Another Great Year!

January 2, 2020 - By 

We have had another busy year at ChoirCommunity and like last year, thought it was worth taking a break to have a look back over the last 12 months and appreciate how far we’ve come – with the help of all our fantastic community of choirs of course!

In last year’s blog, we did this month by month but this year I thought I’d group our highlights into different themes, so here goes……

Most Downloaded Titles

In terms of what you are all choosing to purchase and download in 2019, Bill Withers is clearly a big favourite, with both Lean On Me and Ain’t No Sunshine remaining in the top 5 throughout the year.

The top Christmas title this year was Deck The Halls, with the wonderful secular carol by Nigel Eaton, Halsway Carol, coming a close second!

In August, Gitika came up with a beautiful and timely new song (with the help of Val Regan and Andrew McCrorie-Shand), which metephorically ‘flew off the shelves’ for the rest of the year.  Keeping Faith ended the year our best-seller with over 1000 copies sold!

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that in March, in response to the terrible shootings in New Zealand, Craig created a simple choral arrangement of Pokarekare Ana to show solidarity with and support for the people there.  We put it up on the website as a free download and as of this writing, 4638 copies have been downloaded.

Partnerships

We have been very fortunate to be able to link up with many great organisations for mutual benefit since we launched and 2019 continued that with our links to Young Voices and Making Music.  We also got to hear about other smaller initiatives throughout the year focused on the choir community and was very privileged to be able to sponsor them:

Polly Murray ran an number of Choir Leader Meet-Ups in Surrey through the year which we were delighted to support.  The next one is on 7th January so if you’re in the area, please join in!

Tim Allen came up with a brilliant idea in 2019 – to create an informal Choir Leaders’ Choir to encourage choir leaders to get together and enjoy the experience they give to so many other people every week – namely singing together for fun!  Two get-togethers were organised in November which were very successful, so I hope we see many more in 2020!

ChoirCommunity Team and Artists

2019 saw the team grow at ChoirCommunity.  In April, Gitika Partington joined the company officially as a board member.  As one of our founding arrangers, Gitika has been an amazing person to have in the team so it was wonderful to formalise our relationship further!

We also welcomed a number of new arrangers to the team; Doug Watts, Abi Moore, Dom Stichbury, Jane Edwardson and Val Regan.  You won’t see many titles from them on the site just yet as a result of the issue with Hal Leonard (See below), but we will be publishing plenty very soon!

The year also saw us launch a section dedicated to original music (also in partnership with Making Music).  Thanks to their ‘Adopt a Composer’ initiative, we have been able to publish original works from Aran Browning, Mark Boden and Rosie Clements and hope to add many more.

Publishing & Copyright

All the way back in March, I announced that we had signed a deal with by far the largest rights-owner of sheet music, Hal Leonard.  The agreement would allow us to arrange and publish pretty much anything in their extensive library of hundreds of thousands of songs – the only hurdle being to set up some automated integration with their systems in the US….

….Well, that took a bit longer than we planned, but just before Christmas we got the go-ahead so are now beavering away on getting the first 40 or so titles published, with many more to come during the rest of the year!

Music Collections and other highlights

Partly due to the delay with getting the Hal Leonard titles out, our attentions turned to other ideas and we issued lots of collections of different types music during 2019:

Our ‘Original Compositions’ section launched in May, showcasing new talent from around the UK.

We published our ‘Rounds and Warm-ups‘ section in June.

June also saw our section of ‘Sea Shanties’ released, collected and arranged by Gitika.

In September, we published Craig’s arrangements of some of ‘Spike Milligan’s poems’.

In November, we published a collection of ‘Coope, Boyes and Simpson arrangements’ by Sam Burns.

Growth and Milestones

We have enjoyed continued growth and success – thanks to everyone involved with and supporting this little project!  We started the year with 574 choirs registered on the website and closed it with nearly 1,300.  We have now had well over 30,000 copies of music downloaded from the site and welcomed our 1000th sale in December.  Our mailing list now numbers well over 2000 people!

So, please let me extend a huge thank you to all of you who have supported us this year, especially if you are still reading this far, but even if you’re not!  We are very excited about our plans for 2020 and are looking forward to making some really fantastic choir music available to you all over the next 12 months!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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