Frequently Asked Questions

What are the expectations of each singer?

Being a part of the VYC community is both a privilege and a responsibility. Students have an opportunity to create wonderful musical memories and experiences that they will carry with them for a lifetime.  Singers must be willing to commit to rehearsals and performances. 
 
Each singer should be able to:
  • Stay focused for an extended period of time 
  • Sing in tune
  • Use head voice (high tones)
  • Work willingly with the director and with a group of other children
  • Agree to do one independent sight reading lesson per week (theory book provided)
  • Agree to work on music independently at home between rehearsals
How often do you rehearse?
  • The Ventura Youth Choir rehearses weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:30, from mid-September through late-April in the cafeteria at Mound Elementary School.
  • Rehearsals include vocal and pitch training, music reading, vocal techniques, and learning to sing in two parts.
  • Note: If a student misses more than three rehearsals per concert cycle, he/she may not be allowed to perform at the concert.
What If my child doesn't attend Mound Elementary?
  • The Ventura Youth Choir (VYC) is a community children's choir, open to singers age 8-13. We encourage any students in Ventura County with a desire to sing in a group setting to audition to join us.
  • Special arrangements can be made if school dismissal will delay your student's arrival at rehearsal.
What happens in an audition and how long will it take?

Students will be coached through the audition process, which takes about 15 minutes, by our Director. Students will learn the week after auditions whether or not they are selected.  Each audition is individualized to the singer, but they generally follow this format:

  • Introductions: Name, grade, school, and any music experience.
  • The student will be coached on how to sing a neutral vowel to find the student’s lowest and highest singable note to determine their vocal range.
  • Three random notes will be played and the student will be asked to sing them back. This will determine if the student can retain and match pitch.
  • The Director will coach the student through the song, “America the Beautiful.” This portion of the audition is to make sure the student can sing a melody while being accompanied by the piano.
  • Lastly, the student will be asked to sing, “Happy Birthday To You,” with the piano to check if the student has the ability to start and end a familiar song in the same key.

Admission to the choir is based on interest, commitment, and musical ability.

No prepared song is necessary, and both beginning and experienced singers are welcome.

What can I expect my child to get out of this experience?
  • In the beginning, each singer will grow vocally, gain confidence, and start to understand music theory concepts.
  • By the end of the year, singers will be able to sing together in a multiple-part ensemble and sight-read simple melodies.
When / How do children practice their songs?
  • When you become a member, you will receive a username and password to our website's Choir Member section, where you can download practice tracks (mp3) as well as sheet music. When we meet for weekly practice, students are expected to know the material.
What are the financial commitments associated with being a member of VYC?
  • Tuition: $250 annually
    • Limited scholarship funds are available for those who qualify.
  • Additionally, we recommend budgeting $200 per singer for performance attire, tour expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses not included with tuition.

Please be advised that all financial commitments posted are only valid for the 2019/2020 year. All costs are subject to change in future years.

What does the tuition pay for? 
  • Tuition includes all choral music, a music folder, theory book, weekly instruction, occasional workshops or guest artists, performance space, weekly rehearsals and concerts. 
What payment methods are offered? 
  • For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards through this website.  There is, however, a 3% surcharge added by our credit card processor to all payments made this way.
  • If you would prefer, you may also send in payments by check or cash  (attached to your printed invoice) with your singer to the first available rehearsal.  Email director@venturayouthchoir.com for more information.
What should I know about the end-of-year Tour? 
  • Singer tickets generally cost $100-150
  • Singer ticket includes park admission and the performance experience
  • This is an off-site event, so we will only be supervising the singers during the performance.  An adult years 18 or older needs to be present at the event to chapperone the park experience.  (If you coordinate so that friends hang out together, that works too.)
  • Families/guardians are responsible for their own admission to the park
Are refunds available if we run into schedule conflicts and can't attend for a few weeks or need to discontinue for some reason?
  • Sorry, there are no refunds given for missed or discontinued choir classes unless the cancellation is on the part of the Ventura Youth Choir.
What is the dress code in the choir?

Rehearsal Attire

  • We don’t require a particular style of clothing for rehearsals. Just come dressed neat and ready to practice. However, choir members are encouraged to wear their VYC T-Shirts

Formal Performance Attire

  • Girls must wear a white long-sleeved dress shirt or blouse.  A black skirt or pants, black shoes, and black stockings are required.
  • Boys must wear a white long-sleeved dress shirt.  Black dress pants, black dress shoes, and black socks are required.

Informal Performance Attire

  • All Choir Members: Wear a VYC T-shirt, black pants or skirt, and black shoes. NO SHORTS.
  • Occasionally, a solid, brightly colored shirt will be required instead of the VYC shirt.
Do children sing AND dance on stage?
  • Our focus is on singing. Occasionally, we add simple choreography (like snapping, swaying, or clapping).  You don’t need to be a dancer to be involved in this choir.  We also spend some time covering basic music theory, solfege (with movable Do’s), interval recognition as well as vocal training.

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