The possibilities abound for Community and Professional Choirs in California! Whether you are starting a new group, or if your organization has been in existence for many years, there are always opportunities to try new things with your choir. I am pleased to serve as the R&R Chair for Community & Professional Choirs, and I look forward to working with all of you to help you continue your excellent work.
*All-New* California Community Choirs Database
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Things I love about Community Choirs:
The Ability to Live Your Mission and Give Back
Community Choirs have a unique opportunity for outreach, especially in today’s education system. With so many schools from Kindergarten through University feeling the strain of cutbacks to their programs, the opportunity to give back is profound. Have a little money left over from your last concert? Why not consider giving it to a local music program in need? I have had incredible success by simply contacting local choir directors and asking, “What do you need?” or “How can we help?” It truly puts the “community” into your choir, and your audiences will love knowing that their money is being put to good use. For further information about things I have done with my choir, see my Spring 2016 Cantate article, “Putting the Community in Community Choruses.” Article HERE
Opportunities for Audience Engagement
In my experience, audiences love to be directly involved in choral performances. You could simply try a new standing position and surround your audience with sound, or invite the audience to participate in a sing-along. Taking a larger risk, ask your audience to offer suggestions for programming your next season, encourage movement, allow for tweeting and pictures between songs, or offer social media prompts directly in your program for your audience to respond to (just make sure they’re in silent mode!). One of my favorite audience participation activities my choir has done was to pass out small electric tea lights to each audience member, and we asked them to turn the light on when something in the music inspired them. It offered an amazing visual to both the audience and the singers of how the music was moving each person in the room. Make it a goal to involve your audience in at least one way in every concert, whether great or small. The results are remarkable.
Fantastic Opportunities for Professional Choirs & Singers:
If you want to be inspired about the future of professional choirs, check out the recent article, “A New Career Path for Singers”. There are increasing pathways to turn outstanding ensemble musicianship skills into sustainable musical careers. California is packed with great singers, choirs and conductors, and the launch of CCDA is a perfect time to draw professional and semi-pro organizations into the fold.
If you’d like to talk about Professional or Community Choir repertoire or performance ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Community & Professional Choirs R&R Chair