As a singer and an artist you’re probably more interested in duets than data, more attracted to octaves than overheads, but neglect the efficient administration of your community choir at your peril – without it you will struggle to thrive. To take some of the pain out of the job, we’ve put together a list of basics to help you keep your choral machine well-oiled.
This simple record is a fundamental tool in your arsenal of admin essentials. Aside from the obvious function of marking down the presence or absence of choir members, you are actually required by health and safety regulations to have a register in case of fire. Make full use of this document by storing other useful data that will always be there refer to later. Include information about member’s holidays, or when they have to miss rehearsals, add a column listing members into soprano, alto, tenor or bass, and note down a record of member payments. The register is also an effective way of monitoring fluctuations in your member count over time.
Create a simple printable form, which includes new member’s details such as their name, email address, phone number, the date they joined, and previous singing or performing experience. If you throw in a final question about where or how they heard about your choir, it will help you research the impact of your marketing campaigns.
One size does not fit all and the way you get your choir to read and learn lyrics is up to you, just make sure you come prepared. A flip chart can be fun and encourages members to learn the lyrics off by heart after a certain number of weeks. This will benefit a singer’s posture and vocal projection because it means they able to look up, and are freed from the page. Prep can be time consuming though, you need to make sure you have all the words to every song clearly written out each week for everyone to see. Good old-fashioned lyric sheets allow new members to join mid-term, and all you need to do is plan your song list and print enough out each week. The Choir Player App is really useful on this front, because it provides all the song lyrics you need, and means choir members can rehearse at home, which is also a bonus when members misplace lyric sheet handouts.
Keep your members in the loop with a weekly or monthly newsletter. You can cover relevant stories about events and rehearsals, include feel good photographs of concerts and encourage choir members by mentioning any special achievements. It is an excellent way of sharing information with your members, helping them feel included, whilst also promoting your choir. If you want to create an email newsletter, this is where the data on your new member forms comes in super handy. You can create a database with your choir members’ email addresses and add this to your mailing list in Mailchimp or any other free email marketing service.
Make a list of all the admin essentials you need to take to rehearsal each week, such as the register, pens, lyric sheets, member forms and so on. Keep back-ups as well as archive records for your files. Maintaining a well-organised group will help you to look and feel professional and efficient, plus you’ll be able to keep an overarching eye on your members and the growth and development of your choir.