickets and donate to the special Reception. Every choir family benefits from the growth of the Choir Special Projects Fund and this is one of our special fundraisers each year for the fund and – IT’S FUN!

THIS SUNDAY: The Girls’ Choir with Adults is on.
SENIORS REQUIRED: 9:45 a.m.
Juniors optional: 10:15 a.m.
Lunch and Rehearsal afterwards for the Seniors. This is our last Sunday afternoon rehearsal of the season. Senior Boys are encouraged to attend as we will be focused on the music for the concert next Friday. 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

HIGH SCHOOL SINGERS rehearsal with Mr. Fergus Sunday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Our Annual Spring Concert is coming up on 29 April. It is a special evening of music and fun.
The Concert is free, please spread the attached flyer around and invite family and friends. The Choirs always sing better with a full house. Let’s go for the best one yet!

The Reception is a fund raiser for the Choir Special Projects Fund. One of it’s big roles is to support a tour of the choir ever couple or third year. Last year’s amazing trip to France is an example. The hope is that every chorister gets to participate in at least one trip and this is one of the ways that is made possible. The fund provides scholarships to choristers who need assistance.

Have a great weekend, enjoy this beautiful weather, Patrick

Click below to purchase tickets to the reception.
https://gracechurchnyc.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/Music

Please click below to help with the reception:
Choir Annual Spring Concert

CHOIR FAMILY NEWS 22 APRIL 2016

PLANNING AHEAD:
There will be no Tuesday afternoon Choir activities for
Third Grade Junior Girls or
Fourth and Fifth Grade Junior Boys and Girls
On Tuesday 10 May
Enjoy the afternoon off.

*THIS WEEKS SCHEDULE:

Sunday 24 April, The Girls’ Choir with Adults
9:45 Call for All Senior Girls Choristers (REQUIRED)
10:15 Call for Junior Girls Choristers (Optional)
11:00 Service

After, church – 1:00 – 3:00 Lunch and Rehearsal for Senior Girls and Boys (Optional) after service
1:00 – 2:00 HS Singers Rehearsal to be confirmed with Mr. Fergus.

Tuesday 26 April
7:00 a.m. Breakfast Club and Morning Rehearsal, Senior Boys
Senior Girls most welcome!

Tuesday 26 April- Novice – now NEW JUNIOR Girls’ Rehearsal
3:20 – 4:30 Gather in the HONOR ROOM,
Drop off and Pick up in the Honor Room!

Tuesday 26 April Junior Boys and Girls Rehearsal
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
 Gather in the HONOR ROOM,
Drop off and Pick up in the Honor Room!
EVENSONG TODAY at 6:00 p.m. in the Church.

Wednesday 27 April
7:00 a.m. Breakfast Club and Morning Rehearsal, Senior Girls
Senior Boys most welcome

Wednesday 27 April 

3:20 – 4:30 p.m. After School Vocal Coaching, Music Office

Thursday 28 April
NO MORNING REHEARSAL TODAY

Thursday 28 April 

5:45 – 9:00 p.m. Dress Rehearsal for Concert
REQUIRED FOR ALL SENIOR CHORISTERS

Friday 29 April
NO MORNING REHEARSAL TODAY

Friday 29 April Novice – now NEW JUNIOR Boys Rehearsal
3:20 – 4:30 Gather in the HONOR ROOM,
Drop off and Pick up in the Honor Room!

Friday 29 April, THE ANNUAL SPRING CHOIR CONCERT, 7:00 p.m.
5:45 Call – REQUIRED – ALL SENIORS CHORISTERS – SINGING
Strongly urged – All junior choristers listening with family and friends

Followed by a Festive Reception in honor of the choirs and to support the choir special projects fund!

Sunday 1 May, The Choir of Men and Boys
9:45 Call for All Senior Boys Choristers (REQUIRED)
10:15 Call for Junior Boys Choristers (Optional)
11:00 Service

No Rehearsals in the afternoon.

OLD NEWS FOR REVIEW:

The Novice Class of 2015-2016 has been promoted, they are now called NEW JUNIORS.

The NEW JUNIOR SCHEDULE does not change at all. The time and day commitments remain the same to support all the complicated schedules that we all live through.

Around February 18, the 5th grade Juniors will get their invitation to audition for Senior Chorister. DON’T WORRY! They know the music already, it is not something they must be coached on or need special preparation for. The concert Sunday was the climax of that preparation. DON’T WORRY about rushing to schedule their appointment, we have all the way until Mother’s Day to do it.

The fifth graders becoming Senior Choristers for 2016-2017 will be promoted to Senior on Mother’s Day. Sometimes one or two are away visiting grandparents. They will be promoted in spirit.

Some notes about Holy Communion at Grace Church……

* All baptized Christians are invited, the Episcopal Church welcomes every tradition.
* No one is forced to have communion, that is a decision each family makes on their own.
* Please talk with your chorister about Holy Communion and what you would like them to do.
* If you do not want your child to take communion, just let them know this and ask them to cross their arms over their chest when they go to the communion rail.
The priest will smile and give them a blessing, but not give them communion.
We ask all the children to go to the communion rail for the traffic flow.
* The congregation at Grace respects all faith traditions or the decision not to practice a faith tradition and is thankful that you allow your child to be part of the choir.
Please feel no pressure, each person must make their own choices about their beliefs.
We just ask that the choristers respect where they are and what is going on, and that their “job” is leading/offering music in this house of prayer.
*Please ask questions, I love them and it helps me support you and your children.
REMEMBER……DROP OFF/PICK UP For All JUNIOR CHORISTERS for Tuesday and Friday Rehearsals is now THE HONOR ROOM – Enter from the School via the water fountain and stairs of the tower through the 8th grade dump :-).

IF YOU WENT ON THE FRANCE TOUR SUMMER 2015 – WE WANT YOUR PHOTOS!
Please collect your photo files and send them to Olivia Douglas! She has volunteered to collect our photos and edit them into a fun and special keep sake item for the community. Talk with her for more details!

YOUR CHOIR STEERING COMMITTEE is a great source for information and for continuing to grow and care for our choirs. Here is our great committee, feel invited to ask questions, talk about choir life and just enjoy their wonderful company! You may be a member some day!

Novice Reps:
Dominique Schulte, schulted@me.com
Mary Cannon, medcannon@nyc.rr.com

Junior Reps:
Katherine Keane, kathykeane@gmail.com
Shannon Cave, shannon.cave@gmail.com
Meaghan Cheung,meaghanscheung@gmail.com
Jason Hackett, kieran.jason.hackett@gmail.com
Olivia Douglas, oliviadouglas@me.com

Senior Reps:
Erik Sorensen, esorensen5@gmail.com
Ellen McElduff, ellenmcelduff@aol.com
Shannon Cave, shannon.cave@gmail.com
Kevin Rotheroe, krotheroe@nyc.rr.com
Anne Zaccaro, annezaccaro@pzaccaro.com
Erin Hussein, ezyko@yahoo.com

+Alumni:
Dana Foote, dfoote@gcschool.org
Laura Holt, laurablackholt@gmail.com
Vicky Hurley, vicky.mcgarry@gmail.com

+Technology and PR: Kathy Keane, Tom Evans
+Staff: Patrick Allen, Don Waring

NEW REHEARSAL BATHROOM POLICY: Many choristers have been taking advantage of the honor system of going to the bathroom so the policy must adjust. We can’t have choristers wandering around the facility during rehearsal unsupervised. All Choristers must now make sure to use the bathroom on their way to choir, only in extreme situations will anyone be allowed to leave a rehearsal. I’ve checked with Mrs. Collet, she says you all will be ok 

Secure Area of the Website Password has changed: www.gracechurchnyc.org
CLICK MUSIC: upper right hand corner CLICK login
It is now:
username: helfenstein
Stanfordlives1894

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! If you are so inclined, please LIKE the Music at Grace Church Page on Facebook!

*AS THE YEAR 2015 HAS COME TO AN END…please look around the house and make sure you cash all choir checks you have received. When the books are closed at the audit for each operating budget year checks can no longer be redeemed or replaced.