FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of music do you play?
We play music from Hollywood, Disney, Broadway, Jazz, and Popular Vocal Genres. Occasionally, we perform original works written by recent composers and artists. 

What is the difference between level 3, 4, and 5 ensembles?
The difference lies in the quantity and difficulty of the music learned each term. Level 5 ensembles will perform a full concert repertoire (45 minutes for choir, and 90 minutes for orchestra), whereas the level 4 ensembles will perform about half that amount (25 minutes for choir, and 40 minutes for orchestra). The level 3 choir will perform just 10 minutes on the big stage as a foretaste of the full experience. Each level group will also have their unique repertoire that the other groups do not share. In terms of music genre, it is one and the same. All levels will prepare overlapping repertoire, and will perform at our premium concerts held at the Chan Centre.

How are the seatings decided?
All individuals will be asked to submit audio recordings for an assessment on the third rehearsal of every month (2-3 submissions per term). Seating/levels are determined by these assessments.

What is the age range of your classes and ensembles?
The average age of the intermediate/advanced level ensembles sits around 25-35 years old, but the range extends from 16 - 65+ years old. Students between 10-14 can participate in our level 1-3 programs, while teenagers between 15-17 can choose to go in either youth or adult groups. We are a friendly community, and all who love music will feel welcomed here! Beginner level classes are appropriate for students as young as 10 years old.

What should I do if my child is not yet 10 years old?
Unfortunately at this time, VPOPS does not have group options for children under the age of 10. If you have children in this age group, we can connect you to our instructors for 1-1 private instruction. When they become of age, they can join an ensembles at the appropriate level.

How many people are in each group?
Level 1-2 classes are typically 3-4 students in a session. Level 3’s about 15-20. Level 4-5 can range anywhere between 20-50.

Do you accept beginners?
Yes. At the VPOPS, we have a multi-level program that is designed to accurately meet you where you are. The level 1 ensemble is perfect for any one starting out. You don’t need to know anything about music, instruments, or singing. These sessions will provide instruction in the areas of basic music notation, rhythm, intonation and playing technique.  For those who have had past experience with music, but are not fully confident in their skill and knowledge level, our level 3 ensembles are designed to perfect playing technique, range flexibility, endurance, and execution of basic rhythms. As members progress, they will eventually graduate into our level 4-5 ensembles, which provide previously trained musicians a challenging, demanding, and fast-paced program to further their skill, technique, and musicality in an exciting performance-oriented environment.

How often do you have concerts?
VPOPS itself hosts at least 3-5 major concerts each year. However, there are a number of other smaller (optional) performances that happen throughout the year.

What makes VPOPS unique from other organizations or community ensembles?
On the surface, our goal towards music and art is common to most other community orchestras, bands, or choirs. However, VPOPS differs in that we aim to do more than the average ensemble. We provide well-equipped facilities, higher instructor to student ratios, private 1-1 coaching sessions, constructive feedback for improvement, and quality performance opportunities that normally would not be available to recreational musicians. In addition, VPOPS is made up of multiple ensemble groups and levels, giving members many opportunities to collaborate together and learn in different environments. At the VPOPS, we strive to establish a safe and inviting social community where both locals and international visitors can connect. Ultimately, the VPOPS is also a place where one can make new friends, become part of the VPOPS family, and build lasting relationships with other musicians. Words can only express so much. You have to come and see for yourself! 

What does it take to join one of your tours?
VPOPS hosts an international tour every 2-4 years. Touring as an ensemble is an exciting part of being a musician. However, going on tour takes months of dedication and commitment to practice, rehearsal, and performance. Participants must be involved with a minimum of 3 terms with VPOPS and successfully perform in 3 VPOPS concerts prior to the tour to qualify. Participants are also responsible for registration fees, their own travel expenses, and ensuring they attend all rehearsals and keep up with the performance standards of the ensemble. All performers must pass their regular monthly assessments to qualify for the tour performance. Failure to meet performance and attendance expectations may result in being withdrawn from performance/tour without refund.

What happens if I miss a rehearsal?
We allow members up to 2 properly excused absences in each term. If one misses more than 2 rehearsals per term, they may be (under the instructor’s discretion) withdrawn from the performance, moved to a lower level, or removed from the ensemble without a refund. Exceptions to this policy can be made only if the absences are pre-approved by the instructor. To be able to perform confidently with a high level of quality, it will require dedication, lots of practice, and training. If you know you will be missing many rehearsals, it would be better to register for a future term where your attendance will be regular. 

What happens if I miss a booked 1-1 coaching session?
Our complimentary 1-1 coaching sessions are designed to help individuals with their personal progress and to fill any knowledge gaps from the group rehearsals. 2 complimentary sessions are available to each individual in the first 6 weeks of the term and are on a first come first serve basis. Cancellation and changes are allowed with a minimum of 48 hour notice, but with no guarantee of availability for rescheduling. If you desire to book an 1-1 coaching session after the first 6 weeks has expired, you may do so at a rate of $55/hour.

What are your refund policies?
Registration fees are only refundable within 14 days of payment or within the first 14 days of the term registered. Refunds are not issued if sheet music is not returned within the 14 days of the term. Refunds are also not issued if registrants fail to attend weekly sessions or meet performance standards in the term registered. Refunds are not issued if registrants decide to drop out due to personal or unforeseen circumstances. Registrants can transfer to other classes/ensembles within the same term free of charge.