Choir Regulations

Choir Regulations of the Berlin Cathedral Choir

[New version 25.5.2016]

The Berlin Cathedral Choir is an inter-denominational, mixed church choir within the Berlin Cathedral parish. It sings in church services, Vespers and concerts in praise of God and for cultural enrichment.

Conducting the Berlin Cathedral Choir is the responsibility of the choirmaster.

The Cathedral Choir consists of various formations such as the Oratorio Choir (‘Oratorienchor’) as the main choir, and sub-choirs for services of worship, the Cantata Choir (‘Kantatechor’), the A-cappella Choir (‘A-cappella-Chor’), the Chamber Choir, (‘Kammerchor’) the Schola and project choirs.

The choirmaster decides on a person's admission to the Cathedral Choir and the sub-choirs; when it concerns potential new admissions or special cases, this may also involve an audition. With new admissions, another audition may take place after roughly six months as necessary.

Admission to the choir is possible up until the age of 60. In special cases, e.g. when welcoming lateral entrants and in the event of particular aptitude, the choirmaster may grant exceptions – subject to coordination with the Choir Council.

Active membership ends at the age of 60. The choirmaster shall decide on any exceptions, subject to consultation with the choir.

The Cathedral Choir appoints two members to the Parish Advisory Council in accordance with the applicable parish ordinance.

The choir elects a Choir Council. It represents the link between the choir and choirmaster and supports him in primarily non-artistic tasks. It sets the Choir Regulations. It manages the social concerns of our choir community. The members are the point of contact for every choir member.

The Choir Council consists of six members. Every two years, 3 members are elected to the choir for a period of 4 years. The Choir Council elects a speaker. It functions as the point of contact for the Cathedral’s Directorship and the Cathedral Council (DKK), it calls meetings and supervises their organisation in coordination with two representatives of the choir in the Parish Advisory Council.

Choir members must commit to arriving punctually for rehearsals. These take place regularly on Mondays between 7:15 PM and 9:45 PM. In order to be able to participate in concerts, choral singers are obligated to attend at least two thirds of rehearsals, the Hauptprobe (pre-dress rehearsal) and Generalprobe (dress rehearsal) – as well as one rehearsal weekend as required. Attendance lists are kept. Should a member be unable to attend, the choir member is requested not to participate in the concert. In special cases, the Choirmaster may allow exceptions if a person’s knowledge of the works is sufficient, potentially following an audition. Assisting with additional tasks such as setting up chairs is expected.

Participation in at least three Cathedral services of worship annually is compulsory for members of the Oratorio Choir. Should you be prevented from participating, a replacement from another sub-choir must be organised.

Any borrowed material – especially music – must be treated with care and returned on time, or otherwise replaced. For larger musical works such as oratorios and cantatas, it is advisable to purchase your own vocal score. During performances, red choir folders are typically used by the Cathedral Choir. A choir folder can be bought or borrowed for a deposit.

Choir attire for performances is as follows: – women in black, long and elegant clothing (no jeans). – Men in a black suit with a white shirt and silver/grey tie.

The Cathedral Choir does not charge any membership fees. Instead, membership to the sponsoring association ‘Förderkreis der Berliner Domkantorei e.V.’ is desired.

Choir members are warmly invited to join choir parties, receptions etc., in order to make new and maintain existing acquaintances in addition to their musical work.