FROM MUSIC TEACHERS/HOST SCHOOLS
What grade level do you recommend for the student chorus?
Some teachers hold auditions, some choose one class or grade level, some select individuals. 3rd and 4th grades are typical, but choruses may be made up of a wide range of ages.
What if we have an alternate, or two, for the onstage chorus?
We expect 16 onstage choristers, but always have two extra costumes, just in case!
What’s an ‘offstage’ chorus?
Any number of children may learn the chorus music and sit at the side of the performing area (floor or risers). They are invited to participate in all ways except actually moving onto the stage. ALSO, the entire school is invited to sing along from their seated audience positions!
May the chorus wear costumes they made?
Yes. They will have a chance to add accessories from our costumes (e.g., bandanas, cowboy hats, etc.) However, because we do provide costumes for the onstage group, we invite offstage choristers to make their own. They can also paint their faces or wear wigs or hats. The only guideline is to make certain they can sing AND they don’t hide the view of the stage for others.
I don’t have much time to teach the chorus – how long does it take?
Rehearsal time period varies, but 3-4 weeks is average. Music teachers certainly lead the enterprise, but choristers can work independently. We provide an online recording of what they need to learn and printable sheet music is available. Finally, an enthusiastic parent volunteer can be invaluable and might be more flexible than a teacher in terms of rehearsal times (lunch, recess, after school).
Can adults attend the performance?
OFTY encourages schools to allow families and grown-up friends to attend! The only limitation is space in the performance area, however most gyms accommodate a few rows of folding chairs.
We like to use our auditorium – is that o.k.?
We prefer gyms for spaciousness, performer safety and potential to relate closely to audience. If you don’t have a large enough gym to accommodate student body, auditorium may be used.
Can there be autographs?
Yes, although if this idea spreads like wildfire, we’ll sign one sheet and teachers can copy.
Is an electronic keyboard o.k.?
A tuned acoustic piano is preferable, but if not available, a full-size keyboard is o.k.
FROM STUDENT AUDIENCE MEMBERS
Were you nervous?
Yes, it’s natural. Nerves can help you be excited and do your best.
Do you ever make mistakes?
Sure. But we just keep going as if nothing happened and usually the audience doesn’t notice.
Are you guys friends?
We are by the time of performance. But we often just met during rehearsals!
How did you remember all of that (music, words)?
Practice – like sports! And, music helps all of us remember words.
How can you sing so low/high?
We were all born with a certain basic voice, but working with a teacher and practicing helps us increase our ranges as well as improve our sound.
Who made those costumes/sets?
Our designers, Karen Brown-Larimore and Tina Yager. It takes a lot of people to make an opera!
How did you get to be in the show?
We explain the audition process – usually held over a few days each spring.