Chorus Rules of Operation
ARTICLE 1 – Name
1.1 The name of the organization is “The Chorus of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Inc.” (Chorus).
ARTICLE 2 – General
2.1 The primary purpose of the Chorus is to support The Santa Fe Symphony in performing selected choral symphonic works to the highest level of mastery and in its numerous cultural, artistic, financial, and charitable programs. This work of the Chorus, along with its other choral events and activities, will take place in a positive environment of camaraderie, dedication, and commitment. The Chorus will promote fellowship among its members and reach out to the community to support The Santa Fe Symphony.
ARTICLE 3 – Organization
3.1 Relationship: The Chorus’ organization is authorized by ARTICLE lV of The Bylaws of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Inc. (Santa Fe Symphony).
3.2 Nonprofit Status: The organization operates under the non-profit status of The Santa Fe Symphony, which is a non-profit corporation under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code. The Chorus shall do nothing to jeopardize this status such as lobbying or political endorsement.
ARTICLE 4 – Chorus Personnel
4.1 Director: A Chorus Director (subsequently referred to as “the Director”) shall be appointed by The Santa Fe Symphony and be provided with professional remuneration by the Board of The Santa Fe Symphony. The Director has the following key responsibilities:
a. Oversee auditioning of singers.
b. Prepare the Chorus for high-quality performance of choral works.
c. Attend Chorus Council meetings as an ex-officio (non-voting) member and assist in facilitating such chorus-related activities as the Council may undertake.
d. Coordinate with the Rehearsal Pianist.
e. Arrange for and communicate with Contract Singers The Symphony Board may approve.
f. Attend such Symphony Board or Committee meetings as may be necessary to facilitate successful programming.
4.2 Pianist: A Rehearsal Pianist shall be appointed by The Santa Fe Symphony and be provided with professional remuneration by the Board of The Santa Fe Symphony upon submittal of a record of hours of work performed. The Rehearsal Pianist shall be available for all scheduled rehearsals. The Pianist may be asked to accompany for Choral performances that do not include The Symphony Orchestra. The Pianist may be asked to record parts for chorus practice recording, which hours will be included in his/her payment record.
4.3 Council: A Chorus Council of seven (7) elected chorus members elected by the general membership for three (3) year terms shall support the organization, provide leadership and continuity, as well as meet certain obligations essential for a smoothly functioning, consistent Chorus. The Chorus Council handles the general business of the chorus, including determination of annual member dues.
4.4 Chorus Members: Chorus membership is voluntary. Applicants for chorus membership shall audition and be evaluated for admission to chorus membership by the Director. The Director’s evaluation shall be the sole deciding criterion for membership. The Director may also request that all current or prior chorus members re-audition yearly. Chorus members are at a minimum responsible for:
a. independently learning the programmed music;
b. following all instruction given by the Director; and
c. following the requirements as specified in the Chorus Handbook published and distributed by the Council.
4.4.1 Active Status: Singers who are selected for membership and are current in annual dues payments shall be active members of the chorus for the entire concert season.
4.4.2 Participation in The Symphony Chorus is on an “at will” basis. No contract rights or obligations for either the singer or Santa Fe Symphony are conferred by such participation.
ARTICLE 5 – Chorus Council Officers and Others
5.1. President: The Council President shall serve as liaison between the Director and the general Chorus membership, shall convene and conduct general membership and Chorus Council business meetings. The President shall also assume supervision of all chorus administrative duties, arrange for rehearsal space and may delegate certain tasks to other Council members as circumstances warrant.
5.2 Vice President: In the event of absence, indisposition or delegation by the President, the Vice President shall assume all the responsibilities pertaining to the functions of the President.
5.3 Secretary: The Secretary shall keep minutes of all business meetings; make available a copy of the Chorus Handbook and/or the Chorus Rules of Operation for chorus members upon request. In addition the Secretary has the responsibility to notify the Chorus Council of upcoming meetings. The Secretary shall keep all records required by law, including these Rules of Operation and any other documents that are to be preserved in accordance with the Bylaws of The Santa Fe Symphony. The Secretary shall sign all instruments requiring the signature or attestation of the Secretary and shall prepare correspondence for the President or other Council members as directed. The Secretary shall have the powers and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Chorus President or Board of Directors of The Santa Fe Symphony.
5.4 Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have the responsibility to collect, deposit and distribute Chorus funds and pay Chorus-related bills and in so doing works in coordination with appropriate staff at The Santa Fe Symphony office. The Treasurer shall oversee and verify the validity of the chorus accounts and pay bills when authorized by the President or such duly authorized officer. (S)he shall submit a financial statement to The Santa Fe Symphony when requested to do so. (S)he shall render a simple account to chorus members at the Annual General Meeting upon the request of the President. The Treasurer shall also make periodic reports to the Council regarding the status of the budget.
5.5 Librarian: The Librarian shall have the responsibility for distribution, collection, organization and inventory of chorus music ordered and/or used by the Chorus.
5.6 Board Representative: The designated representative from the Council shall attend Santa Fe Symphony Board meetings with voting capacity. This representative will inform the Chorus President of pending Symphony Board matters of concern to the Chorus and will speak for the Chorus at Board meetings of The Santa Fe Symphony. The Chorus Board Representative is not subject to The Santa Fe Symphony Board members’ financial obligations, fund raising, or donations, except by choice.
5.7 At-large Member: The member not elected by for a specific Council position shall serve as the At-large member of the Council.
5.8 Other Council Agents: The Council may select and appoint interested members of the Chorus to represent the Chorus at specified Santa Fe Symphony committees, including but not limited to The Santa Fe Symphony’s Development Committee, the Musician’s Steering Committee and the Program Committee. Such agents:
a. are not voting members of the Chorus Council;
b. will report to the President of the Council activities or actions of the committees that may affect the Chorus;
c. will take direction from the Council in representing the Chorus on those committees;
d. will serve for a full Concert Season (September through June), with re-appointment possible for additional terms; and
e. shall not speak for and/or commit the chorus to any action or activity without prior Council approval.
The Council may also initiate other chorus committees, as it deems necessary.
5.9 Chorus Council Staff: The Council may select a Chorus Manager from among chorus members, following a review of qualifications of interested persons, subject to approval by The Santa Fe Symphony Board. Paid an annual stipend by both the Council and The Santa Fe Symphony, the Manager’s responsibilities shall include but not be limited to:
a. maintaining the roster of active chorus members;
b. recording attendance;
c. distributing the Chorus Handbook and other chorus information to members via hard copy and via email;
d. preparing seating charts;
e. coordinating and scheduling auditions;
f. assisting with orders of music and supplies;
g. researching and providing links to practice materials to chorus members; and
h. coordinating with the Director, the Council President, and staff at the
Other duties may be assigned by the Council President. The Manager is an ex-officio non-voting member of the Council.
ARTICLE 6 – Chorus Council Operation
6.1 General: In addition to conducting the general business and planning activities for the chorus, the Chorus Council is responsible to promote positive communication within the membership, between the Chorus and The Santa Fe Symphony Board and office, and with the public at large.
6.2 Election: Each spring, the Chorus Council President shall solicit candidates from the active general membership for those of the seven (7) Council positions that are up for re-election that year. The President shall then call for the annual General Meeting to be held during a regularly scheduled rehearsal in May. At this meeting the recommended slate of candidates, plus any additional nominations from the chorus shall be submitted to the membership, and the election for Chorus Council members shall immediately be conducted.
6.3 Officers: The Chorus Council shall elect the four (4) officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and choose The Symphony Board representative at the Council’s first meeting following the election, and shall also assign the Librarian and At-large member at that time.
6.3.1 Each Council member shall review the position description published by prior Council officers, and responsibilities and duties shall be confirmed among the new Chorus Council at the Council’s first meeting after the election. Said position descriptions are to be updated periodically and are considered supplements to these Rules of Operation. In the case of vacancy for any reason, the President shall assign another Council member to update the vacant position description.
6.4 Council Term: Each Chorus Council member shall be elected for a three (3) year term.
6.5 Indemnification: Council members are indemnified by The Santa Fe Symphony.
6.6 Council Meetings: The Chorus Council shall meet a minimum of six (6) times per performing year September through June. The Director and Chorus Manager participate at these meetings as ex-officio members. The General Director and Music Director of The Santa Fe Symphony are informed of meeting times and locations, are invited to participate, and receive copies of all final approved Council Meeting Minutes.
6.6.1 Robert’s Rules of Order shall apply during business meetings.
6.6.2 A quorum shall be defined as a majority of Chorus Council members being present at a meeting.
6.6.3 Council meetings are open to any Chorus member wishing to observe or to address the Council. Any member wishing to address the Council shall contact the President no fewer than five (5) days in advance so that the item may be agendized.
6.7 Ad Hoc Committees: The Council may make committee assignments to Santa Fe Symphony committees, or to committees created by the Council itself, at any time during the period July through June. Such committee assignments may include Council members or interested and qualified members of the chorus. Such appointments are for the current July-through-June period only, or any shorter duration determined appropriate for the purpose of a given committee. Each Committee so created shall submit a final written report to the Council documenting the Committee’s work.
6.8 Council Communication: Council Meeting Agendas and other chorus-related documents shall be distributed to Council members via email or hard copy. As a general rule, all topics for consideration, correspondence, and concerns shall be submitted to the Council President.
6.8.1 With consideration of documents sent or issues discussed previously, any Council member missing a scheduled Council Meeting may send the President an email with that Council member’s considerations and/or vote.
6.8.2 In the instance resolution is required prior to the next Council meeting of any issue before the Council, or arising from notice submitted to the President by a member of a Symphony Committee, the President may communicate with Council members via email to resolve the issue. At the next scheduled Council Meeting, the issue will be reviewed and decision recorded in the Minutes as an item under Old Business.
6.9 Council Vacancies: The President shall fill any Chorus Council vacancies that may arise for the unexpired portion of the Council position made vacant or until the next General Meeting. Vacancies may arise for a number of reasons:
6.9.1 Resignation: A Council member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chorus Council President. Such resignation shall take effect upon receipt of the notice unless another date is specified in the notice that is accepted by the Council.
6.9.2 Removal: Any Council member who fails to actively participate in Council meetings by repeated absence or fails to perform his/her assigned responsibilities may be removed by a majority vote of a quorum of Council members in attendance at a regular Council meeting. Such removal for good cause may be from the Council position held by that member; or from the Council itself for the remainder of the member’s term.
ARTICLE 7 – Financial
7.1 Dues: Members shall be assessed dues as set by the Chorus Council, payable annually to The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (SFSOC). Payments are not tax deductible and non-reimbursable. These monies shall be used for payment of rehearsal space fees, workshop fees, sheet music rental or purchase and other expenditures as determined necessary by the Council. All dues shall be considered assets of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Inc. The Chorus Council may reduce or waive these dues under special circumstances. Dues will be paid in accordance with specifics given in the Chorus Handbook.
7.1.1 Each fiscal year the Chorus Council shall prepare and approve a budget determining use of these funds in service of the chorus, and will receive status periodic reports.
7.2 Expenditures: With the exception of the Chorus Council, no chorus member shall incur any debt on behalf of The Santa Fe Symphony or the Chorus nor approve any expenditure of funds.
7.2.1 Any expenditure anticipated by Council members shall be pre-approved by the Council.
7.2.2 The Chorus Council may not incur any financial liability or obligation(s) or as single payable valued at more than $500.00 without preapproval of The Santa Fe Symphony Board. If such a liability is incurred without preapproval, the General Director of The Symphony must give his/her approval and/or bring it before the Board of The Santa Fe Symphony.
7.3 Reimbursements: Chorus Council members may be reimbursed for occasional reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out their assigned duties. Receipts for said expenses are to be submitted to the Treasurer for accounting purposes, and the reimbursement must be approved at a Council meeting.
7.4 Friends of the Chorus: Friends of the Chorus is a named account for donations received in The Symphony Office to benefit the Chorus. Per the terms of the fund’s founding, all such donations are to be used solely for education and vocal improvement of the chorus. Symphony office staff receive and monitor these funds, reporting to the Council, which is responsible for determining their best use.
ARTICLE 8 – Rehearsal Requirements and other Protocol
8.1 Specifics on rehearsal and performance protocols, as well as concert dress requirements, and any other details shall be followed as specified in the Chorus Handbook issued by the Chorus Council and available on The Santa Fe Symphony website.
ARTICLE 9 – Disciplinary Action
9.1 Chorus membership is a privilege extended by The Santa Fe Symphony through the Chorus Director. Failure to adhere to the organization’s standards set by the general membership through its adoption of these Rules of Operation, and even more specifically its Chorus Handbook, may call into question continued membership which shall, in all cases be subject to the discretion of the Director and the Chorus Council.
9.2 Neither the Chorus Council, nor any member of the chorus itself, shall act in any way detrimental to The Santa Fe Symphony. Any member so doing shall be removed from the Chorus by the authority of The Symphony Board.