HSC Bylaws

Chorus Council of the Houston Symphony Chorus


Article 1: NAME The name of the organization shall be THE CHORUS COUNCIL OF THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY CHORUS (hereafter called the Council)

Article II: PURPOSE. The purpose of the Council shall be to function in an advisory capacity to the Director and Chorus Manager and provide support to them in administering the business and affairs of the Houston Symphony Chorus. Further, the Council will act as liaison between HSC members and the Director, Chorus Manager and Houston Symphony and provide advocacy for members of the HSC as needed.


  1. Composition: The Council shall be composed of the Council members as designated in Article IV Any member of the chorus in good standing may be elected to the at-large positions of the Council. No person shall have more than one vote on the Council.

  2. Meetings.

  1. By Who Called. The Director or the Chorus Manager or any (3) members of the Council in consultation with the Director or Chorus Manager may call a Council meeting. Normally 24 hours advance notice of intent and purpose of this meeting is provided all attendees, but there may be rare occasions when less notice is provided. The Chorus Manager will normally chair these meetings, or designate someone in his/her absence to chair them. On occasion, Council meetings may be opened to the chorus membership, subject to the discretion of the Director and Chorus Manager.

  2. Schedule. The Council shall hold official meetings once every other month during the chorus year (September through August), or as needed.

  3. Quorum. A quorum for transaction of business other than election of officers shall be a majority of the voting members of the Council.

  4. Voting. Unless otherwise provided herein, all matters shall be decided by majority vote of the Council members present. Director, Chorus Manager and former President do not normally vote on Council matters. In the event of a tie vote, the Director will cast the deciding vote.

  5. Duties. The Council shall advise the Chorus Manager and Director in the general policies of the Chorus; elect the officers as provided in these by-laws; transact chorus business as appropriate; and call meetings of the membership as provided in these by-laws.

  6. Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled as provided by Article IV, Section 6.

  7. Removal. Any elected officer of the Council may be removed from his/her position by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Council at a properly called meeting. All regular-voting members may vote.

Article IV: Chorus Council Members

1. Designation. Members of the Houston Symphony Chorus Council will include:

a. President (council elected)

b. Vice President (council elected)

c. Former President (advisory, non-voting)

d. Recording Secretary (council elected)

e. Treasurer (chorus elected / director-approved slate)

f. Wardrobe Manager (director appointed)

g. Social Chair (director appointed)

h. Section Leaders (8) (director appointed)

i. At-Large Members (4) (chorus elected)

2. The President, Vice President and Recording Secretary are internal Council positions and are therefore elected by the Council from Council membership. The Chorus elects the Treasurer from a director-approved slate. The Chorus also elects the four At-Large Members. Section Leaders, Wardrobe Manager and Social Chair are appointed by the Director, in consultation with the Chorus Manager and Council President.

3. In the event that a Section Leader is elected President, he/she has the option of serving in both capacities, or may request the Director to appoint a new Section Leader and become an At-Large Member.

4. Elections/Appointments

  1. Terms. The normal term for all members of the Council is two years. Members may serve more than one term and these may be consecutive, but the normal course is to elect/ appoint new members after their two year term is complete. The President and Vice President serve one year in their respective council offices. The VP may or may not succeed the President. Half of the At-Large members are elected annually, resulting in staggered two-year terms for them.

  2. The chorus year runs from September through August.

  3. Election of new officers (other than the Vice President) and members of the council shall occur in the last month of the Spring season, normally May. New officers shall take office at the start of the Fall Season, normally in September.

  4. Election of the Vice President shall take place in the Fall, no later than the second Chorus Council meeting. The Vice President shall assume office immediately upon being elected.

  5. The Chorus elects At-Large Members/Treasurer as the terms of the current office holders expire.

  6. A simple majority of votes cast shall determine the winners.

5. Quorum. The quorum for the election of officers shall be two-thirds of the active members of the Council.

6. Vacancies.

a. In the event of a vacancy among the elected officers, the Chorus Manager shall call a special Council meeting within three weeks, or as soon thereafter as a quorum can be assembled, for the purpose of electing an individual to fill said vacancy. The remaining council members are eligible to run for the vacant office, and if one of them is elected, the Council will promptly call another meeting to fill the resulting vacancy. Alternatively, the Chorus Manager may appoint a volunteer from among the Chorus membership to fill this vacancy.

b. The Director will appoint a new Section Leader, Wardrobe Manager or Social Chair in the event of a vacancy in these positions.

c. If a vacancy in the Treasurer or At-Large Member occurs, the Chorus Manager will develop a slate and schedule a chorus election within three weeks to fill said vacancy or as soon as possible thereafter if the chorus is not in rehearsal at that time.

7. Duties of Council Members.

  1. The President shall lead the Council in establishing and maintaining a close rapport among all active members of the Chorus. Further, the president shall:

  1. Preside over special chorus meetings, such as when elections are held, awards are conferred or fund-raising campaigns are introduced.

  2. Assist the Director or Chorus Manager in conducting chorus business as necessary.

  3. Together with Chorus Manager appoint all necessary committees.

  4. Provide leadership to Council-formed committees.

  1. The Vice -President shall

  1. Assume the duties and authority of the President during any absence or inability to serve.

  2. Become familiar with the functions, obligations, and responsibilities of the Presidency by performing duties assigned by the President.

  1. The Recording Secretary shall record the minutes of the Council meetings, provide a draft (via email) to Council members for review/comment within one week of the meeting, and distribute copies of the final version at the next Council meeting for approval.

  1. The Treasurer is authorized to expend funds of the Chorus with the co-signature of the Director or Chorus Manager. The Treasurer shall:

  1. Have official custody of and keep full and accurate books, which contain a record of all monies received and paid out. These books and other papers shall be retained by the treasurer for a reasonable time, and be open to inspection by Director, Chorus Manager and Council.

  2. Prepare annually (Fall) a report on the financial status of the organization to be presented to the Director for inclusion in the annual State of the Chorus report.

  3. Provide a financial report at each Council meeting.

  4. Have co-signature authority to pay bills from a Chorus bank account designated by the Director (Note: all payments require signatures of two of the following: Treasurer, Director or Chorus Manager.)

  5. Notify the Council President of the purpose of any expenditure greater than or equal to $600.00 prior to release of payment.

  6. Reimburse Chorus-related expenses in a timely manner.

  1. The Wardrobe Manager (WM) shall stock, sell, and maintain inventory of dresses, jewelry, cuffs, collars and ties required by Chorus members as part of their performance attire. The WM will also work with the Chorus Manager in negotiating any contracts for supply of the aforementioned items.

  1. The Social Chair shall plan parties and other social events to enhance the well-being and camaraderie of the Chorus. An amount of the Chorus funds – to be determined by the Chorus Manager, President and Social Chair, based on need – will be budgeted annually for this purpose.

  1. The Section Leaders shall provide musical, administrative assistance and instruction to chorus members based on guidance from the Director. SLs shall also attend and actively participate in Council meetings, participate in Council committees, and generally assist the Council in completion of its business.

  1. The Representatives-at-Large shall represent the interests and views of the Chorus membership by attending and actively participating in the Council meetings, by participating in Council committees and by generally assisting the Council in completion of its business.

Article V: Resolutions. Resolutions to carry out the purposes of the Council may be made, amended, and/or revoked by a majority vote of the Council membership at a meeting or by a mail (or e-mail) ballot.

Article VI: Amendments. These By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of all the current members of the Council. Voting may be open or by ballot as determined by the Council.



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