Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Terrific Tuesday - Concerts, What Concerts?

In my years as a school teacher, the concerts we did were pretty much set.  Remembrance Day, Christmas, music festival and year end or graduation.  In the midst of that was usually a musical. There was never a time we weren't practising for the next presentation.

As a teacher, I did have the responsibility to make enough money with the musical to pay for the purchase of music and anything over and above what was provided which was always less than we wished.  However, it was a fairly simple process.

There are many choirs who have professional staff and a need to raise a large amount of money. They have boards of directors and apply for grants and have sponsors etc.

Our choir, like many is totally volunteer.   We use borrowed practice space, started with borrowed music and have no set concert schedule.  When we started we decided that we wanted to be of service to the community.  We often get donations after a concert which have set us on the way to building a repertoire of music we have purchased.

Whether your intent is to do stand alone concerts to support a large budget or to sing for your supper at a smaller venue to brighten someone's day with no expectation of remuneration, just how do you find or create places to sing?

1. Historical Concerts - Some choirs have set times for their concerts much as I had in a teaching year.  If your choir has these expectations, then you aren't looking for concerts but rather ways to keep them coming.

2. Please Can I Come? - Ask if you can be a part of an activity.  One of our first public appearances was a fund raiser to help those affected by the tsunami.  There we were asked to sing at a recognition dinner for a large charity.  A couple of people in the choir are on the boards of seniors' housing or local fairs and we have picked up a number of performance opportunities from those. There we have been seen by others who -- well you get the picture.

3. Community Events - We have offered our services to the Relay for Life in town.  We are singing at the Lighting of the Lights again this year.  I am certain there are many opportunities for you to volunteer and get your sound out there.  If you have set concerts, then you will build your audience from all those who have always wondered what you sounded like.  Now they may wish to pay to hear you.

4. Volunteer - We have provided coffee and snacks for the local theatre on preview night, provided goodies and drinks for donations for the Highland Games (to which we were invited this year to sing).  Any time you can get your name out there, you can garner new members, or new gigs.  Have your signs up and your music playing.  You never know.

Get your faces and your music out there.  Even if you have been a choir for some long time, you need fresh audience members.  The more times you get to be seen and heard the more people will want to hear you again.

What do you do?  Please share with us.


Stairwell Carollers said...

You make a great point that we can't be complacent and need top work together to develop new audience! Thanks for sharing this post with us at our November 2013 Choral Linky Party. http://stairwellcarollers.blogspot.ca/2013/11/november-2013-choral-linky-party-now-on.html#.Uo2MS-LrTK6

As for us, here's The Stairwell Carollers 2013 Christmas Carol Concert Schedule :) http://stairwellcarollers.blogspot.ca/2013/11/ottawa-area-2013-stairwell-caroller.html#.Uo2NoeLrTK4

Cheers, Holly

Embro Thistle Singers said...

We are about to sing for the Light of the Lights ceremony here tonight. Let the season begin. Thanks Holly!! Have fun.