I have been involved with choirs since I was 7, starting life as a York Minster chorister – working my way learning through conducting some pretty dreadful ones, ( we were the only entrants in a festival and we didn’t win!), then gaining further experience through some pretty good ones, bad or good, they had things in common, they sang to almost nobody, they couldn’t recruit, they were aging and they seemed to accept this as the norm, – the committees seemed to resemble a meeting of the National federation of doom-mongers and it seemed bleak.
But as a passionate believer in choral music I decided that I would set up my own choirs and I would get audiences, I would never have recruitment problems and I would seek to turn the choral box upside down, try new things and would see what worked- firmly believing that everything that choirs do is linked.
for the last 20 years I have successfully run choirs that have toured the USA and Europe, searched out and presented neglected and new repertoire in events on Fridays, Sunday afternoons, Saturday Lunchtimes, in churches, stately homes, concert halls, railway stations and hospitals
I have a waiting list for my choirs and one of them sings to full houses wherever it goes – without ever saying what they are going to sing!
Its about taking repertoire (a product) and choosing it carefully so that it brings audiences (customers in the real world), its about publicising your events with the same quality of materials that businesses do, its about having the right musical team and keeping the members that you have whilst continually recruiting more, and many other things.
All of this and more will be revealed to you over my coming few posts – before the hectic Easter season!
Tim Knight is a Composer, Choral Director and Best Selling Author of ‘365 Tips To A More Successful Choir’ which you can purchase here.