The Fleischmann Choir seeks to perform the large-scale repertory for mixed-voiced choir with accompaniment (usually orchestral) to the highest possible standards. Simultaneously it seeks to foster a social interaction for members which supports its musical aims and objectives. Equality and social inclusion are fundamental to the ethos of the choir.
The Fleischmann Choir was founded by its current conductor, Dr Geoffrey Spratt (Director of the CIT Cork School of Music [CSM]) in November 1992.
The Fleischmann Choir rehearses on Monday nights (7.30–10.00 p.m. in the Curtis Auditorium, CSM, Union Quay, Cork) from September to May. The rehearsals are organised into self-contained “blocks” (usually two or three) containing and/or culminating in (a) public performance(s); the final block in May each year is relatively short (and voluntary for those who are not full-time students in the CSM).
The Fleischmann Choir normally gives at least two major sets of performances each season and regularly undertakes special projects - recordings, tours (international as well as national), etc..
Although the Fleischmann Choir exists to perform the large-scale repertory for mixed-voice choir with accompaniment, this does not mean that it never performs unaccompanied pieces or small-scale works. Nevertheless, any singer whose primary interest is in learning and performing unaccompanied repertory and/or taking part in competitions is respectfully advised that a significant number of choirs exist in and around Cork whose aims and objectives serve these purposes.
Educational remit & constitution
The Fleischmann Choir is a class of the CIT Cork School of Music. Each registered member of the Fleischmann Choir is, ipso facto, a registered part-time student of CIT.
Because the Fleischmann Choir is a class of the CSM, every member who is not simultaneously a full-time BMus Degree student of the CSM is required to pay a fee to CIT for each of the two academic terms (September-January & February to June).
In return for these fees, the costs of a venue for the weekly rehearsals, a piano accompanist for the weekly rehearsals, and the cost of all music copies and ancillary materials are met by the CSM.
The fees are determined by CIT, in line with the polocies of the Department of Education & Skills, and the invoices are issued by the CSM. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the fee is €55 per term (2).
If any (potential) member cannot afford this fee, all that is necessary is for the person to apply for it to be waived by writing, in confidence, to The Director, CIT Cork School of Music.
Performance and social activity costs
The Fleischmann Choir is responsible for the financing of its performances and other activities (e.g. its social programme) – these are not underwritten by the CSM CIT. The choir’s committee tries to make every performance self-financing, and to this end every member is expected to do all they can to sell tickets. The costs associated with certain performances can sometimes be offset – at least in part – against a third-party, and the profit on some performances can subsidize losses on others. Nevertheless, the choir cannot end up in debt, and it is a tribute to all concerned that it never has. To underpin the cost of its performance and social activities, every member of the Fleischmann Choir contributes to the “Fleischmann Choir Fund”; the contribution currently equates to €2 per rehearsal (averaged as €25 for the period September-December 2011 and €25 for the period January to April 2012). This fund is the sole property of the members of the Fleischmann Choir; none of it goes to CSM and/or CIT, and the choir’s Treasurers account to the members of the choir for the Fleischmann Choir Fund.
Each chorister’s responsibilities are, inter alia:
* to respect and uphold the aims and objectives of the choir as set out in the Mission Statement
* to attend rehearsals regularly – and specifically to inform their Line Leader/Assistant Line Leader, in advance, of unavoidable absence
* to learn their individual line as quickly and effectively as possible to facilitate efficient rehearsals – making use of the line and/or performance CDs/cassette tapes supplied as appropriate
* to attend all Dress Rehearsals and Performances without exception
* to inform the conductor in advance of their intention to opt out of a “block” and/or to leave the choir
(i) The aspiration is that no chorister will miss a rehearsal unless exceptional circumstances prevail – but it is both acknowledged and accepted that exceptional circumstances do arise from time to time for everybody.
(ii) If a chorister misses two consecutive rehearsals without having notified their Line Leader/Assistant Line Leader, a written request for an explanation will be issued.
(iii) Any chorister missing more than two rehearsals in a “block” may be asked by the conductor to stand down for the remainder of the “block” – including any performance(s). It is the conductor’s sole right to request a chorister to stand down (or not) and his decisions in this regard are not subject to appeal.
(iv) No member may ask permission to be excused from either a Dress or Balance Rehearsal.
The conductor seeks to ensure that the choir fulfils its mission statement and is an effective class of the CIT Cork School of Music. Although the conductor is responsible for musical decisions, he not only solicits, but positively welcomes repertory suggestions from members.
Every chorister should feel free to communicate their views on repertory directly to him (outside of rehearsals), or to channel them through a member of the committee