Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Dear MYC Families,
In just a few days, we’ll be gathering together as a community to celebrate the culminating concert performances of our nine ensembles comprised of 360 hard-working and thoughtful students. We know concert day is a BIG day for MYC members and their families and we want it to be remembered for its artistry and accomplishments--great and small. We place a high value on the outcome of “being in the moment” and noticing and appreciating the many small steps taken to achieve new levels of mastery by our singers--whether musical, social, or intellectual. Many things are discovered and learned over the course of a semester with MYC and the concert is just one of the places where accomplishments can be showcased. We hope you will find many opportunities to notice all that your singer has learned this semester and celebrate with us on concert day and beyond!
For some of you this will be your first MYC concert, and we hope there will be many more to follow for your family. The following “MYC concert primer” has been prepared to offer some guidance for concert day and to provide reminders to help make the day successful and positively memorable for our singers and exceptionally enjoyable for our audiences. Thank you for carefully reading what follows and, as always, for the myriad ways you support your singer’s participation in MYC. We’re looking forward to a fantastic concert day on Sunday!
Thank you for planning ahead so that your singer arrives in their concert wardrobe:
Choraliers, Con Gioia, Capriccio, Cantilena, and Cantabile: black MYC concert dress, black hosiery (no leggings, please), flat black dressy shoes. Undergarments should NOT be visible at shoulders or neckline and should be black, if possible.
Purcell, Britten, Holst: khaki dress slacks, white Oxford, blue MYC blazer, MYC boychoir tie (already tied, please!), black belt (if needed), black dressy shoes (no athletic shoes, please), black socks
Ragazzi: full tuxedo with bow tie, black dressy shoes, black socks
Our Venue: First Congregational Church
First Congregational Church, while used by many performing arts groups throughout the year as a concert venue, is designed as a church and, as such, does not have the typical arrangement of a concert hall: no box office, limited adjacent parking, no event staff, no expansive lobby, etc. What it does have is lovely, warm acoustics and enough (beautiful) space to accommodate our three concerts in addition to being centrally located with free parking within walking distance (see below). Many of the details outlined below are provided so you are prepared to understand how concert day is presented in this venue and how we strive to make it work for everyone.
Parking at First Congregational
There is a plethora of (free!) nearby UW ramp parking available on concert day. Please plan ahead and read about your parking options on the church’s website and please share this information with your friends and family who are planning to attend:
To help ensure everyone is on time, we suggest dropping off your singer first and then parking. Singers will know where to go once inside the building (and we’ll have volunteers directing them).
The Lathrop Street entrance works the best for dropping off family members with mobility issues as there is an elevator just inside this door to deliver patrons to the concert hall level (no steps!). The Breese Terrace entrance does have a ramp to the front doors but navigating the curb may still be an issue. Our best advice is to use the Lathrop Street entrance as your drop-off point.
The two small parking lots near the Lathrop Street entrance should not be used unless you have a handicap placard or need adjacent parking for elderly family members. These spots will not be reserved but we ask that you please honor this request and NOT park in those spaces unless you have significant need to so do.
Arrival on Concert Day
Call times for each ensemble will be published on Thursday in the Weekly Notes. Thank you for timing your arrival as close to your singer's call time as possible (no need to arrive extra early unless you have signed up to volunteer.)
Both the Breese Terrace and Lathrop Street entrances will be open on concert day and both entrances have access to the sanctuary (concert hall). Ticket tables will be open at both entrances and we will plan to open the concert hall to coincide with call times (in most cases).
Depending on the needs of our ensembles, however, the concert hall doors may be closed when you arrive. Thank you in advance for not entering the hall until the doors are opened by MYC staff. Your patience is appreciated as we allow our singers their final opportunity to rehearse and our conducting staff their final opportunity to give instructions inside the concert hall.
Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students ages 7-18; children under 7 are free. Thank you for coming prepared with cash or a check. (Credit cards are accepted but there will be a delay due to slow internet at the church--thanks for bringing cash or a check.) There is never a charge for MYC singers wishing to attend a concert in which they do not sing, e.g., their sibling’s concert. Wearing your concert wardrobe is the easiest way for the ushers to know you are an MYC singer. If you wish to stop at the ticket table to pick up a ticket, that works, too.
Families with singers in more than one concert receive complimentary tickets to the second (and third) concert they attend after purchasing tickets to the first. Please let us know at the time you purchase your tickets that you wish to attend a subsequent concert.
Seating for the Concert
Seating is general admission.
We understand that “getting a good seat” on concert day is important to everyone. At First Congregational every seat has great sound--but not every seat has great sight lines. The important thing to remember is your singer only needs to see their conductor--they don’t need to see you. And because of the warm acoustics in the hall, you’ll be able to enjoy the music from wherever you sit. Thank you for being considerate to your fellow MYC families by not saving entire rows of seats--a few seats on either side of you is fine but holding numerous seats for latecomers should be avoided.
Thank you for honoring the clearly marked reserved seating for our singers, musicians, and patrons with mobility challenges. If you have a family member who needs special consideration on concert day because of mobility issues, please feel free to contact us before Sunday so we can be helpful on concert day.
Concert Recordings and Audience Etiquette
Thank you for turning off all electronic devices and refraining from recording or taking pictures from your seat, if possible. (Holding your device at eye level or above from your seat is an unwelcome distraction for those around you.)
If you need to leave the hall during the concert, please time your movement between pieces and during the applause.
We love kids! But if you are attending with young children and they are having trouble enjoying the concert quietly, thank you for stepping out into the lobby so their (very normal, but not musical) sounds will resound in the lobby and not in the concert hall.
MYC staff will be in the hall and in the lobby if you need assistance. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.
Dress rehearsals (for future reference!) are great opportunities to get pictures or record snippets of your child’s ensemble without distracting from the concert experience for those around you. We encourage you to take advantage of our open rehearsals throughout the season and then fully enjoy concert day by “being in the moment,” relishing the music through your eyes and ears instead of behind a screen.
Our Program Books
We hope you enjoy reading the program notes and gaining a deeper understanding of how we approach the learning process at MYC. The ideas presented are meant to inspire you to ask your own “big questions” and make your own connections with the music.
When the Concert Ends
Applause! Applause! Applause! And then...where is my child?
Singers in our youngest choirs (Choraliers, Con Gioia, Purcell and Britten) will be instructed to stay near their seats (if seated) or in their places (up front) to be reunited with their parents. Please watch for where your child is in the hall at the end of the concert and go to them. You’ll want to stop by their warmup space before leaving the building to gather any items brought with them, e.g., their choir bag and/or music binder.
The Weekly Notes will detail how and when to return wardrobe and music and upcoming important deadlines for next year as well as call times for Sunday.
Concert day marks the end of our 2017-18 season and so will be the final time we see everyone together until our new season begins in September. We're looking forward to a memorable celebration of all the ideas we have pondered together and all the music that has taught us how to notice, how to empathize, and how to become better musicians and people.
We hope this information is helpful to you--thank you for reading through these details and for the many ways you will contribute to our positively memorable concert day on Sunday. If you have any questions before then, thank you for emailing us.