Role E-mail

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For changes to the actual mail system and addresses, see Mail System Change Log.

Choir E-mail Overview

All choir e-mail addresses, including e-mail list addresses, are of the form


"xxx" is the specific e-mail address, as listed below is our domain name

Most members will only need to know about these sections:

Those with more specific e-mail needs should read about: Public Addresses.

If you want details about how things work internally, read: E-mail Address Types, and How We Use Them

If you are a mail administrator, see: Guidance to Administrators

Private Lists - How they Work

E-mail lists are used to send e-mail messages to multiple people at once. The choir makes extensive use of them, primarily to send notices to choir members.

Feel free to send messages to any of the lists described below. If the message contains choir-related information, you can send the message as-is. If you want to mention a non-CSO event (usually music-related and, many times, something you're involved with outside of the Cantata Singers of Ottawa) in which you think other choir members might be interested (such as your upcoming solo performance...), please start the subject line of the message with "[non-CSO]", e.g.,

[non-CSO] Guitar concert at St. James, January 5, 4:00 pm

This way, choir members can determine right away whether it's important with regards to the choir.

Large files

Please be careful about sending large files through the choir e-mail lists. If you want to make available a file larger than about 500 KB to choir members, please contact the web master for alternative ways.

How moderation works

While all lists are moderated, members can send messages to any of our lists that they belong to (directly or indirectly) without being held for moderation. However, it you send to a list that you do not belong to at all, it will be held for moderation, and will not be released until the list moderator (typically the secretary) notices it and does do. This can take some time (typically a few days, but sometimes longer).

The Lists


  • choir

All people currently involved with the choir. This is the e-mail list address used most often.


  • director-list
  • singers

Everyone involved in the music aspect of the choir for the current season.

  • sopranos
  • altos
  • tenors
  • basses

Soprano members of the choir.


Alto members of the choir.


Tenor members of the choir.


Bass and baritone members of the choir.


  • director-list
  • exec

All members of the executive, including the music director(s).


The artistic/music director(s). Although there is currently only one director, this allows us to have only one list to maintain with the director's email address.

This was previously called "director". It was renamed to combat the heavy level of spam it attracted.


  • <individual executive member e-mail addresses>

All members of the executive, excluding the music director(s).

Public Addresses

These are public in the sense that anyone who knows them can send mail to them. All are forwarders unless otherwise noted.

* Marks addresses that are published on our web site.
+ Marks addresses that also have an account.
= Marks addresses that are NOT maintained in a Google Group.
# Needs cleanup (see #ToDo).

To minimize spam:

  • Most published addresses begin with "cso".
  • All public web pages replace the @ with (at) .

For both spam filtering and ease of maintenance, unless otherwise noted, all are forwarded to a Google Group with an obvious name (e.g. CSO Auditions). After filtering, the mail is then finally forwarded to the actual group member(s).

csoauditions *#

Published on Contact Us > Join CSO. Requests by prospective members to join the choir are sent here.

csochoir +=

This is the primary e-mail address used by our web/mail host to reach us. It is not published, and currently forwarded to csowebmaster.

csodirector =

Not published.

Note: This used to be "director". That was changed to reduce its high level of spam.

csodonations *

Published on Support Us > Donate. Requests for information about donations are sent here.

csoinfo *+=#

While this address does not currently appear on any of the pages in our public website, it is used:

  • behind the scenes for e-mail generated by the Contact Us > Mailing List and Comments pages.
  • by CRA, for its public web site listing registered charities.

When an e-mail contact address for the choir is needed, and none of the other addresses is appropriate, this one can be used.

In addition to being send to the local account of the same name, mail to this address is currently forwarded to the choir's Gmail address, and to the president. There is no Google Group for it. As a result, it has no special spam protection.

csovolunteer *

Published on Support Us > Volunteer. Offers to Volunteer are sent here.

csowebmaster *+=

This address is not published directly, but is used behind the scenes for e-mail generated by the Contact Us > Comments page, when the Web site feedback' topic is selected.

It is also used internally by the web site for most system-generated e-mail (e.g, about problems).

Send a note to this e-mail address if you have any concerns about receiving choir e-mails, or about the public web site.

mwiki_admin =

Not Published.

Send a note to this e-mail address if you have any concerns about the Members' Web Site (this wiki).

president *#

Published in Support us > Sponsor Us. [Should probably be changed to the Donate address, and changed to Not Published.]

[In addition to the Google Group, it also goes direct to Val. Decide which to keep, and document why.]

publicity *

Published in Support Us > Advertise. Requests for program ads are sent here.

Currently forwarded to


Not published. Currently forwarded to

treasurer +

Not published. Currently forwarded to

Used by:

  • CRA
  • Bank
  • PayPal

E-mail Address Types, and How We Use Them

The choir uses the e-mail addresses shown below. There are three types of e-mail addressee mechanisms used:

  • account: e-mail can be sent to and from this type of address. Mail is stored by the server, and managed from the account by the owner. If there is a forwarder with the same name (as all currently do), mail is delivered to both.
Accounts are used for these reasons:
  • To ensure that incoming mission-critical mail is reliably captured.
  • To permit mail to be sent from an officer of the corporation in a way that does not expose the officer's personal e-mail address.
Accounts should be use sparingly, as they come with some responsibilites:
  • The password for each account has to be maintained in a way that is both reasonably secure, yet reliably passed on when the office holder changes.
  • They need to be checked periodically (annually?) and cleaned out.
  • forwarder: e-mail can be sent to this type of address, but cannot be sent from it. All e-mail sent here is forwarded to another e-mail address, usually someone's personal e-mail address. E-mail can't be sent from this address, and is not stored.
    Because forwarders are not moderated, we use them for e-mail addresses that are used by the general public.
    We also use them for institutions that need stable e-mail addresses for various choir functions, such as the treasurer.
  • list: similar to forwarder, but managed differently. Mail is stored and archived by the server, and is moderated. We use these for members to send mail to other members by group/role.
Notes to administrators:
  • If a list is present, any accounts or forwarders with the same name are ignored.
  • Typically a list will only accept mail from members of that list. (Unfortunately, the exact rules are arcane, and not documented.) See Combating Anti-Spam Mechanisms.

We do not maintain permanent addresses or lists for guests and extras. These are handled separately for each production, outside of this mail system (currently in the choir gmail account:

Addresses used by the public (as noted) are visible on our published web pages. The remainder are only visible here.

Guidance to Administrators

See Mail Administrator Guidance.


Exec Helpers

We have people who are not on the exec, but need to send mail to the exec on a regular basis. It's easy enough to maintain them on execdir, but unfortunately the also need to be maintained on the exec list. To simplify this, consider creating exec-helpers, who can mail to these lists, but won't receive mail from them.

Clean up forwarders

It should be possible to change all of these to go to Google groups, which the secretary can monitor and maintain. This has the benefit of improving spam detection, and adding manageable archiving.

  • csochoir
  • csodirector
  • csodonations: Done, but some legitimate mail is being held as possible spam.
  • csovolunteer: done, in testing.
  • president
  • publicity: Done
  • secretary: Done
  • treasurer: Done, but need to inform Bank, and possibly other suppliers.

See also #Forwarder Spam

Update: Google groups can be set to allow non-members to send to them. However, in testing, some incoming mail was held as possible spam. The rules for this are not apparent, and not published. As a result, all groups have to have their primary member(s?) set as moderators, so they see these messaged.

Update: We still need accounts, to be able to send mail from role-based addresses, to guarantee that replies go to the right place when office-holders change.

List Spam

Lists reject mail from non-members. This tells potential spammers that they are close - all they have to do is find a member address to spoof. This can be combated by discarding mail from non-members rather than rejecting it. The downside is that honest mistakes are not caught, and there is no record of what went wrong. What to do?

Forwarder Spam

Moderation is not possible in forwarders, and Google Groups only let members send mail to them. The only solution left is:

  • For published addresses, add "cso" prefix to any forwarders that don't have it. Update the web pages to match.
  • For all except "director", create a list with the old name, to catch legitimate users, so we can contact them separately and advise them of the change. Don't create the forwarder until we know we need it.
Update: Val does not want "president" changed. None of the remaining ones seem to be attracting spam.
  • For safety/backup purposes, consider maintaining accounts for the 3 company officers: president, secretary, treasurer. This would not normally need to be monitored, but would have to be cleaned out on an regular basis (e.g. annually).