The possibilities abound for Community 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 Choirs, and I look forward to working with all of you to help you continue your excellent work.
Upcoming places I will be – let’s chat!
2016 CASMEC Conference, February 11-13, San José
2016 Western Division ACDA Conference, February 24-27, Pasadena
2016 California ACDA Summer Conference at ECCO, July 24-27, Oakhurst
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 and response 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.
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.
If you’d like to talk about Community Choir repertoire or performance ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact me!