Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have a very busy schedule, but really feel called to sing in this kind of ensemble. How often do you rehearse?
A: The Healing Presence Singers is designed to enable each singer the ability to commit to as little or as much as he/she is able.
Initially, new members will be required to attend 2 of 3 full ensemble rehearsals to learn the repertoire and receive an orientation regarding the unique nature of the situations in which we serve.
These full ensemble rehearsals will be offered at the beginning and mid-point of each “semester”*. (i.e. February & April; September & November). *The months of July and August will have minimal site visits.
Once a member has attended the required full ensemble rehearsals, he or she will be contacted to sing on an “as needed” basis, based upon his/her scheduling availability he/she indicated on his/her application.
Q: Once I am a member, am I required to attend subsequent full ensemble rehearsals?
A: Yes. There are four entry points per year (two per "semester") in which ALL members are asked to choose two of three offered rehearsals, in order to remain on the roster. We feel these rehearsals are a crucial component to developing the ensemble, building community, and an opportunity to "brush up" on the repertoire we already know, as well as rehearse any NEW songs.
Q: Is The Healing Presence Singers an all-female ensemble?
A: No. Although the majority of the roster consists of women, we invite and encourage men to sing with us as well!
Q: Are members required to submit annual dues to participate in The Healing Presence Singers?
A: Yes. Every member of the ensemble is asked to pay a “per semester” membership dues, to be paid in February and September. The dues structure is as such:
- Adult Regular: $65/semester
- Student (high school, undergraduate, or graduate students): $25/semester
- Seniors (65+): $50/semester
Q: How often does The Healing Presence Singers sing together as a full ensemble?
A: Although the majority of our work is in small groups, we might be invited to sing as a larger ensemble at peace rallies, memorial services, or benefit concerts. Singers are notified well in advance of larger engagements, and we do not commit to any event unless we have the majority of the roster available for such an event, including possible additional rehearsals.
Q: Where do rehearsals occur?
A: Tabernacle United Church, 3700 Chestnut Street – in the University City area of Philadelphia.
Q: What is the geographical scope of the area in which The Healing Presence Singers serve?
A: We serve primarily in the Philadelphia County area. We do not have the resources or personnel to serve outside of this region at this time.
That being said, there might be a situation in a nearby location outside of Philadelphia to which we are invited. Participation in a situation such as this would be solely dependent on availability of the singers.
Q: Do the smaller ensembles of The Healing Presence Singers just sing at bedsides on an “as needed basis” or are there pre-organized visits to hospices, prisons, or HIV/AIDS residences and the like?
A: Small ensembles from the roster will also sing in “Intentional Site Visits” that are organized with much advance notice. (i.e. visiting a local hospice facility on a Monday evening for one hour, singing 2 – 4 songs at select individuals’ bedsides within that facility. We might also sing for 20-30 minutes in a main room of a prison or an HIV/AIDS residence, oftentimes encouraging those for whom we are singing to join us in song.)