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Home: Choirs and Choral Music: General discussion:
Un-PC? Advice sought please!
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soulagents
Novice

Mar 23, 2008, 9:08 PM

Post #1 of 9 (94867 views)
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Un-PC? Advice sought please! Can't Post

So here I am in charge of a very enthusiastic and talented choral society. Two of my sopranos are disabled for whom we ensure that all their needs are attended to including the provision of chairs for performances.

So far, so good. However, I have recently received more and more requests from other members to be allowed chairs . My question is this:

Can I make it a condition of membership that the choir is to stand for performances unless disabled?

Most of the requests I receive are (I suspect) from people who's back/ legs/ feet ache after a while. Without any formal medical training who am I to judge those in genuine need from those who are perhaps a little lazy. Do you only get a chair on production of a valid blue badge....?!

I don't want to appear callous but I do have a real bee in my bonnet where concert presentation is concerned and there isn't room in our preferred concert venue to seat the whole choir.

Any thoughts or suggestions gratefully received.


soulagents
Novice

Mar 24, 2008, 6:24 PM

Post #2 of 9 (94832 views)
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Re: [soulagents] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmmm. I thought I'd put this up on the discussion board to try and get a discussion going! Never mind, I'll see if Making Music can help. Thanks for looking.


hague161
Novice

Nov 1, 2010, 8:44 AM

Post #3 of 9 (84622 views)
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Re: [soulagents] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have only just read your question as I am a new member. I actually can't see the point of a discussion board when so few people can be bothered to reply to questions. Perhaps Gerontius should place a notice on their front page of a "USE IT OR LOSE IT" Nature and see if that gets these lazy choral types off their collective asses. With regard to your question (surely by now resolved) would your choir not respond to a careful explanation of your position, asking them to restrain requests for chairs only to considerations of necessity. This would have a limiting factor since people would look at a seated member and say to themselves "So you really need a chair do you?" Those who have the courage to ask probably do need one.


soulagents
Novice

Nov 3, 2010, 10:42 AM

Post #4 of 9 (84593 views)
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Re: [hague161] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for your input and 'welcome'!

The situation is resolved in the sense that they have accepted my pleas (after making my position clear as you suggested) but I am still interested as to whether any groups stipulate that singers are expected to stand unless physically unable.

It is a thorny issue but we all agree that singing is best done standing and that from time to time we may experience a little discomfort from our lower backs and balls of feet. Unfortunately at the time of my original post I had received no fewer than eight requests from people with such 'problems' immediately after welcoming a wheelchair user to the soprano ranks. My frustration may have been obvious from the tone of my post!


FullMonte
Novice

Nov 4, 2010, 11:38 AM

Post #5 of 9 (84532 views)
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Re: [soulagents] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

Depending on what sort of choir it is, a choir demands discipline. And it's time for you to introduce this concept to your members.

Don't make it 'make it a condition of membership that the choir is to stand for performances unless disabled' - just tell those who can stand to take your direction and stand, without complaint.

Maybe you should be showing them how to stand properly? Wink Or maybe bring a different running order to your concert programme, so that the choir numbers are interspersed by solo items, so that anyone who has a genuine problem can have a rest...

We have a lady in our choir who has a problem with standing for long periods and will sit down when she can, but never, ever, while singing. We're a pretty disciplined choir* and no-one else has thought to take advantage of this.

*in the category finals of BBC Choir of The Year this weekend Smile *


soulagents
Novice

Nov 4, 2010, 2:26 PM

Post #6 of 9 (84516 views)
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Re: [FullMonte] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi FullMonte and thanks for your input.

You raise some very valid points but the reason for my frustration was borne out of the very point that we were (and still are) a very disciplined choir!

I had inherited a spirited but disorganised group of singers but within a short period of time I had utilised all of my experience as an ex-military conductor and turned them into a presentable, well oiled machine that was above all very disciplined! Thankfully, two years on, I no longer have the same problem. I do have three singers who remain seated due to disability but no longer do I have the malingerers!

I am, however, very fearful of the idiot who has yet to join but will one day walk through the door and demand that the whole world changes to suit his own personal taste because we haven't legislated against it. I speak perhaps of the husband of a singer who threatened to sue when there was insufficient space at a particular venue for a chair in case she got tired. This was a massed choir event and in the end three singers volunteered to stand down from the concert to create the necessary space!

The trouble is, once you start legislating you'll never stop and in the end we just have to trust that most people will accept the status quo. I suppose I've answered my own question but I can't describe how angry I felt at the time of my original post.

Good luck at the weekend and please post back to let us know how you got on.


FullMonte
Novice

Nov 4, 2010, 6:14 PM

Post #7 of 9 (84500 views)
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Re: [soulagents] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, I see now why the title includes 'PC'!

Well, I guess there's always some idiot who wants to sue... was this personal experience? I would have told the singer in question to leave the choir (or get a new husband!).


soulagents
Novice

Nov 5, 2010, 12:36 PM

Post #8 of 9 (84446 views)
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Re: [FullMonte] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

And therein lies the dilemma. On what grounds could you ask her to leave? And yes it was personal experience.


roger_miller
Novice

Nov 9, 2010, 12:22 AM

Post #9 of 9 (84185 views)
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Re: [soulagents] Un-PC? Advice sought please! [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw this and wondered whether it was relevant.

http://www.helpingyouharmonise.com/circleofinfluence

Liz Garnett's posts are always thought provoking.

 
 


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