For the last couple of weeks I have been talking about New Years resolutions and there were grand plans to do more with the choirs and set them new challenges. I thought, therefore, I ought to actually take steps to put some of this in action. So first thing this morning, even before the coffee machine had warmed up, I submitted an entry form to enter the BlueBelles into the Mid Somerset Festival in the Vocal Category for choirs up to 16 voices.
For a long time now, the motto for my business, 4 Part Music, has been ‘no faffing’. In other words – just get on with it! Anyone who knows me, will know that I’m not the most patient person on the planet. Of course, others would say that patience is a virtue and that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Well yes that might be true, but according to the Bible, the entire planet was made in just 7 days – I’m not a religious person but even if you simply interpret the Bible as a series of stories designed to give us a message on how to live a better life – then clearly Chapter 1 implies, don’t faff, just get on with it!
When I plan events for my choir I start by considering why people join a choir and then try to make sure my choir is the one they want to be in.
Let’s be honest, however much you dress it up, at the very basic level, a choir is a social group. I think this is something which is very important to embrace. Whether it’s a rehearsal, a concert performance, or a post rehearsal drink in the pub, almost every aspect of being in a choir involves the social element of being with others.
Meet New Friends
Whilst choirs are often very social groups who sometimes even go on tours together either in the UK or abroad, most choir members didn’t know each other before they joined the choir. This is particularly true of workplace choirs. My GWH Choir is a prime example of this – despite everyone there working for the same organisation, many didn’t know each other before they joined the choir.
Lest I forget, of course wanting to sing is always a good reason to join a choir. That said, it’s amazing how many people tell me they can’t sing. “Oh I’d love to be in your choir but I can’t sing”. This is something I discussed a while back in a previous post entitled Your Choir sounds great but I can’t sing. Whilst there are a few people who genuinely can’t sing, this is actually very rare. The issue is not so much whether you can sing, but making sure you find the right choir to suit your singing style. Nowadays there are choirs for everyone.
A lot of choirs have Committees of some sort, which are usually elected on an annual basis. So if you want to get involved in the running of the choir, most Musical Directors will welcome you with open arms. The typical roles required to run a choir effectively are: A Treasurer to deal with the money – income from subs and concerts etc. A Concert Secretary to arrange concerts and book venues etc. If the choir has a website and you’re technically minded you might be able to help with this, or contribute content. There may even be a vacancy on the musical team for an Accompanist or Assistant Musical Director.
Participate in Concerts
For me the main aim of any choir is to put on events and concerts. To some extent it doesn’t matter what the size or type of event is providing it is something which while show the choir in a good light. From my experience, choir members love the chance to get up on stage and sing. Yes, most will no doubt be terrified of performing in public in front of an audience. But, despite that usually all my choir members come away from a concert saying they really enjoyed it and had a fantastic time and can’t wait for the next one.