Choirs are cool. It’s official. And more and more people want to join singing groups. So there’s never been a better time to set up your own community choir. But where do you start? Well this blog should help with the very first bit (although it is in no way definitive – but there are links to other resources at the end).
What is a community choir?
First and foremost – a community choir should be open to anybody who wants to sing. Nobody is excluded. There are no auditions (as we know from blog post – everyone is able to sing). The main initial purpose for the choir should be to bring together a community. A group of people singing together, who love music, is sure to create a sense of community. This is something that your community choir should strive for. So start with a core team of foot soldiers (in other words, some kind of organising committee). Initially they can spread the word locally. As the choir grows they can switch to the choir as a whole, run social events and help to publicise events. Your community choir is part of a wider community. This will become a focal point for the local community and public performances, raising money for local charities, setting up concerts for local schools, care homes, etc., will become a big part of what you do. You may end up representing the community to a wider audience.
The to do list:
Find somewhere to sing – think about the size the choir might end up being. Then find somewhere that will grow as you do. Local WMC’s, community halls, school halls are all good. Factor in the cost.
Find something to sing – even community choirs need to pay for music. There are a lot of free online resources out there, but you might find that they are not right for your choir. Keep it simple is the motto at the start. Music written for schools (with themes that are not too child centric) are a good place to start. Song Library have a range of music that is downloadable and perfect to start in unison, splitting into two, or even three parts when ready.
Decide when and how often you will meet – sessions should definitely be fun to start with – so don’t make them too long. But keeping them as a regular event will build confidence, knowledge and commitment. Don’t forget to build a break into the middle, then encourage this break as the social time for the choir.
Talk to your local media – Find the best contact at your local paper/radio station and let them know what you are setting up – and keep them informed of all developments, concerts, events. Write a small press release for everything you do.