A Positive Look Back at 2018

December 19, 2018 - By 

We’re all going to see a lot of retrospectives over the next few weeks, looking at 2018 from every perspective and point of view.  Many of them I expect will have an element of negativity, given what we’ve been experiencing in politics, environmental issues and troubles of various sorts around the world.

So this is going to be an unrepentantly positive one!  We’ve had a great first year at ChoirCommunity thanks to all of you who have supported us, signed up and given our arrangements a try.  It’s not been without its challenges, but the experience of setting up a new digital service for choirs in 2018 has been a constantly joyous and rewarding one.   As an occasionally grumpy businessman and IT professional, I have learned that choir leaders are some of the most positive, energetic and beguilingly lovely people on the planet – I guess you have to be to get the results you do out of your many choirs – and that has been an enormous factor in making our first year so enjoyable.

We have got some very exciting plans in the pipeline for 2019, but we’ll wait until the New Year to reveal them.  For now, I thought I’d look back briefly on each month to show how far we’ve come in such a short space of time.   I hope you enjoy the most positive review of 2018 out there!

January

ChoirCommunity is launched!  Thanks to some pre-launch marketing efforts, we already have 270 people signed up before 1st Jan and make our first sale within 2 hours of launch…in Australia!  By the end of the month we have nearly 100 choirs fully registered on the site and over 300 sign-ups on our mailing list.

February

Sales continue to come in as more people manage to find us.  By the end of February, nearly 5000 copies of music have been sold.  We also agree a deal with Young Voices to publish a portion of their back-catalogue of titles on ChoirCommunity.

March

A second batch of arrangements are cleared by publishers and added to the website.  The most popular prove to be: Ain’t No Sunshine, Electricity and Viva La Vida.  The Young Voices arrangement of the South African song Maliswe also proved to be popular.

April

We create an online catalogue to make it easier to see all the arrangements available on the site in one place.  The number of choirs registered on the site has now grown to nearly 250.  Sign-ups have reached over 500.

May

Novello provide clearance for us to publish two original works by Craig – I’ve Known Rivers and Gaelic Blessing.  We also launch our bonus and rewards scheme which enables our best customers to earn points for discounts off future purchases!

June

A few more titles are given publishing clearance; I Only Want To Be With You and Jolene and popular classics.  Gitika Partington also provides some additional folk song arrangements from her collection, such as Blow The Wind Southerly and Goodbye My Love GoodBye.

July

Two more organisations join us as supporting partners – MakingMusic.org and MusicInOffices.com provide an additional audience for us to reach out and offer benefits to.  The number of choirs registered reaches 325 and signups nearly 800.

August

We roll out a re-design of our home page to make it easier to find arrangements based on different types of choir and various other improvements to navigation.  Mostly though, we go on holiday….

September

The first batch of Christmas arrangements is published on the site and proves to be very popular, despite the concern that we may have already been a bit too late!  Unfortunately, all the rights-owned titles we wanted to publish are refused, but this just makes us work doubly hard to find even more great public domain titles.  This helps sales really take off again – nearly 12,000 copies sold by the end of the month.

October

Our three launch arrangers are joined by Sam Burns, Wendy Sergeant and Alison Crutchley, who all contribute additional Christmas titles for the site.  Wendy’s New Zealand Christmas Carol Te Harinui instantly becomes one of our best sellers!  Not to be outdone, Craig and Gitika, both add some fantastic ‘last minute’ titles of their own.  The Christmas catalogue now numbers 26 great arrangements!

We also launch our first social-media-based competition “16 Seconds of Sound”.

November

We ‘rush out’ a beautiful song ‘Only Remembered‘ which Craig arranged to commemorate Armistice Day in the hope that one or two choirs will be able to obtain it and give it a try.  We end up selling over 200 copies in the week, enabling us to give over £70 proceeds to the Royal British Legion.

We hold our annual arrangers and partners team meeting in Birmingham and make plans for 2019 over copious cups of tea…followed by some great tapas and sangria.

December

Concert season!  Collapsing in a heap…  The year will end on nearly 15,000 copies of music sold, well over 500 choirs registered and 1,250 people signed up.  Not a bad start, but lots more to look forward to in 2019 with some exciting changes in the pipeline….!

If you’re still reading this, firstly well done! …and secondly, thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for all your support in 2018.  We hope you’ll stay with us for the next stage in the journey which promises to be even better!

2 Comments
  • I have to congratulate you on creating a wonderful resource for choir leaders.
    Easy to navigate, and high quality arrangements, not to mention the learning tracks which are a godsend! Looking forward to trying out more of your songs.

  • Thank you so much Elaine! We’ve really enjoyed setting it up and look forward to adding many more songs to the repertoire in 2019.

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