Information for choir members only
PROJECTS AND PARTICIPANTS
The BCC sings three to six different projects per year. Conductor Helen Cassano selects singers for each project by audition and/or invitation, paying attention to balance between the voice groups. All singers' participation in each project is by invitation/audition. New singers will be on trial for their first project. Many singers are only in Brussels for a short period, new singers are constantly arriving and auditioning, and there is a limited number of places within each voice type. Usually supply and demand even things out, but occasionally Helen can’t invite all the singers from one project to participate in the next one. Most singers are also expected to re-audition every two years, or to schedule an individual coaching session instead for some feedback.
The BCC rehearses once per week on Tuesday evenings in Etterbeek.
We usually rehearse from 19:00 to 21:30 (sometimes 22:00) in the Balletzaal of the Muziekacademie Frederic Chopin, at Oudergemselaan 124 Avenue d’Auderghem, 1040 Etterbeek, Brussels.
Sometimes we rehearse in our favourite church in Etterbeek (metro: Thieffry):
Eglise Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur, rue de Tervate, Etterbeek
O.L.V. Heilig Hartkerk, Tervaetestraat, Etterbeek
Ahead of concerts, some extra rehearsals may be scheduled on other weekday evenings or on weekends, and dates will be fixed depending on availability of choir members. Helen shares the rehearsal schedule and any updates by email and will post everything on this site. Singers are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances for each project, and should come to each rehearsal on time, with a pencil, a ringed folder and any water/snacks needed to last the evening. Singers are also asked to resist using mobile phones during rehearsal.
Any absences must be communicated to Helen in advance via email or Google survey.
Last-minute absences should be communicated by text message/SMS to Helen on 0472 923 678.
REPERTOIRE AND SCORES
BCC repertoire varies from project to project, and each programme is communicated via email in advance and posted on this site. Printed (double-sided) scores are provided at rehearsals, and midi files or YouTube playlists are shared as available. Singers are expected to familiarise themselves with score parts in advance, to practice at home and to catch up on any skipped rehearsals. Please bring an (empty) ringed folder to the first rehearsal of each project. Singers can keep photocopied scores after each project.
The BCC has a formal, "black with a splash of bordeaux" dress code for performances. For men, this means black suit, black shirt, black socks and shoes, and a burgundy/dark red tie. For women, this means a long black dress or a long black skirt with a long-sleeved or half-long-sleeved black top, opaque black tights or socks, black shoes, and a burgundy/dark red accessory (brooch, scarf, flower in your hair, belt etc.). All singers must carry their scores in a firm black folder.
Singers are asked to pay the BCC a membership fee per project. For most (3-month) projects, the full price is €40. Exceptions to this membership fee are made for students and unemployed (half price, or €20) and for professional singers with a diploma or who are still studying (free). Fees must be paid to BCC Treasurer Jan Moeyaert in person or by bank transfer to IBAN BE92 5230 8073 7623 on/by the first rehearsal of each project. This fee helps us cover Helen’s salary and travel costs, as well as scores and insurance for all singers, and venue and meal costs for all BCC activities inside and outside of Brussels.
Helen and Jan run the BCC with the help of a volunteer committee of singers, currently including Mark B. (T), Paul (T), Maria (A), Lola (A), Ghita (A) and Rosie (S). Committee participation and support by choir members is always welcome and appreciated, especially in the lead-up to and after rehearsals and concerts (moving chairs, distributing posters, promoting concerts, selling tickets and CDs, setting the stage, clearing up, etc.). If you're interested in supporting and/or joining the committee, please get in touch!