PO Box 2403
La Crosse, WI 54602-2403
Policies and Procedures of the La Crosse Girlchoir Inc.
The La Crosse Girlchoir is a community choir for girls age 7-17 which is dedicated to the musical, social, and character development of girls. The Choir was founded in 1986 as the Three Rivers Girls’ Chorus under the direction of Daniel Johnson-Wilmot. In 1997 it was renamed the La Crosse Girlchoir and has been under the direction of Shealan Bahr since 2007. The choir performs two large concerts per year and several other performances around the Coulee Region and area schools.
In its dedication to the music development of girls, La Crosse Girlchoir focuses on proper vocal technique, sight singing, theory, and choral singing through a wide variety of choral repertoire. The choir learns many styles of music including classical, folk, Broadway, contemporary, and sacred music. There are two choirs; the Concert Choir is the preparatory group for less experienced singers and the Touring Choir is for more advanced singers.
The La Crosse Girlchoir also strives to enrich girls’ character and their social development through numerous activities. Girls who join the Touring Choir have opportunities to travel and perform with the choir as well as attend community building camps. Recent locations for tour have been Madison/ Milwaukee, New York City, and New Orleans. The choir has completed community service projects such as performing in and serving at a soup kitchen in New York and Milwaukee, and brush removal/clean up in New Orleans. Girls build confidence and develop friendships in La Crosse Girlchoir.
Rehearsals are scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 for the Concert Choir and 6:00 – 8:30 for the Touring Choir. One Saturday a month (generally the third Saturday) there is a rehearsal from 9:00 until 12:00. All rehearsals are held at Viterbo University except for the dress rehearsal immediately prior to the Holiday and Spring Concerts. This rehearsal is usually held at the concert location. The girls are expected to be in the lobby ready to rehearse when the directors lead them up to their classrooms just before 6pm.
Membership into the La Crosse Girlchoir carries the commitment to attend all rehearsals and be present at every concert except in extreme circumstances. Illness on the day of rehearsal should be text, called or e-mailed in to the Director. Please notify us if you know in advance that your daughter is going to be absent from a rehearsal by completing an “Absence From Rehearsal Form” and submitting it to the Director as soon as possible. No more than three absences during the course of one semester will be allowed. If your daughter misses more than three rehearsals, she will be required to audition for the director in order to perform in the concert. This is to ensure that all girls know their music and are ready to perform at the concert. Failure to attend rehearsals on a regular basis or missing a rehearsal without completing the “Absence from Rehearsal Form” may result in termination of membership in the Girlchoir without any refund of tuition.
It is important that you encourage your daughter to practice her music at home as all pieces must be memorized for the concert.
Our directors strive to provide a diverse repertoire of high quality, challenging music. Each girl will be given a choir folder containing all of her music for the semester on the first night of rehearsal. It is imperative that she bring her folder with her each week as we have a limited supply of extra copies of music. All music folders will be collected at the dress rehearsal – the rehearsal before the concert. Anyone who does not turn in a folder or turns in damaged music will be assessed a $25 fee.
3/Tuition & Payment
Tuition is $200 per semester for the Concert Choir and $250 per semester for the Touring Choir. The full amount can be paid by the first rehearsal or you may pay in two payments of $125 by the first rehearsal and $75/$125 by the last regular Tuesday rehearsal of each semester. If for financial reasons you are not able to meet either of the payment schedules, other financial arrangements may be considered on a case-by-case basis by contacting the Business Manager. Checks should be made payable to the La Crosse Girlchoir and can either be mailed to PO Box 2403 La Crosse, WI 54602-2403 or brought to parent meetings or rehearsals. Tuition can be paid from your daughter’s individual fundraising account if she has money in it at the time the payments are due. Any account with money due after the concert performance will be assessed a late fee of $15. Girls will not be able to participate in another semester of choir until the account is paid to a $0 balance or credit. If a girl drops out by the second rehearsal, tuition is fully refunded. Refunds are pro-rated after the third rehearsal. It is very important that the Business Manager be notified of a girl’s intention to drop immediately.
If you are in need of financial assistance, a scholarship form is available on the La Crosse Girlchoir website and is included in the parent packet. Scholarships vary in amount and number from semester to semester. Financial information, such as a copy of your most recent tax return, must be submitted with the scholarship form to the Business Manager. All information is strictly confidential and will be reviewed by the Board of Directors only. It is the goal of the La Crosse Girlchoir to enroll all girls who have a love of music, regardless of their economic situation.
The La Crosse Girlchoir provides opportunities for girls to earn money to pay for their Girlchoir expenses by fundraising in the name of the Girlchoir. Your daughter’s individual fundraising account may be used to pay for any choir expenses such as tuition, Girlchoir T-Shirts, tour expenses, etc. At the end of each semester, excess funds in a girl's account are carried over into subsequent semesters for later expenses for that girl, but the money remains the property of the Girlchoir. Funds remaining in individual accounts when a girl leaves the choir may be designated for another choir member within two years. Funds otherwise remain with the Choir to be used for scholarships.
Please watch for more information regarding these fundraisers and consider getting involved. It’s a great way to build up your daughter’s account. These fundraisers are extremely beneficial to the choir and are what keep the tuition costs from rising. Family participation is essential for success and an excellent way to meet other families.
The Girlchoir will provide the formal dresses for the concert. Please be aware of when the dress fitting is scheduled so that everyone can be fitted and necessary alterations can be made. If you are not able to make it to the dress fitting, please contact the Business Manager to make other arrangements. For the reception before and after the concert and some performances, the girls will be required to wear a straight black skirt free of embellishment (at least knee length), a black Land’s End cardigan sweater with either a Peter Pan collared blouse (Concert Choir) or a white t-shirt (Touring Choir), flesh toned tights or panty hose and plain black flat shoes. Hair should also be styled so that it does not cover the girl’s face. An order form for the black cardigan, (Peter Pan)white long-sleeved blouses and skirt are in each Parent Packet if you need to order please order early to allow ample mailing time. No jewelry can be worn at concerts except for Girlchoir charms.
Parent meetings are held, in general, twice a semester. They take place during the girl’s rehearsal time at Viterbo Fine Arts Center. These meetings are extremely important for you to attend as a lot of vital information is explained and distributed. It is essential for each girl to have a parent or family representative present at all parent meetings. If you absolutely cannot attend please contact the Business Manager to make alternative arrangements.
In general the Touring Choir has a major national or international tour every two/three years. There are several “tour meetings” that will be held in the year leading up to the tour departure date. If your girl is interested in the tour then you should attend these meetings. Parents of a Concert Choir member may want to attend if the tour is a semester away and the Concert Choir member is interested in auditioning for the Touring Choir the next semester.
9/Inclement Weather and Cancellation Policy
In an instance where a Girlchoir rehearsal or event is cancelled due to inclement weather, every effort will be made by the choir to let all members and families know. It is the Girlchoir policy to have these notifications made two(2) hours before an event or Tuesday rehearsal and one(1) hour before a Saturday rehearsal. It is the policy of the Girlchoir that if the La Crosse school district has cancelled school for the day, all Girlchoir events will be cancelled as well. An email will be sent to all families with an email address on file, as well as posted on the lacrossegirlchoir.com website, La Crosse Girlchoir Facebook page and other media outlets such as television and radio within the Coulee Region. You are also welcome to contact the Business Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
La Crosse Girlchoir
P0 Box 2403
La Crosse, WI 54602-2403