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 kind of commitment is required?
We expect that one would attend at least 12 sessions in a term. If you have more than 2 missed rehearsals in a term, you may be, under the instructor’s discretion, moved to a lower level, withdrawn from a performance, or asked to rejoin the ensemble at a later time. Above all else, commitment is the number one priority. Commitment refers to attendance, punctuality, and personal practice. Being in an orchestra or choir is not a solo venture, and hence requires diligent personal practice and thorough rehearsals together as a group. If you miss a rehearsal, you will indeed miss a great deal of practice and perfecting, plus the group misses out on your part of the music. Try to avoid schedule conflicts (don't think of rehearsals as optional), stay health-conscious, and if you must miss one, have a friend record the rehearsal or come in for a make up session with the director to catch up. Regardless of how skilled any one individual is, we expect everyone to work together as a group in order to succeed as a group.
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 4 and 5 ensembles also under audition assessments. Level 5 ensembles will perform a full concert repertoire (40 minutes for choir, and 80 minutes for orchestra), whereas the level 4 ensembles will perform about half that amount (20 minutes for choir, and 40 minutes for orchestra). The music for Level 5 can sometimes also be more technically challenging compared to Level 4. The level 3 choir will perform just 10 minutes on the big stage as a foretaste of the full experience. They also perform arrangements that are technically less challenging than that of Level 4 and 5. In terms of music genre, it is one and the same, all three levels form one large ensemble layered with one another. All levels will prepare overlapping repertoire, and will perform at our premium concerts held at the Chan Centre.
How are the seatings and levels decided?
There are no seats in level 1-2. For level 3-5, seating is decided by the director of the ensemble. Based on your demonstration in rehearsal, and/or through auditions, we will designate you to a specific seat, or voice that we see would suit you best in the ensemble. If you are interested in a solo opportunity, these are decided through live auditions on the 4th Sunday of every term. If you are interested in a Principal Seat, you may email us to request a live audition and interview.
What is the age range of your classes and ensembles?
The average age of the ensembles sits around 25-35 years old, but the range extends from 13 - 65+ years old for the adult programs. Students between 8-12 years old can participate in our youth programs, while teenagers 13-15 years old can choose to go to 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 8 years old. For students younger than 8, we recommend private lessons to start. You can contact our administration, and we can set you up with an 1-1 instructor.
What should I do if my child is not yet 8 years old?
Unfortunately at this time, VPOPS does not have group options for children under the age of 8. 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 ensemble at the appropriate level.
How many people are in each group?
Level 1-2 classes are typically 3-6 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 1-2 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, 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 major concerts and 3 mini concerts each year. In addition, there are some performances done for charitable purposes or other events that participants can join on a voluntary basis.
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. First off, we pride ourselves in our repertoire focusing on fun and exciting music from Disney, Broadway, and Hollywood. The musicians love it, and we always have a big audience at the shows too! We provide well-equipped facilities, higher instructor to student ratios, private 1-1 coaching sessions, constructive feedback for improvement, and unique quality performance opportunities. 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 and build lasting relationships and memories 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. You get to travel, meet new people, be inspired, and see the sights. However, going on tour takes months of dedication and commitment to practice, rehearsal, and performance. Participants must be involved with a VPOPS ensemble for a minimum of 3 terms 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 performance 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 in a group 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 and transfer 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. Registration credits can be used for a future term within one calendar year.