Olympic Girls’ Choir
Parent Handbook 2017-2018

updated for the Spring 2018 session


The purpose of this handbook is to give singers and their families important information to have a successful and fun choir experience. Please refer to this handbook to answer questions regarding the program. If you find that your question is not answered here, please contact Angie Godfrey at OlympicGirlsChoir@gmail.com or Stephanie Harris at info@bainbridgechorale.org for further assistance.


People to Know

There are a few names you should be familiar with as you get started with OGC:

Laura Milleson – Olympic Girls’ Choir Artistic Director (and amazing accompanist for the Chorale)

Angie Godfrey – Associate Director of the Girls’ Choir, main contact for questions and other communication

Patty Schwartz – Behind the scenes guru for OGC; helps with various choir tasks

Beth Riggs – Additional choir support

Stephanie Harris – Executive Director of the Bainbridge Chorale and general knower of all things Choir

Michael Miller – Bainbridge Chorale Artistic Director

Joyce Brown – Bainbridge Chorale Board of Trustees President


Places to Know

There are a few places you should be familiar with as you get started with OGC:

Rolling Bay Hall, Classroom 1 –   Rehearsal space, upstairs in Rolling Bay Hall

Bainbridge Chorale Office – In the Island Music Guild building, (front part of the Rolling Bay Hall building)

Grace Episcopal Church – Recital/concert venue, 8595 NE Day Rd.

Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church – Venue for most adult Chorale concerts, 11042 Sunrise Dr NE


Program Descriptions

Encora (Prep Choir): The prep choir builds a foundation for enjoyment and success in the Olympic Girls’ Choir. There is a focus on developing concentration, attention span, and the skills to work together as a group. Our goals are to learn to sing with relaxed, healthy tone, follow a music score, read basic rhythms and pitch patterns, sing unison and two-part songs, and have fun. Encora serves girls in Grades 2 – 4  and does not require an audition, but does require interested girls to meet the director before enrolling for a session.

Cantabile (Performance Choir): The performance choir offers choristers the opportunity to develop confidence in singing a wide variety and more sophisticated repertoire in two-part and three-part voicings. Performance choir singers develop more advanced skills in reading music notation, as well as more accurate intonation and an expanded vocal range. They have expanded performing opportunities, both during recitals and Chorale concerts and throughout the community. Performance Choir singers receive instruction in developing their maturing voices, and are choral leaders-in-training. Cantabile serves girls in Grades 5 – 8 and does require an audition before enrolling in a session. Membership in Cantabile is at the director’s discretion.

Attendance Expectations

Rehearsal is every Tuesday except during school breaks, and it is expected that choir members will attend every rehearsal during the session unless there is an illness or there are extenuating circumstances. If you know your child will miss rehearsal, please let director Laura Milleson know ASAP: laurapiano@gmail.com, (206) 854-1850. Attendance at dress rehearsals and performances is mandatory.

All rehearsals, with the exception of dress rehearsals for the Chorale concerts and some joint rehearsals with the Bainbridge Youth Orchestra, take place at Rolling Bay Hall.

Encora – Tuesdays from 3:45 – 4:30

Cantabile – Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6:00

Behavior Expectations

In order to make the most of our brief rehearsal time, it is imperative that all choir members follow these expectations:

  • Be on time
  • Have your music
  • Have a pencil
  • No side conversations during rehearsal
  • Listen carefully
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Come ready to work



Expectations – All choir members are expected to be at all performances and recitals that are scheduled for their group, which will differ depending on which group they sing with. Their music should be memorized.  They are expected to stay for the entire duration of the performance. Choristers should arrive at the location of the performance in performance attire and ready to sing at the posted call time. All dates and times for performances, dress rehearsals, and call times are available on the calendar, which is posted on the website, and available in paper hard copy in the handbook.


Recital – At the end of each session both choirs will have a joint recital. The recital is free for family members and the community. At the recital, the girls will sing their entire repertoire for the current session. All will need to wear performance attire. For the Spring 2018 recital, both Encora and Cantabile will perform their repertoire at the Bainbridge Youth Orchestra  concert, and Cantabile will join the orchestra in performing a piece commissioned especially for the two groups.


Bainbridge Chorale Performances-

Holiday Concerts:

  • Encora will have the opportunity to perform with the Bainbridge Chorale during the shorter Holiday Family Concert on Saturday afternoon. Tickets are required for all who wish to attend. They will not perform their whole repertoire. Performance attire required and supplied by the Chorale.
  • Cantabile will have the opportunity to perform with the Bainbridge Chorale during the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon full concerts. Tickets are required for all who wish to attend.

Spring Concerts:

  • Encora does NOT perform with the Chorale during the spring session.
  • Cantabile will perform with the Chorale for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon concerts. Tickets are required for all who wish to attend.  Performance attire required.

Dress Rehearsals – For all concerts with the Chorale, choir members will be required to participate in a portion of the dress rehearsal with the adult choir. This is vital for the girls to know where they should be and what they should expect. The time is very limited, so it is important that they listen and follow the directions of the Chorale’s director. Choristers DO NOT need to wear performance attire to dress rehearsals.



Binders – All choristers will be given a three-ring binder to hold their music. All music should be clipped in the binder in an organized fashion so it can be found easily during rehearsal. Binders are the responsibility of the choir member and should be returned in usable condition when members exit the choir.

At Rehearsal – All choir members should have their music at every rehearsal, along with a pencil.

Memorization – All choir members will be expected to have all music memorized for performances. There will be a memorization schedule so that pieces are memorized a little bit at a time. There will also be practice tracks available on the Dropbox for the girls to practice at home.

Return music – At the end of each session all music should be returned in the binder.


Inclement Weather

Occasionally we have a spot of wacky weather or the power is out and we need to cancel rehearsal. We will do our best to get an email to you about any cancellations as soon as possible. If Bainbridge schools are cancelled, there will be no rehearsal. If Bainbridge after school activities are cancelled, there will be no rehearsal. If you haven’t heard anything from us and are unsure about whether rehearsal is happening, please call or email. Please know that if your child comes to rehearsal when it has been cancelled, someone will be there with her until you can pick her up. We would never leave kids stranded by themselves!!


Who to contact…

You should contact different people for different things:

  • Questions about behind the scenes things (dresses, payment, registration, times/dates/places, rehearsal cancellations etc.):

Angie Godfrey at OlympicGirlsChoir@gmail.com

Or Stephanie Harris at info@bainbridgechorale.org

Or call 206-780-2467 (Stephanie at the Chorale Office)

  • Questions about performances, absences, music:

Contact Laura Milleson at laurapiano@gmail.com


Performance Attire – Encora Blouses

Members of Encora have the opportunity to wear matching blouses (purchased with a generous grant from Bainbridge Rotary) for performing. Blouses will be handed out at a rehearsal prior to a performance, and will be collected afterwards. Girls will wear nice black slacks or skirt, black tights  and black shoes on their lower half. All girls will need to be measured to ensure a proper fit for the blouses.


Performance Attire – Cantabile Dresses

All Cantabile members will perform in red dresses that will be ordered for the group through the Chorale.  New members will need to be measured to ensure a proper fit. Returning members will need to try their dress on to make sure it still fits.

Measurements – For all new members of Cantabile, measurements of bust, waist, and hip will need to be taken. These measurements should be given to Angie Godfrey by the third week of rehearsals. Please email her at OlympicGirlsChoir@gmail.com to turn in your measurement numbers, or send them in to rehearsal.

Order – Bainbridge Chorale will place the order for all of the dresses together. They take 4-5 weeks to arrive and will be handed out at rehearsal when they arrive, along with a reminder about the guidelines for hemming.

Cost – Cost for the dress is $70 and you can write a check payable to Bainbridge Chorale or pay by credit card at a rehearsal. Please send checks in to rehearsal or drop them by the Chorale office at Rolling Bay Hall.

Hem –  All dresses will need to be hemmed so that they fall one inch from the floor. We ask that you leave a generous hem, so that it can be let down as your daughter grows between sessions. As well, if the dress no longer fits or your daughter does not continue in choir, we appreciate your donating it back to us for the Dress Closet (see next section). Seamstress Susan Swolgard at 206-842-9861 does a fabulous job of hemming for about $10 if you need.

Dress Closet – We also have a selection of dresses in various sizes available for loan from our “Dress Closet”, thanks in part to a generous grant from Bainbridge Rotary. If this is something you would like to know more about, please ask Stephanie or Kristin. Girls who have outgrown their dresses will have first choice for borrowing from the closet. Using a dress from the dress closet is a loan and the dress would need to be returned at the end of your chorister’s time with the choir or if the dress is outgrown. Also, if you find that your daughter has outgrown her dress, or she is no longer going to be singing with the group, we would kindly ask for you to consider donating her dress back to the Dress Closet. Our goal is to have dresses for whoever might need one and to eventually not need to order new dresses, but loan them to all who sing with us. Your donation is greatly appreciated!!

Contact Information

The website is very helpful and includes calendars, contact info, and other important information.

The Chorale Office is located at:

Island Music Guild (same building as Rolling Bay Hall), 10598 NE Valley Road, Suite B, BI, WA, 98110

Email: info@bainbridgechorale.org

Phone: (206) 780-2467