This week, all my choirs return from their Christmas festivities and ‘normal’ weekly rehearsals begin once more. January, dominated by endless drizzle and grey skies, is usually the month to get through whilst New Year’s resolutions are attempted. There may also be some hope that the sun will return later in the year.
In order to ‘hit the ground running’ in January, I always spend a few days between Christmas and New Year looking for new music. I do this for each choir to give us all a new challenge and embrace a wider repertoire. Nowadays, there are almost endless resources for choral music. Regardless of whether you are a Barbershop Quartet, a mixed Community Choir, a Gospel choir or a large scale Choral Society, there is a wide choice of repertoire available.
By the time we get to January, a lot of choirs may well have quite a full diary for the year. I know of some Male Voice Choirs in particular who plan tours all over the country. By January, they will have already made all the travel and accommodation arrangements for concerts planned with the hosting Choirs. This is something to look forward to and a lovely weekend away with friends and partners. It’s also a great incentive to polish your existing repertoire and perhaps even learn a few new songs.
With somewhere in the region of 2 million people in the UK now singing in a choir, there are now more and more choirs all over the country looking to put on concerts and events in their local towns and villages. In order to attract audience members, each choir needs to offer something slightly different. This might be a new repertoire or an entirely new way of performing!
The start of the year is a good time to think about the events your choir gets involved with. What events went well last year, what does the choir particularly enjoy doing? These are all the subject of discussions amongst music teams and choir committees as they plan for the year ahead. Similarly there may have been concerts which didn’t quite work out for whatever reason.
In the majority of cases, most choirs use concerts and events as ways of raising money for charities they support. My choirs like to support local charities and often we pick one or more charities to support for the year. If the choir is performing in concert then the advertisement can be clear as to where the proceeds from the event are going. In some cases choirs might charge a fee for being part of events – such as weddings for example. In this instance once costs have been covered (music team and transport etc) then a lot of choirs will set aside funds for their own development, with perhaps a percentage set aside for their charity of choice.
This is all very admirable and there is always a ‘feel good factor;’ about making a donation to charity. Particularly if this is as a result of a concert or series of events your choir has been involved in. However, whilst choirs are not strictly speaking commercial organisations, they still have costs of upkeep. The music team, music scores, rehearsal venues and transport to name but a few.
Alongside the concerts and events that choirs run throughout the year, other events are often explored. Choirs like most organisations need funding.
This is where we come in. Recording your Choir has for a long time been seen as an expensive undertaking. This is then coupled with no real benefit other than CDs to sell in order to try and recover some of the initial investment. However, 4 Part Music have turned this all around. We offer choirs the opportunity not only to record a professional album on location but to actually make a small profit from sales of their CD.
In fact the majority of choirs who record with us will usually make somewhere in the region of £1000 in profit from sales of just 200 CDs. Sell more CDs and your choir could make quite a tidy sum. Depending on the size of your choir you may well sell in the region of 100 copies to members and their friends and families.
What do our clients say?
Jules I’m completely and utterly Speechless!!! It’s so amazing I’m just lost for words (that’s a first!). I can’t believe this dream has come true! THANK YOU
If you would like to find out more about recording with your Choir this year then please get in touch