WELCOME TO THE BERKSHIRE LYRIC CHORUS!
COVID Policy Updated January 2023
The Berkshire Lyric Board of Directors has voted to update our COVID policies with regards to vaccines, masking, and testing. These changes were made in accordance with the guidance of the Pittsfield Board of Health. Please note the following changes:
- Although we strongly recommend that all members be immunized against COVID and receive available boosters, we will no longer require proof of vaccination to register for the season.
- Masking will continue to be required at all rehearsals at the UU Church on Wendell Ave until further notice. However, we will now require all masks to be standard ‘surgical’ or ‘KN95’ type masks. No bandanas, scarves, or cloth masks of any kind will be permitted. All masks must remain over the mouth and nose through the entirety of the rehearsal. Masks will be provided to any member who needs one while supplies allow.
- COVID testing will be emphasized and tests will be available. There may be times where masks will be optional such as dress rehearsals and performances. At these times COVID tests will be available courtesy of the health department, and testing will be required before the rehearsal or performance.
COVID test kits are also currently available for free from many pharmacies. Please consider acquiring these free tests and bringing extras to Vlad or Lois at rehearsal. Tests will be available at regular rehearsals for anyone who needs them.
Please take this information into consideration as we return to singing this spring. Thank you all for working together to make this wonderful music happen.
This section contains FAQ and guidance for registered members of Berkshire Lyric
Rehearsal Location and Schedule: Regular rehearsals are at the Unitarian Church at 175 Wendell Ave. in Pittsfield on Monday evenings. We start at 7:15 and usually end no later than 9:30. Please be on time as warm-ups and additional music for the evening may be handed out at the beginning of rehearsal.
In order to avoid the need for sectionals and extra rehearsals, please come early and spend time with the music during the week so rehearsals can focus on nuances as opposed to last minute note cramming sessions. Please be aware, however, that there still may be the need for additional rehearsals prior to a performance. When needed, these extra, mandatory rehearsals will be announced as to time and place, and generally take place within two weeks of the actual performance.
Rehearsal Space: We use the facilities of the Unitarian Church under a rental agreement, so we need to treat the space respectfully. We must set up all chairs, the piano and the lights before rehearsal and return them to their original condition and position after rehearsal. Whenever possible pitch in, both before and after rehearsals, rearranging the hall and putting the lights away, emptying the garbage, or vacuuming the carpets.
Membership: Chorus memberships are $75 per semester or $130 per season. For students aged 25 and under, tuition may be covered for you. All fully paid members are entitled to vote at our annual elections held during our annual meeting in May.
Name Tags: Name tags will be available at the first rehearsals. Since we are all relatively new to each other, we ask that you make one for yourself and wear it through the first few rehearsals until we are all familiar with each other.
Music: Music will be provided for each concert and must be returned immediately after the final performance of the work. On occasion, scores will be rented or available for purchase to defray costs to the group. However, failure to return rented scores on a timely basis will result in the chorus member paying for the unreturned score. You may use your own scores for major concert works if they are the same edition being used for the performance.
Attendance: Our season is divided into two semesters – Fall, which runs from September through December; and Spring, which runs from January through May. Singers are expected to attend all rehearsals, but we understand that not all may be able to do this. Dress rehearsals are mandatory. Please sign in on the attendance board! More than three unexcused absences in any semester may jeopardize whether you may sing in the concert and will require the artistic director’s approval for concert participation.
Please note that if a rehearsal is canceled (for example in a snowstorm), the information will be sent via email. Whenever there is inclement weather, please put your own safety first. Do not venture out if you don’t feel safe to do so.
Email: Most communications between Artistic Director or board members to the chorus members will be via email. If you are not receiving emails concerning Berkshire Lyric business, please speak with the board president.
Schedule Changes: If, owing to weather or other insurmountable issues, there are changes to the rehearsal or performance schedule, the information will be sent via email to the choir members. Each member should make the safest decision for themselves whether to attend when the question arises from inclement weather.
NO perfume, cologne or aftershave lotion. A good idea for regular rehearsals but mandatory for performances.
Formal Concert Dress (Holiday and Oratorio concerts):
Tenor and Bass Singers: Tuxedos or a black suit are required with white shirt, black bow tie, black dress shoes and socks.
Soprano and Alto Singers: A black, long-sleeved blouse with a floor length black skirt OR the standard Berkshire Lyric two-piece black dress is required for all women along with black shoes and hose. A single strand of pearls and single pearl earrings. No pants.
“Casual” Concert Dress:
On occasion, particularly for our Kick the Winter Blues program in March, concert dress may vary in line with the program content. Any variation from the formal concert dress will be discussed at rehearsal at the beginning of the semester so members can prepare accordingly.
In addition to your membership fees, Berkshire Lyric depends on three different revenue streams throughout the season to stay alive: Program Advertising, Ticket Sales, and Donations. As chorus members, we need to support our organization whenever possible through our circles of work, friends, and family to ensure our fiscal viability while increasing the visibility of Berkshire Lyric within the community.
Program Advertising: The cost of programs for each concert is defrayed by the income of the advertisements placed for the season. If every member of the chorus could get one contact – a restaurant or shop they frequent, a doctor or dentist they know, a business they work for or know – to advertise, the program would not only show the support of the community, but also pay for itself. Businesses and individuals can choose to advertise in a variety of sizes for the entire season. Detailed sheets will be provided to the members to share with their community for sales.
Ticket Sales: Please direct family and friends to our website to purchase advance tickets! This is an especially good idea to promote prior to our KTWB concerts which have been known to sell out!
Donations: Berkshire Lyric is a non-profit, federally tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, any contribution made to Berkshire Lyric is tax deductible. If you can donate, or know someone who is, we ask that you support us however you can. Also, remember that some companies will match non-profit donations which will increase your giving power to an organization you believe in.
Fund Drive: You have connections! Please help by sending a letter from the board president to your friends, family, acquaintances. There are many people in our community who graciously help support the arts in our community. Letters can be mailed individually, or handed in at rehearsal for mailing.
Participate: Talk to a board member about your areas of expertise and let us know how you can help!