If you're a man and you like to sing, you're welcome to join Men
of Note. Following is everything you would need to know about the choir.
Some of the links in this page are for registered members only and require a password. The pages are identified as being Private. The password is supplied once you have joined the choir.
Men of Note is governed by a Board of Directors with the following positions:
2 Members at Large
Each member has one vote on the board, except for the Choir Director. Each member serves a two year term on the board except for the Vice President and Past President. They serve 1 year terms in alternating years. Elections are held during Annual General Meeting held in September of each year.
The choir is also governed by it’s Bylaws. A copy of the bylaws is available from the Men of Note web site on the Private Bylaws Page.
There are two seasons in each year. The first season is from the beginning of September until the end of December. The second season is from the beginning of January until the end of June. Each season typically ends with a concert.
Membership is $150 per year. The fee may be paid in full at the beginning of the first season. Alternately, $75 may be paid at the beginning of the first season, and $75 at the beginning of the second season. The fees are used to pay for the purchase of the music, music director and accompanist remuneration, and other costs needed to operate the choir.
By joining the choir, you are asked to make the following commitments:
1. Learn the music. Not everyone is able to sight read music. Therefore practice is required. This is what we do at rehearsal. However, it is in your best interest, and the interest of the choir, to practice the music at home as well. To this end various music tools are made available so that members may hear their individual parts. See Practicing at home below.
2. Attend rehearsals. Of course you will want to attend as many rehearsals as you possibly can. After all, this is why you joined, isn’t it? The choir bylaws state that 80% attendance is expected from each member.
3. Attend concerts. The main reason that the choir exists is to provide high quality, entertaining concerts to the people who pay to hear us sing. It is therefore very important to attend every concert and to give your best effort to meet the audience’s expectation.
4. Comportment. We are all here to have fun. At the same time, we don’t want to negatively impact on our fellow choir member’s fun, either. So you want to avoid things that would bother your fellow choir members. This includes making inappropriate comments, or carrying inappropriate odours into rehearsal, such as smoke, alcohol, too much (or not enough) aftershave, etc. You are expected to behave as you would like your neighbour to.
5. Help out. There are many “non musical” jobs that need to be done. Each year a list is made up with the jobs, and members are assigned one of the jobs on the list. This helps spread the load, and makes sure that the same few guys don’t end up doing all the work.
You will be given a set of music for the season and a performance music binder when you first join the choir.
All music is the property of Men of Note, and is managed by the music librarian. He assigns you your music number that is on each copy of your music. He usually collects music at the end of each season.
You may mark up you music if you need to (and you usually do), but please mark it in light pencil that can be erased if necessary. Do not use a high lighter to highlight your part.
The music collection and binder are expensive assets, and so you are asked to take care of them while they are in your possession.
We rehearse every Monday from September to June, at Stouffville United Church, 34 Church Street, Stouffville Ontario. Rehearsals begin at 7:30 PM and end around 9:30 PM, with a 10 - 15 minute break. There are no rehearsals on Statutory Holidays.
Extra rehearsals may be called if the Choir Director feels that extra time is needed to prepare for a concert. This is not a usual occurrence, but it may happen from time to time. Extra rehearsals are generally held on a weekend or other evening.
Practicing at home
Everyone learns music at different rates. Some can sight read on the spot. Others learn by repeatedly hearing the music/words. To facilitate the learning of the music, we use a computer program called Smart Score to play back each section's part with notes, words, and piano accompaniment. Instructions on how to download the player and the song parts can be found on the Private Sound Files Page.
Some of the older songs do not have Smart Score files. However many of these songs have MP3 files for each each part (Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone, Bass) as well as a file with all the parts. The files have the each part's notes played on the piano. There are no words. These MP3 files may be downloaded from the Private Sound Files Page.
We perform a number of concerts during the year - typically 2 - 4. Concerts give us a chance to show what we have learned, and to provide income to the choir to cover our expenses.
We perform in and around Stouffville, generally within an hour of town. We are occasionally asked to perform further afield. In this case, a bus may be hired to provide transportation to and from the venue.
A sign up sheet is circulated in advance of each concert. Each member is asked to indicate whether they will be able to attend that concert.
Confirmed and unconfirmed concerts are listed on the Men of Note web site Private Calendar Page.
There are two “uniforms” that are required for performance and certain other organized activities. The “formal’ uniform consists of a white shirt, black blazer, grey pants, Men of Note tie, black shoes, black socks and a red pocket handkerchief (the last of which will be supplied to you). You need not purchase these items if you already own them, with the exception of the grey pants. A colour swatch is available to match the colour with pants that you may already own, or need to purchase. If you choose to use your own blazer, it must be single breasted.
The “informal” uniform consists of the Men of Note golf shirt, grey pants, black shoes, and black socks.
For details of what to get and where to order the items please see Required Dress Page .
See the contact name on the bottom of the Private Members Page under Uniforms for the person to contact for these items.
Each member is expected to buy and wear a Men of Note name tag to each rehearsal and to other social events. They cost around $10 each. It is also a good idea to purchase a name tag for your spouse/partner, to be worn at the various events that they may attend. See the contact name on the bottom of the Private Members Page under Name tags for the person to contact.
The choir director is responsible for all musical aspects of the choir. This includes, repertoire, section assignments (which part you sing in), rehearsals and concerts. He/she determines how early to meet before concerts, what we will be singing, where each person will stand, and anything else that has to do with the learning or performing of the music.
The choir’s repertoire is quite varied. It goes from folk tunes to spirituals to show tunes to songs that cannot be classified. To date, the choir has no barbershop tunes in it’s repertoire (although one or two songs have some barbershop type progressions).
Men of Note have recorded a number of CDs since it’s beginning. It is expected that we will continue to do so from time to time. Recording and production costs are paid for from the choir’s funds. To date, CD sales have been sufficient to allow us to recoup the production costs. Please see the CD page.
The Men of Note web site is: http://www.menofnote.com/. The piano keys on the left side of page allow you to navigate around the public portion of the web site. However, there is a private portion of the web site that is restricted to members only. The private site is accessed by going to the web site and clicking on the Men of Note logo at the top left corner of the screen.
When you do this, you will be asked for a USERNAME and PASSWORD. The username and password will be provided to you once you have completed the membership process.
When you go to the private portion of the web site, the first page that you see shows the calendar of events for the foreseeable future. This includes rehearsal schedule, tentative and confirmed concerts, as well as special events.
The links at the top of the page will take you to other private pages. These include: Members, Repertoire, practice files, Policies, etc.
We have a mailing list that can be used to send e-mail messages to all members of the group, including the director, accompanist, and the soloist. To send a message to this mailing list, address your message to email@example.com. Note that only members are permitted to send to the list. Also, we have a policy that states "The Men of Note mailing list is intended only for the distribution of information to the choir from the Board and for the dissemination of notices about musical and cultural events that might be of interest to choir members."
Every few years, the choir goes on a trip. To date, we have traveled to England and Wales, Germany, The Canadian Maritimes, and Ireland. The trip combines singing with sight seeing, and usually lasts 10 – 14 days. It is a great way to see places that you have never seen (or revisit them if you have been there), and to get to know the other members of the group.
Going on the trip is completely optional, although the more people who go the better the performances will be. Spouses/partners are welcome to come along.
The cost of the trip is typically in the $3,000 - $3,500 range per person, and is paid for individually by each member. A travel agency organizes the trips, and so most travel expenses are included in the cost. This includes airfare, accommodations, coach rental, guides, most breakfasts, and some dinners. Travel insurance is also not included, but it is offered by the travel agency if desired.
Information on past trips is available on the Men of Note web site on the Private Trips Page.
Men of Note is more than just about the singing. It is also about the camaraderie and good fellowship. To this end, we have a number of social activities, which are (mostly) coordinated by the social committee.
There are usually a number of parties and other get-togethers during the year. Various members volunteer their homes, and may offer to provide some food. Often, a small amount is charged to cover costs of snacks, etc. Most parties are BYOB. Spouses/partners are always welcome.
Another social activity involves going to pub after rehearsal. Everyone is welcome, and the pub usually provides free snacks for our group.
As you have seen, there are a number of people within Men of Note who do different tasks. You will need to interact with them to get your music, a name tag, change your address, etc. The list of who does what can be found on the Men of Note web site on the Private Members Page.
Summary of Costs
Following is a summary of the costs that you may be required to bear:
One time costs
Formal Uniform (blazer, pants, tie) - $200 - $250
Informal Uniform (Golf Shirt) - $30
2 Name tags - $20
Annual Membership Fee - $150
Occasional bus rental (per trip, optional) - $25 - $35
Where to go from here
If you've had choral experience, you'll enjoy this level of singing.
Come join us! Feel free to download our Induction
Form and send it to us here via e-mail or Canada Post.