Bel Canto performing during a concert. They wear floor-length, short-sleeved, black dresses.

Bel Canto Girl Choir (Grades 10-12, auditioned)

Staff:

Karen Bruno, teacher-conductor

Location:

Virtual rehearsals via Zoom
Shattuck Hall 156,
Lawrence Conservatory of Music

Rehearsals: Sundays, HOLD 5:45–7:45 p.m.*

September 20–December 13
Spring semester TBD.

* Specific times will adjust weekly.


The Bel Canto (bel CAHN-toe) curriculum explores historical, theoretical, and cultural aspects of a wide range of repertoire for older, advanced treble choirs. Bel Canto singers prepare music for multiple performances per year, including both the fall and spring Girl Choir concerts. Bel Canto was recently awarded Second Place in the national American Prize competition, has been invited to perform at several state and regional conventions of choral conductors, and has appeared as the guest artist with the Monteverdi Master Chorale (Stevens Point), St. Marys Youth Choir (Ontario, Canada), Viking Choral Festival, newVoices (formerly White Heron Chorale), Makaroff Youth Ballet, Lawrence University choirs and orchestra, and for the Sing Out Loud! and PIPFest women's choir festivals in Minnesota. They have appeared on Wisconsin Public Television and have a performance permanently linked to the WPT website.

Students registered for Community Music School ensembles are also expected to participate in a curricular (during the school day, for credit) performing musical ensemble when available; Bel Canto should not substitute for curricular music programs.

2020-21 Season

Due to what we know about the virus and its spread through orally-emitted aerosols, it's clear that we cannot begin the year safely with in-person choral instruction. Girl Choir teacher-conductors have been hard at work creating a plan that will allow us to begin the year with an online experience and easily pivot to in-person rehearsals as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are excited to announce that registered Cantabile and Bel Canto singers will have the opportunity to participate in several unique experiences. Over the course of the year, we will host exchanges with treble choirs in different parts of the country including RISE Chorales out of Savannah, Georgia. We will also welcome choral professionals to join us in our rehearsal process which will give our singers the opportunity to work with conductors, composers, and educators with a wide range of expertise.

In addition, the Children of the World in Harmony Festival, an international children's choir festival we participated in ten years ago, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Petoskey, Michigan in July of 2021. Although it is unclear whether or not the festival will be held in person, and similarly unclear if it will be safe to sing together or travel by then, the festival organizers are also building a virtual festival. We have been invited to participate due to our success ten years ago.

If singing and travel is safe, we will bus north to the beautiful Lake Michigan shore town of Petoskey. We will sing in a massed choir with singers from other choirs and a guest conductor. Should it be unsafe to travel or sing in person, we will still be able to participate as virtual choir members of a massed choir as well as a virtual combined Cantabile/Bel Canto choir. Please note that this festival, as with any tours, will have additional fees. We are excited to provide these unique opportunities during an unusual year of choral instruction and will provide further details upon your Girl Choir registration.
 

Auditions

Audition requests are open for the 2020-21 season. Click the button below for more information and signup.

Girl Choir Auditions

Tuition assistance is available to families who demonstrate financial need.

 


Policies and Required Materials

Registration in a Community Music School program indicates your understanding and acceptance of our guidelines. In addition to the guidelines, please click through the subjects below to read about Girl Choir-specific policies and required materials.

Girl Choir Handbook
The 2020-21 Girl Choir handbook will be mailed to registered families and linked to the website. Please refer to the Girl Choir handbook for a comprehensive list of guidelines.
 
Google Classroom
Registered families will receive an email with an invite link and instructions on how to join and use their ensemble's Google Classroom. Your choir’s teacher-conductor and the Community Music School program & marketing assistant will post resources, references, and announcements in the Classroom. Families are responsible for checking their email and Classroom for up-to-date choir information. Older singers are responsible for checking their Classroom for weekly homework assignments; your teacher-conductor will communicate their expectations regarding homework at the first rehearsal.

Click here to view general Classroom instructions.
 

Electronics Policy
Cell phones, iPods, electronic readers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited during ensemble rehearsals and backstage during concerts. If a family emergency takes place during a rehearsal or concert, please contact the ensemble manager.
 
Concert Uniform
  • Bel Canto singers have a choice between purchasing a black uniform dress or uniform top and pants.
  • Singers who already own a dress may choose to be fitted for and purchase a uniform top and pants or to continue wearing the dress they already own.
  • Dresses/pants will need to be hemmed to the top of the foot while wearing performance shoes.
  • Bel Canto singers are to wear black, closed-toed, flat-heeled dress shoes. Singers wearing dresses must wear black pantyhose, and singers wearing pants must wear black socks.
  • Singers should not wear jewelry on performance days. This includes necklaces, bracelets, watches, or earrings that extend below the lobe (post-style earrings are acceptable.) Singers who arrive wearing jewelry will be asked to remove it; the Girl Choir program cannot be responsible for lost or misplaced items.
  • Hair must be a natural color, or sprayed a natural color, for performance. Singers with longer hair should pull or pin hair back so that it does not obscure their face while on stage. Hair accessories should be small and the color of the hair.
  • No uniform return is necessary at the end of the season.
     
Choir Materials
  • Bel Canto singers must bring a black three-ring binder and two sharpened pencils to every rehearsal.
  • Music is the property of the Community Music School. At the end of each semester, there will be a $3 fee assessed per each piece of lost or damaged music.
  • Singers new to the program will receive a tote bag that becomes theirs.
  • Additional or replacement bags can be purchased through the Community Music School office for the price of $10 plus tax.

 


Three photos: Bel Canto singing during a concert, 5 students smiling with their arms around each other, Bel Canto seniors holding hands in a line at the front of the stage. The Girl Choir logo follows, the "C" stylized to look like a treble clef.