Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Children’s Chorus of San Antonio? CCSA is a community-based organization serving all young people in San Antonio who want to sing. Established in 1983, CCSA currently serves over 400 engaged, talented, and dedicated young artists in our three divisions.

How long is the CCSA season? The season closely follows the academic calendar. We don’t have all of the same holidays, however, so there will be instances where a CCSA singer will have the day off from school but not from rehearsal. We begin our season in late Summer (usually in August) and finish in late Spring (usually May).

When are CCSA concerts? Our two main concerts are in December and May. The younger levels of CCSA perform less, with concert appearances increasing as the groups get progressively older. Thus, beginning (Preparatory and Prelude) ensembles may perform only twice a year, but it isn’t uncommon for our advanced ensembles (Encore, Concert, Chamber) to have upwards of 8-10 concerts in a season. Upcoming concerts can usually be found here.

How much will it cost? Tuition for the full season is per ensemble and is based on rehearsal hours and performance opportunities. Rates for 2018-2019 range from $430 – $750; a complete list of ensemble details is located here

Can I get help paying for tuition? CCSA provides opportunities for qualified families to apply for financial assistance. Applications are available after placement appointments. 

Pre-Registration

Where does beginning choirs rehearse – on what day and time? There are currently two ensemble sections for young singers. Both meet on Thursdays; the first section for ages 5-6 meets (Preparatory) from 4:30-5:20pm and the second section for ages 7-8 (Prelude) meets from 5:30-6:45pm. All sections for this age group meet at Musical Arts Centers of San Antonio, 12732 Cimarron Path.

Do you have a calendar for beginning choirs? How do I see a schedule of concerts and rehearsals? The season schedule is still in the works. At the point of it’s completion, you can view the calendar for on the Family Portal page of the CCSA website.

How often do young singers perform? Preparatory and Prelude singers perform in two formal concerts per year–a winter concert and a spring concert. Concert venues for these ensembles include the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. All performances are listed in the calendar found on the Family Portal page on the CCSA website. In addition to formally scheduled concerts, Preparatory and Prelude singers may be invited to participate in other singing events as they occur throughout the season.

How do I register my singer for Prelude or Preparatory? Registration links can be found on the CCSA website or by clicking here. Registration is available during certain times throughout the season; you may click here to access additional information and registration links for your age group. If registration is not available at this time, please click here to sign up on the Waiting List.

Post-Registration

I’ve just registered; now what? We’re excited that you’ve taken this big step in your singer’s musical experience. Now that you’ve registered you will receive several emails that detail rehearsal times and locations, how to pay tuition, and a calendar of events.

What is the tuition rate? Tuition for Preparatory (ages 5-6) is $430 for the full year; tuition for Prelude is $495.00 for the entire season. Payments for tuition can be made via the website. Need-based financial aid is available for singers on a first-come, first-served basis.

When is tuition due?

Tuition is due prior to the start of the new season. A $100 deposit is due at the time of your singer’s scheduled placement. If your singer withdraws from CCSA, $50 of this deposit is non-refundable.

Do I get a discount for paying early?

Families who complete payment of their account in full on or before August 4 prior to the start of the new season, are entitled to a five percent (5%) discount off their total payment. The discounted amount will be deducted from the account/invoice at the time of complete payment.

Can I get help paying for tuition?

CCSA provides opportunities for qualified families to apply for financial assistance. Applications are available after placement appointment. Applications are reviewed by the Finance Committee and decisions will be conveyed to parents by the 15th of the following month to allow sufficient time for families to meet their remaining financial obligations with an adjusted payment plan.

Do you have a payment plan for tuition?

Yes, we offer a number of convenient payment plan options. Payment plans offer you the flexibility of payments that fit your lifestyle. Once your singer has been placed, and your registration is complete, we will send you information on what plans are available. Payments are divided into monthly installments due on the 1st or the 15th of the month respectively.

What happens if my singer needs to drop out of CCSA?

In the event a singer needs to withdraw from CCSA before the end of the scheduled season, the family must submit a written withdrawal notice via email (email: office@childrenschorussa.org). Depending upon the date of receipt of the written withdrawal notice, the family may be eligible for a tuition refund.

What do singers in Prelude and Preparatory Choir wear for concerts?

For most concerts, Prelude and Preparatory Choir singers will wear a CCSA t-shirt (provided to CCSA choristers free of charge), khakis pants, and black closed-toe shoes with black socks. Concerts that are formal performances, such as the end of the season performance at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, singers are asked to wear their “Sunday best”.

Do I have to buy a ticket for Prelude and Preparatory Choir concerts?

Most family-friendly concerts for Prelude and Preparatory Choirs are free. However, all concerts that are held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts are ticketed. Tickets prices range from $8-$50 depending on the seating and availability of tickets. Complimentary tickets are not provided to families for concerts at the Tobin Center.

 

Tell me about CCSA’s ensembles for developing singers! Chorale and Choristers are entry-level training choir for ages 9 and up. These ensembles provide the basics of choral education, such as sight-reading, and proper vocal technique. As singers learn and work together, they learn the joy of singing and develop a lifelong passion for music.

  • Young people ages 9 and up rehearse weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays depending on location during the academic year (September – May).
  • Singers do not need prior experience to join our training ensembles – skills development is part of every rehearsal. However, prior experience is expected to join our Choristers ensemble.

When are the rehearsals for Chorale and Choristers? We currently have two sections of Chorale: Chorale NC and Chorale NW, and one section of Choristers.

  • Chorale North Central meets every Monday from 4:30-6:30pm at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, 14700 San Pedro
  • Chorale North West meets every Tuesday from 4:30-6:30pm at Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, 11093 Bandera Road
  • Choristers meets every Thursday from 5:00-7:00pm at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E Basse Rd

What is required for participation in Chorale and Choristers? Anyone who loves to sing is welcome in Chorale and Choristers, however, there are some things we ask in order to find the best fit for each individual. Each singer and singer’s family must commit to attending all rehearsal and concerts to the best of their ability. All singers and their families should consider reviewing the current CCSA Chorale calendar to get an idea of the time and travel (within the city limits only) commitment required for a successful season in CCSA. In addition, all singers who are interested in joining must complete a placement hearing.

How many times a year do Chorale and Choristers singers perform? Singers in Chorale and Choristers perform several times throughout the season. All performances are listed in the calendar that will be found on the Family Portal page of the CCSA website upon its completion. Our two biggest performances occur at the end of the fall semester with our winter concert in early December, and at the end of the spring semester with a concert at the beginning of May; both of these performances are held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts located in the heart of San Antonio’s downtown arts district. In addition to formally scheduled concerts, Chorale and Choristers singers may be invited to participate in other singing events as they occur throughout the season.

Do you have a calendar for Chorale and Choristers? Yes! The concert calendar is still in the works. At the point of its completion, a complete calendar of rehearsals and performances may be found on the Family Portal page of the website.

Placements and Post-Placement

I’ve just signed up for a Placement Hearing, now what? We’re excited that you’ve taken this big step in your singer’s musical experience. Now that you’ve scheduled your placement hearing, you will receive a confirmation notice of your scheduled day, time, and location for your hearing. In addition, you will receive a reminder email and text 48 hours prior to your scheduled day and time.

What should I expect at my Placement? Placement hearings for CCSA are a low-stress meeting with the Artistic Director so that he/she can get to know each singer, understand their current level of musicianship, and find the just the right spot for everyone in the ensemble. Singers do not need to prepare any songs–but they are welcome to sing one if they have something they’d love to share. Each singer will be taken through a variety of singing exercises to determine her or his range and growth potential.

Placements can be scheduled online. You will receive a confirmation, and a reminder of your placement day, time and location 48 hours prior to your appointment via email and text. Following are a few things to keep in mind for your upcoming placement:

  • Younger singers may be grouped together to simulate a rehearsal-type environment and to ease any anxiety associated with singing alone. Parents are present in the room at all times.
  • No preparation is necessary! You do not need to bring a prepared selection; our directors are looking for potential, not perfection. Each placement will last approximately 15 minutes.
  • Best of all… you will know your results by the end of your placement hearing. We guarantee you won’t have to wait days for our decision.

CCSA staff will be on hand during your placement hearing day and time to answer any questions and assist you with the completion of the forms. At the conclusion of your singer’s placement, you may complete payment and plan enrollment on site.

What is the tuition rate for Chorale? Tuition for Chorale is $539 for the entire season. Payments for tuition can be made via the website. Need-based financial aid is available for singers on a first-come, first-served basis through an application form.

What is the tuition rate for Choristers? Tuition for Choristers is $629 for the entire season. Payments for tuition can be made via the website. Need-based financial aid is available for singers on a first-come, first-served basis through an application form.

When is tuition due? Tuition is either due prior to the start of the new season or may be paid throughout the year on a payment plan guaranteed with a credit card. A $100 deposit is due at the time of your singer’s scheduled placement. If your singer withdraws from CCSA, $50 of this deposit is non-refundable.

Do I get a discount for paying early? Families who complete payment of their account in full on or before August 1 prior to the start of the new season, are entitled to a five percent (5%) discount off their total payment. The discounted amount will be deducted from the account/invoice at the time of complete payment.

Can I get help paying for tuition? CCSA provides opportunities for qualified families to apply for financial assistance. Applications are available after placement appointment. Applications are reviewed by the Finance Committee and decisions will be conveyed to parents by the 15th of the following month to allow sufficient time for families to meet their remaining financial obligations with an adjusted payment plan.

Do you have a payment plan for tuition? Yes, we offer a number of convenient payment plan options. Payment plans offer you the flexibility of payments that fit your lifestyle. Once your singer has been placed and your registration is complete, we will send you information on the available options. Payments are divided into monthly installments with customizable payment dates.

What happens if my singer needs to drop out of CCSA? In the event a singer needs to withdraw from CCSA before the end of the scheduled season, the family must submit a written withdrawal notice via email (email: office@childrenschorussa.org). Depending upon the date of receipt of the written withdrawal notice, the family may be eligible for a tuition refund.

What do singers in Chorale and Choristers wear for concerts? Chorale singers will require two uniforms: a Formal Performance Uniform and an Informal Performance Uniform.

  • Informal Performance Uniforms consist of a CCSA t-shirt (provided to singers at no charge), khakis pants, black closed toe shoes, and black socks.
  • Formal Performance Uniforms Girls/Boys: White tuxedo shirt with regular collar underneath a black vest. Girls will wear black Pavillion pants (wide legged palazzo pant to the top of the foot and elastic waistband), black socks, black closed toe shoes and a red rosette.
    Boys will wear black dress slacks with black socks and shoes and a red skinny tie.

    **All singers will be fitted and sized by parent volunteers for their Formal Performance Uniforms at the start of the season singer retreats. Uniforms will be ordered from a central distributor from the CCSA office. A small uniform fee will be invoiced to singer families.**

Do I have to buy a ticket for Chorale and Choristers concerts? Most family-friendly concerts for Chorus are free. However, all concerts that are held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts are ticketed. Tickets prices range from $8-$32 depending on the seating and availability of tickets. Complimentary tickets are not provided to families for concerts at the Tobin Center.

 

 

Pre-Placement:

Tell me about advanced ensembles! Where do they rehearse and on what day and time? CCSA’s advanced ensembles – Encore, Concert, Chamber – are for singers with the most singing and performing experience. All rehearsals are held on Mondays, with distinct times for each ensemble:

  • Concert | Mondays 5:45 – 7:45pm
  • Chamber | Mondays 5:00 – 6:30pm
  • Encore  | Mondays 7:30 – 8:45pm

All rehearsals for these ensembles are held at St. David’s Episcopal Church and School located at 1300 Wiltshire.

Do you have a calendar for the advanced ensembles? Yes! The concert calendar is still in the works. Upon its completion, you can view the calendar for all three ensembles – Encore, Concert, Chamber – on the Family Portal page of the CCSA website.

How many times a year do advanced singers perform? CCSA’s advanced ensembles – Encore, Concert, Chamber – have a rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule. Our two biggest performances occur at the end of the fall semester with a winter concert in early December, and at the end of the spring semester with a concert in early May; both of these performances are held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts located in the heart of San Antonio’s downtown arts district.

In addition to formally scheduled concerts, advanced singers may be invited to participate in other singing events as they occur throughout the season. For example, Encore and Concert singers are often asked to perform along with professional vocalists in operatic and symphonic productions. These additional performances require singers attend extra rehearsals, many times after the regular school day. To get an idea of the rehearsal and performance requirements of our signature ensembles, please consult the calendar found on the Family Portal page of the CCSA website.

What is required for participation in an advanced Ensemble? Anyone who loves to sing and has prior experience is welcome in Encore, Concert or Chamber; however, there are some things we ask in order to find the best fit for each individual singer. CCSA’s advanced ensembles have a rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule. Each singer and singer’s family must commit to attending all rehearsals and concerts to the best of their ability. All singers and their families should consider reviewing the CCSA ensemble calendars to get an idea of the time and travel (within the city limits only) commitment required for a successful season in CCSA. In addition, all singers who are interested in membership at this level must complete a placement hearing.

But don’t worry!

Placement hearings for CCSA are a low-stress meeting with the Artistic Director so that he/she can get to know each singer, understand their current level of musicianship, and find just the right spot for everyone in the ensemble. Singers do not need to prepare any songs–but they are welcome to sing one if they have something they’d love to share. Each singer will be taken through a variety of singing and reading exercises to determine her or his range and growth potential.

In addition, each singer will be asked to sight-sing to get an understanding of where each singer is in their understanding of music reading and theory. Because of the high level of performance and because of the concert commitment required of advanced singers, we recommend that anyone interested in a placement hearing should feel comfortable reading music and sight-singing.

Post Placement Hearing Sign-Up/Registration

I’ve just signed up for a placement hearing, now what? We’re excited that you’ve taken this big step in your singer’s musical experience. Now that you’ve scheduled your placement hearing, you will receive a confirmation notice of your scheduled day, time, and location for your hearing. In addition, you will receive a reminder email 48 hours prior to your scheduled day and time.

What should I expect at the placement hearing? Placement hearings for CCSA are a low-stress meeting with the Artistic Director so that he/she can get to know each singer, understand their current level of musicianship, and find just the right spot for everyone in the ensemble. Singers do not need to prepare any songs–but they are welcome to sing one if they have something they’d love to share. Each singer will be taken through a variety of singing and reading exercises to determine her or his range and growth potential.

Placements may be scheduled online. You will receive a confirmation, and a reminder of your placement day, time and location 48 hours prior to your appointment via email and text. Following are a couple of things to keep in mind for your upcoming placement:

  • No preparation is necessary! You do not need to bring a prepared selection; our directors are looking for potential, not perfection. Each placement will last approximately 15 minutes.
  • Best of all… you will know your results by the end of your placement hearing. We guarantee you won’t have to wait days for our decision.

CCSA staff will be on hand during your placement hearing day and time to answer any questions and assist you with the completion of the forms. At the conclusion of your singer’s placement, you may complete payment and plan enrollment on site.

What is the tuition rate? Tuition for Encore, Concert, and Chamber is dependent on the ensemble in which each singer is placed and can be found by clicking here. Payments for tuition can be made via the website. Need-based financial aid is available for singers on a first-come, first-served basis.

When is tuition due? Tuition is either due prior to the start of the new season or may be paid throughout the year on a payment plan guaranteed with a credit card. A $100 deposit is due at the time of your singer’s scheduled placement. If your singer withdraws from CCSA, $50 of this deposit is non-refundable.

Do I get a discount for paying early? Families who complete payment of their account in full on or before August 1 prior to the start of the new season, are entitled to a five percent (5%) discount off their total payment. The discounted amount will be deducted from the account/invoice at the time of complete payment.

Can I get help paying for tuition? CCSA provides opportunities for qualified families to apply for financial assistance. Applications are available after placement hearings and must be completed and submitted to the CCSA office by the last business day of the month in which your hearing is scheduled. Applications are reviewed by the Finance Committee and decisions will be conveyed to parents by the 15th of the following month to allow sufficient time for families to meet their remaining financial obligations with an adjusted payment plan.

Do you have a payment plan for tuition? Yes, we offer a number of convenient payment plan options. Payment plans offer you the flexibility of payments that fit your lifestyle. Once your singer has been placed and your registration is complete, we will send you information on the available options. Payments are divided into monthly installments with customizable payment dates.

What happens if my singer needs to drop out of CCSA? In the event a singer needs to withdraw from CCSA before the end of the scheduled season, the family must submit a written withdrawal notice via email (email: office@childrenschorussa.org). Depending upon the date of receipt of the written withdrawal notice, the family may be eligible for a tuition refund.

What do singers in Encore, Concert, and Chamber wear for concerts? Singers have two performance uniforms that are required: a Formal Performance Uniform and an Informal Performance Uniform.

  • Informal Performance Uniforms consist of a CCSA t-shirt (provided to singers at no charge), khakis pants, and black closed toe flat-heeled shoes.
  • Formal Performance Uniforms consist of:
    • Young Men | a black button-down dress shirt with a skinny black tie, black dress slacks, and black shoes with black socks
    • Young Women | women are required to wear a black ¾ sleeve blouse with a scoop neck, black palazzo pants, and black closed toe, flat-heeled shoes with opaque black tights, colorful scarves are provided for young women prior to each concert

**Singer families are responsible for payment of each uniform, however, CCSA will measure and fit each singer and order Formal Performance Uniforms at the beginning of each season. More details regarding Formal Performance Uniform requirements are provided in the CCSA handbook.**

Do I have to buy a ticket for Advanced Ensemble concerts? Concerts that are held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts or are in collaboration with other organizations are ticketed. Tickets prices range from $8-$50 depending on the seating and availability of tickets. Complimentary tickets are not provided to families for concerts at the Tobin Center.