Great Lakes Harmony Brigade
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GLHB Emeritus Status

Great Lakes Harmony Brigade is introducing a new membership sub-class for 2017: Emeritus. This option was talked about in the past, but has not been officially adopted until now.

Emeritus status is an avenue for members to continue to enjoy brigade weekend in the case of some vocal or memory impairment. Emeritus is offered as a compromise between disqualifying oneself from participating, or worse, attempting full participation with a sub-optimal voice or weak memory.

There are two versions of Emeritus: Silver and Gold. In a nutshell, Emeritus Silver (ES) allows full participation in all brigade activities, except for the Friday evening quartet contest. It's for people who are prepared on the full brigade package, but don't want to negatively impact their pickup quartet with a compromised voice, or perhaps, don't want the added pressure of competition. ES is very similar to IHB's Emeritus implementation. Both require the member to come fully prepared on all songs, and enjoy participating in all events except the quartet contests. Both require that the candidate be a member for at least two years before invoking the option. They differ in that IHB requires the candidate to be at least 65 years old; the GLHB implementation doesn't have a minimum age for infirmity.

Emeritus Gold is what makes our offering unique. It recognizes that memory issues can be just as much of a problem as vocal production issues, and affords a compromise to withdrawing from the brigade altogether if preparing the full brigade package is not possible. An Emeritus Gold member commits to the first 5 songs in the package, and quartets with those songs throughout the weekend. They are not on the "dance card", do not participate in the Friday night quartet contest, and may participate in the first half of the Saturday show. EG can also be a lower pressure solution for those recovering from a major illness or operation. Memory and voice may be intact, but they may lack the stamina to perfect the full package.

What Emeritus Gold is not, is a "brigade-lite" for those who have business or personal conflicts, vacations, or "just didn't have the time to get them learned". The Emeritus program is a response to infirmity, not scheduling issues.

The purpose of clause (2) (when to declare) is to recognize the practical reality that singers may register with every intention of full participation, and then, months into the preparation cycle, find that they will not be able to fulfill that commitment. The "two month" stipulation prevents last-minute changes that would affect brigade preparations, such as the dance card, and quartet placement. Because people tend to learn the songs in order, it makes the case for having the first 5 songs on the CD be the Emeritus songs.

If you still have questions after reading this, please let me know, and I'll get them answered.

Bill McAndrew
GLHB Membership VP

Rules for Emeritus Status

(1) To be granted Emeritus status, an individual must be a current member of Great Lakes Harmony Brigade, and have been a member for at least 2 years.

(2) Members may opt for Emeritus status at registration, or anytime thereafter, up until two months before brigade weekend. If not done at initial registration, a member must request Emeritus status from the GLHB Membership VP.

(3) Emeritus status must be approved by the Membership VP and the Music VP. The GLHB membership committee reserves the option of promoting members to Emeritus as necessary, at registration time.

(4) There is no "price break" for Emeritus; Emeritus members pay the same registration fees as other members. Emeritus members receive the same materials packet as other members.

(5) There are two classes of Emeritus: Emeritus Silver (ES) and Emeritus Gold (EG).

(6) An Emeritus Silver member:

     a. Is expected to come fully-prepared on all brigade songs
     b. Is included on the "dance card"
     c. Participates in the brigade chorus
     d. Does NOT participate in the Friday evening quartet contest

(7) An Emeritus Gold member:

     a. Is expected to come fully-prepared on the "Emeritus Gold songs"
     b. Is NOT included on the "dance card", although they are encouraged to quartet with everyone if they are willing and able.
     c. Participates in the brigade chorus, if willing and able. Participation is limited to the "Emeritus Gold songs".
     d. Does NOT participate in the Friday evening quartet contest

(8) "Emeritus Gold songs" are a subset of the current brigade package, consisting of the first 5 songs on the GLHB learning disk. It is highly suggested that the Emeritus Gold songs be sung first on the brigade chorus show, to minimize the traffic of Emeritus Gold members entering and exiting the risers. Ideally, the Emeritus Gold songs would be sung first on the show (in any order), allowing the full chorus to be presented at the beginning of the show, with a small pause after the 5th number to allow the EG members to leave the risers and filter into the audience.

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