BAYC Handbook

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HANDBOOK

(last revision August 2022)

Bangor Area Youth Choirs

PO BOX 2732 | Bangor, ME 04402-2732

www.bangorareayouthchoirs.com

email: chair@bangorareayouthchoirs.com

The website and email will be our best way of communicating with everyone in a quick and efficient manner. The latest news, updates, performances, fundraising information and more can be found on our web page. If web access is not available in your home, please let us know so we can arrange phone or postal communications.

About 

The Bangor Area Youth Choirs is a non-profit youth choir organization that seeks to provide youth with a high-level choral experience coupled with an inclusive community of thoughtful, talented, creative young people that share a common love of singing. BAYC is composed of young singers aged 8 (or 7 if approved by the Artistic Director) -18 (or in High School). BAYC follows the organizational guidelines of most established children’s choirs and is not affiliated with any church, public or private school.  

BAYC is set up to be a long-term activity and experience that grows and deepens throughout the years of the singer’s involvement. The staff and board of BAYC work hard to have our organization be one that gradually and consistently builds musical expertise, character, poise, sensitivity and understanding of other cultures and eras, friendships with singers from a wide variety of backgrounds and locales, and leadership skills.

The “3 Choirs in One” Structure

Treble Singers – for all youth ages 8-12 (7 with Artistic Director approval). This group is the starting point for our young singers and seeks to instill healthy singing techniques, music literacy, and to further nurture a life-long love of singing. The Treble Singers explore their voices through guided warmups and appropriate repertoire that seek to challenge the young singer all while having fun! They will also join the Mixed Ensemble every week to rehearse together any combined pieces.

Mixed Ensemble (ME) – this choir is open to all youth ages 12-18. This ensemble provides an extensive choral experience through guided warm-ups, vocal pedagogy, music literacy, and an eclectic repertoire drawing on all genres, time periods, and styles. This group maintains the same high standard of instruction, experience, and performance that has been synonymous with BAYC while providing an inclusive and welcoming, high-level choral experience for all interested young people.

Chamber Singers – ages 14-18 or with permission. This is a select/auditioned choir that offers students a focused, advanced level of choral/music education. This is achieved through advanced warm-ups, pedagogical practices and techniques, and music literacy exploration. Repertoire is challenging and draws from all genres, periods, and styles.

Chamber Singers are required to take part in the Mixed Ensemble’s rehearsals where they are expected to take on a leadership role within their section and the ensemble as a whole. 

Mission – Helping Youth Discover Their Voice!

The purpose of the Bangor Area Youth Choirs is to provide, in a choral setting, musical experiences for the young people of the Greater Bangor area. This shall be accomplished with a commitment to quality vocal pedagogy, challenging choral repertoire and exciting performance venues for any young people who meet group standards of good citizenship and behavior. BAYC accepts into its membership all interested singers regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation and gender preference, national origin, or religious persuasion, and its repertoire often reflects that cultural diversity.

Through excellent artistic direction and challenging, multi-genre repertoire that is appropriate and safe for developing voices we strive to attain these musical objectives:

  • Vocal production and pitch
  • Auditory sensitivity for blending
  • Posture and presence
  • Musical theory and critical thinking
  • A unique opportunity for young singers to sing challenging and diverse choral repertoire

History

The Bangor Area Youth Choirs, formerly known as Heritage Singers and the Bangor Area Children’s Choir was organized in 1992 by Jean Sigler and Michele Hall to be the featured entertainment at the Reunion of the Fifth Armored Division, U.S. Army, held at the Bangor Civic Center in 1995. From 1992 to 1995, under the sponsorship of Mr. Galen Cole, the Singers became established as a viable children’s performing group.  In May 2012, BAYC celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the Gracie Theatre with a community event that included Bangor Community Chorus, New Renaissance Singers, and was underwritten by a major contribution from the Cole Land Transportation Museum.

From 1995 to the present, BAYC has been an independently operated, non-profit organization. It relies on tuition, public support, and contributions from area businesses and fundraisers to fund its mission. Area music educators play a pivotal role in BAYC’s continuing success by encouraging the participation of their student choristers. Participation also enhances a sense of self while serving as ambassadors of community and State.  With decades of distinguished history, BAYC continues to provide an unparalleled environment for developing musicianship, character, leadership and ensemble vocal skills. 

Guidelines & Policies for Singers and Parents

Eligibility

BAYC accepts into its membership all interested singers regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation and gender preference, national origin, or religious persuasion. All singers in BAYC Choir Members must turn eight (8) during the school year and be no older than eighteen (18) years old (or graduating High School) during the academic year. Potential singers younger than the age cut-off may be considered at the Artistic Director’s discretion. 

Attendance

Location: Bangor Arts Exchange on 193 Exchange St., Bangor, ME

Days/Times:  Please check the website for the current rehearsal day(s) and updated schedule.

Attendance:

1. Rehearsals occur regularly except during scheduled school vacations (December, February and April). BAYC does hold rehearsals during public school in-service days and Parent/Teacher conferences. Students should be dropped off 10 minutes early and picked up promptly at the close of rehearsal out of respect for the Staff and Volunteer’s time.

2. Please be advised that if a rehearsal is canceled for any reason, you will be notified by email before 1:00 PM. Rehearsals are not automatically canceled on school snow days.

3.  Illness that prevents school attendance or a family emergency are acceptable excuses for being absent.  Should this occur or should you have other unavoidable conflicts, please email the Artistic Director as soon as possible. Choristers often have other commitments outside of BAYC. Rehearsals missed due to sports or arts events should be approved by the Artistic Director ahead of time. As a general rule, two (2) absences may result in being excused from participating in performances. Unnecessary or unexcused absences that result in poor participation and performance may result in the student being removed from BAYC.

PLEASE REFER TO OUR COVID 19 POLICY ON THE WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION REGARDING OUR COVID SAFETY PROCEDURES.

4. In order to participate in a concert, a student MUST attend the dress rehearsal unless there are extenuating circumstances pre-approved by the Artistic director.

5. Concert attendance for the entire season is mandatory. If a serious, unavoidable conflict should arise, contact the director immediately. The Artistic Director’s decision regarding absences and continued membership is final. That discretion extends to activities in addition to regularly scheduled rehearsals and concerts.

Rehearsal Procedures

1. Other than water, members will not bring food or drink to the rehearsal area. Rehearsal space will be kept clean and orderly, papers, pencils cleaned up and chairs, etc. moved back where they belong.

2. Members are expected to be on time, with music folders and a pencil. Singers are strongly encouraged to arrive 10 minutes early in order for rehearsals to begin on time. We ask that singers are picked up promptly at the end of rehearsal.

3. Members are expected to exhibit good manners and consideration of other singers and adults at all times.

4. The music used by your child is the property of BAYC and is expensive!  Therefore, each Chorister will be assessed $10.00 for each piece of music and $20.00 for each choral folder not returned.

Concert Attire

The Concert Attire is decided upon by the Artistic Director. Choristers are responsible for providing their own attire based on the requested outfit for the concert.  The Artistic Director has the discretion to approve/not-approve attire based on fit/color/appropriateness for the venue.  BAYC may provide our own complements to the attire depending on the concert theme and venue (hats, scarves, etc). 

Chorister Pledge:

As a member of BAYC, I pledge that I will be an enthusiastic choir member demonstrating a positive attitude.  I

understand that I am expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals and concerts.  I realize that I may have to work on my own at home practicing some music in order to learn and sometimes memorize the repertoire.  If I have to miss a rehearsal or concert I will give the Artistic Director as much advance notice as possible. I will follow the BAYC chorister honor code – I pledge to be honest, to listen and follow directions and to do my best to be kind as a member of BAYC. 

Discipline Procedures:

Should any negative attitude or behavior (inappropriate language, disregard for other choristers space, interruption, failure to follow directions or inattentiveness, etc.) hinder or detract from the natural progress and positive environment of the rehearsal, parents will be notified.

Choristers whose behavior needs to be repeatedly addressed, either by Staff or Volunteers, or who display such egregious behavior that it warrants dismissal from the rehearsal will be:

  1. Sent home following rehearsal with a verbal warning and a discussion and follow-up email to the parents/guardians.
  2. A second offense may result in dismissal from rehearsal and include a behavior contract signed by parent/guardians, chorister and BAYC.
  3. A third offense may result in dismissal from BAYC completely. This decision is at the discretion of the Artistic Director and the BAYC Board of Directors. 

Registration and Tuition

All forms for registration and tuition can be found on our web page. The Registration form/tuition agreement needs to be filled out for each child singing with BAYC.

Payments are due within two weeks of completion of the Registration form/tuition agreement. All money is non-refundable and is used toward the expenses of BAYC. 

As a non-profit organization, BAYC counts on tuition income. Continued enrollment in BAYC is contingent upon your tuition being paid in full as tuition is a vital part to the sustainability of our organization.  

The ultimate goal of BAYC is one of inclusion and education in the art of singing for all youth voices. In an effort to provide all children the opportunity to participate in the Bangor Area Youth Choirs, financial assistance may be available through the Michele Hall Voss and Jean Sigler Scholarship Fund. Please fill out the Financial Assistance Form to apply.

Additional expenses for which parent(s)/guardian(s) are responsible include proper concert attire for the chorister enrolled in the BAYC. 

● A fee of $10.00 will be assessed for each piece of music that is not returned.

● A fee of $20.00 will be assessed if the choral folder is not returned.

IN ORDER TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE BAYC EXPERIENCE WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND ENROLLMENT IN THE FULL YEAR. VOCAL AND CHORAL SINGING SKILLS ARE BUILT ON EDUCATION, PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE AND WE WANT EVERY CHORISTER TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF ALL WE HAVE TO OFFER. 

Youth and Volunteer Protection Policy

The Bangor Area Youth Choirs (BAYC) endeavors to provide a safe and healthy environment in which to experience the joys of singing.  Accordingly, the Board of BAYC has implemented the following policies in order to provide guidance regarding proper conduct of volunteers.  The intent is to avoid situations that might result in abuse or give rise to a false claim of abuse.  

The policies are as follows:  

  1. Two deep presence:  At all activities of the BAYC, there shall be at least two adults present.
  2. Privacy:  In general, no adult shall accompany a chorister into a bathroom or bathroom stall unless health or other emergencies arise.
  3. Avoid one-on-one contact:  Volunteers shall endeavor to avoid situations where they are alone with a child in a closed room other than with their own daughter or son.
  4. Overnight Accommodations: If youth participants include males and females, ideally the adult leaders would be males and females. Unless with their own child, adults shall not share a room or tent with any chorister either alone or in groups.
  5. Screening:  For overnight trips and extended travel by bus or other modes, BAYC shall endeavor to find chaperones that have been screened in accordance with the Maine State Bureau of Identification standards.  If necessary, BAYC may pay for volunteer screening.
  6. Transportation:  On occasions when BAYC asks volunteers to provide transportation from one event to another, unless emergency circumstances arise, volunteers shall not unreasonably deviate from the direct route to and from the event(s).
  7. Sexual Activity:  Any sexual activity among volunteers and choir members is forbidden.  Such activity shall include, but not be limited to sexual comments or jokes, the showing of sexual material, the exposure of sexual parts of the minor’s body and/or the adult’s body.  In addition, appropriate attire shall be worn by volunteers, Staff and choir members at all times.
  8. Discipline:  Staff and Volunteers shall refrain from any form of physical discipline of Choristers.  In the event that appropriate verbal measures are ineffective Staff and Volunteers shall follow the discipline procedures outlined above. 
  9. Age difference:  Unless prior approval has been obtained from the Board, no volunteer shall be younger than 21 years of age.
  10. Tobacco/Vaping and Alcohol: While supervising children and youth on behalf of BAYC, volunteers will refrain from the use of tobacco/vaping and alcohol. When transporting BAYC members, adults will not be under the influence of alcohol or prescription or non-prescription medication that could impair the ability to drive safely.  
  11. Illegal Substances and Weapons:   The use or possession of illegal substances and/or weapons of any kind while supervising children on behalf of the BAYC is strictly prohibited.
  12. Reporting:  Any occurrence inconsistent with these policies shall be reported with all due haste to the Artistic Director and/or any Board Member of the BAYC.  These individuals shall be empowered to take immediate action to prevent imminent harm to all BAYC members.  Regardless of whether harm is imminent, all reportable instances shall be made known to the Chair of BAYC who shall coordinate and assure compliance with an appropriate response.

Bylaws

BANGOR AREA YOUTH CHOIRS

(REVISED OCTOBER, 2021)

Article 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be the Bangor Area Youth Choirs (BAYC) and will consist of a group or groups of singers aged 8-18 (or in High School) or younger (if approved by the Artistic Director).

Article 2: Purpose

The purpose of the Bangor Area Youth Choirs is to provide, in a choral setting, musical experiences for the young people of the Greater Bangor area. This shall be accomplished with a commitment to quality vocal pedagogy, challenging choral repertoire and exciting performance venues for any young people who meet group standards of good citizenship and behavior. BAYC accepts into its membership all interested singers regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation and gender preference, national origin, or religious persuasion, and its repertoire often reflects that cultural diversity.

Article 3: Officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors

  • Sec. 1 Elected officers of the BAYC Board of Directors shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer.
  • Sec. 2 Executive Committee members shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Artistic Director(s). The Board of BAYC shall consist of the Executive Committee and no fewer than two (2) and no more than nine (9) members at large.
  • Sec. 3 The Board of Directors shall meet monthly from September to June and as necessary. Members of the Board of Directors shall be expected to attend monthly meetings and actively participate in BAYC events. It is anticipated that Board Members will miss no more than two (2) monthly meetings per fiscal year. 

Article 4: Nominations and Elections

  • Sec. 1 The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Board.
  • Sec. 2 Officers and Board members shall be elected at the Annual Meeting. Any vacant position may be filled by majority vote of the Board at any Board meeting. Term of Office is one year and is renewable.
  • Sec. 3 A majority of votes cast shall be considered an election.

Article 5: Duties of Officers

  • Sec. 1  Chairperson

The Chairperson shall be the executive officer of the Board and direct the affairs of the BAYC Board. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Board. The chairperson shall insure that responsibilities and duties related to BAYC business are assigned to sub-committees and assignments are completed in a timely manner as discussed by the Board. 

  • Sec. 2  Vice-Chairperson

The Vice Chairperson will oversee volunteer duties and may develop subcommittees to assist as necessary to carry out the duties of the office. The Vice Chairperson shall preside at Board meetings if the Chairperson is unable to attend. 

  • Sec. 3  Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be the principal accounting and financial officer of the board and shall have charge and custody of all funds and securities of the Board. The Treasurer shall deposit all funds and manage the expenses of the Board.

  • Sec. 4  Recording Secretary

The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of the Board meetings and shall see that notices of meetings are duly given. The Secretary shall keep a record of the BAYC Board and their addresses.

  • Sec. 5  Artistic Director: BAYC 

The Artistic Director of the Chorale shall have control over the selection of the musical repertoire and have artistic control over the Chorale. One person may serve as Artistic Director for the Bangor Area Youth Choirs.

Article 6: Quorum

A quorum shall be one (1) person more than 50% of the current number of Board members and never fewer than five (5).

Article 7: Parent Meetings

Two (2) parent meetings may be held yearly, at the discretion of the Board; one in the Fall and one in the Spring before the Annual Meeting of the Board.

Article 8: Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting shall be the next regularly scheduled meeting after the Spring Parents Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall present its slate and the Board shall be duly elected. The Treasurer shall present an annual financial report.

Article 9: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall run from the first day of July to the last day of June of each calendar year.

Article 10: Rules of Procedure

The Board shall conduct itself under Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Article 11: Amendments

These bylaws may be altered, amended, or appealed and new bylaws adopted by a majority vote of the voting members present at a scheduled Board Meeting, provided that written notice shall have been provided 14 days prior to such meeting.