With an increasing number of members, Homestead has incorporated roster systems for both practice sessions and concert appearances, working within a monthly ‘practice cycle’
These systems have evolved over time to …
• ensure equity for all vocalists
• manage the utilization of time available
• work towards the best arrangement of each vocalist’s songs
The roster systems incorporate a number of Homestead ‘guidelines’ that have been agreed at past meetings … if you have any concerns about how these guidelines work, speak to the timekeepers or the committee.
- The concert roster We aim for a total of 50 songs for a comfortably ‘full’ concert.
The concert roster is based on an ‘active list’ of vocalists. Each month, vocalists are initially allocated one or two songs to maintain this total, with the number of vocalists with two songs (the ‘yellow zone’) being initially quite small
When vocalists notify that they won’t be at the concert, their allocations are released and the yellow zone grows. There is an additional ‘orange zone’ for vocalists who may be likely to move into the yellow zone.
To maintain equity, the yellow zone rotates through the active list, starting each month where the previous month ended.
The nomination sheet is a hard-copy export from the computerised system, showing the complete active list with colour-coded yellow and orange zones. At the beginning of each practice cycle, the data is completely cleared from the nomination sheet, and vocalists may nominate their song(s) and their band members for the current practice cycle.
The practice roster Vocalists are placed into one of five groups, optionally with other family members, or those that travel or perform together. Groups are colour-coded, and there is a rotation system that ensures vocalists have equity in the weekly practice order, which is included on
each week’s nomination sheet.
How do the systems work?
With limited time for practice, we need a general sense of urgency and some effective cooperation to fit everybody in on the night
- Communication is the key. The means of communication is by writing on the nomination sheet, or by replying to a notification email. It’s the responsibility of each individual vocalist to nominate their song(s) and their band early in the practice cycle. It is even more critical to let us know if you won’t be at the concert. If you are unable to email, call JB on 3889 1185 or Peter on 5496 1487
- Nominating members of your band makes it possible for them to become familiar with your song and get a good start on your practice. If possible, email your charts and an mp3 of your song to your band, (and to Steve, who manages a USB stick for Bill)
- If you have a specific version of a song in mind, please write the song name and the artist / version in the space on the nomination sheet
- It is critical to have a copy of your chart at practice for all band members. If your chart is in capo format, please have additional charts in concert pitch for other instrumentalists.
- In your first practice session, it may be necessary to alter the key to suit your vocal range, but otherwise the stage is not the place for learning your song. If you are having difficulty, talk to one of the off-stage musicians who will help you with your song and/or charts
- The concert roster is dynamic, and can change very quickly. Even if you’re not coming to initial practices, please get your nomination in as early in the monthly cycle as possible.
We need to get the yellow zone and orange zone established ASAP to be fair to vocalists who might need a second song.
- The computer is updated from the nomination sheet after every practice, and an email with the updated nomination sheet sent to all vocalists before the next practice.
You may like to print a copy for your own reference, but the ‘official’ roster sheet is with the timekeeper and may have some last-minute changes Check out the sheet, and if you’re in the orange zone be prepared for changes on the next practice night.
- The practice roster is even more dynamic, and will alter quickly depending on who comes early, and who comes late. The computer shows the estimated time for when each vocalist is on-stage, so check regularly with the timekeeper. Be sure your band is aware, and be ready and waiting when your time comes, in order to minimise ‘lost time’ between sessions
- At the beginning of a practice, Junior vocalists practice in the order that they sign in. Senior vocalists follow in the order shown on the sheet, each vocalist being allocated ten minutes
- A warning hooter will sound at the eight minute mark, allowing the song to end and productive discussions with the band. After the ten minute hooter sounds, please clear the stage quickly for the next vocalist.
- If you are comfortable with how your song is coming together, consider quitting your session early, by calling ‘Next Please!’ … this will streamline progression through the roster list.
On most practice nights all vocalists get a chance to sing. If the computer shows that estimated times are getting late, vocalists in the last group may leave early, knowing that the roster system will have them in the first group the following week.
Before the concert
Peter needs to have nominations close the week before the concert, so that he can plan the concert programme. This will also establish the order that charts are to be placed in the books at the last practice.
Please email your nominations or update the sheet before the second last practice. Nominations definitely close on the Monday evening before the second last Tuesday, and at that time songs will be reassigned.