Posted In: Blog
If you were already a member of ChoirCommunity in May last year, you probably received an e-shot from us with news about a project we were working on to investigate the true provenance of the many of the unattributed songs which we have arranged and published from the African continent.
We have continued to work on this with Umoya Creations, a South-African charity set up to bring healing, education and reconciliation to people affected by Apartheid, set up and run by the International Percussionist, Composer and Workshop Leader, Eugene Skeef.
It has been a fascinating journey of discovery and we are very excited to announce the partnership with Umoya Creations which has come out of the work. Firstly though, a little bit of background…
It’s been a while, but we have finally got ourselves into the position of looking for some new arrangers to join the team!
ChoirCommunity is now in its sixth year and we are really proud of what we have achieved over this time. We now have well over 1100 downloadable titles available, all created by our 22 talented choir leaders, arrangers, composers and musicians from around the UK and abroad. Since January 2018, over 250,000 copies of music have been downloaded from the site by the 6,700 choirs around the world who have joined up by registering an account. We’re now looking to build on that start by continuing to expand the team of arrangers and the scope of our music library.
We thought we’d try a new way of showcasing some of the great music we have on ChoirCommunity and especially the fantastic talent embodied in our wonderful team of arrangers. Each week, we’ll put a new video up on YouTube created by one (or sometimes more than one) of our arrangers of a song which is available from our library for download. The format will be a mixture of ‘virtual’ and live performance and we hope you’ll enjoy subscribing to the channel and having a listen each week.
The first video to be published is Wendy Sergeant’s version of I’m Still Standing, sung by Wendy herself along with Doug Watts (another of our team of arrangers), Catherine Smith and Katherine Everett. The video was created by Doug as part of the Portishead Festival of Song in 2020.
The sheet music and learning tracks for this arrangement can be downloaded from the website here.
Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and click to receive notifications of videos as they come out each week at https://www.youtube.com/c/choircommunity
The situation with Coronavirus has changed our lives beyond recognition recently and we are all trying to work out new ways of interacting and keeping connected. All sorts of things are harder and some are impossible. Unfortunately one of these is being able to meet together to sing, which is what many of us rely on for our sanity and some for our actual livelihoods.
Sometimes when doors close others seem to open and we have discovered there is an opportunity to do something that perhaps we should have been doing all along…..
Welcome to a totally new online singing experience!
We are about to start a series of online singing experiences where you can join others from the safety of your home, either through a Computer, a Laptop, iPad or even smartphone, and not only meet singers from all round the world, but interact with them, make suggestions and connections, and even (almost) sing with them. You will have the option to join the session either on the Conferencing app Zoom, or Facebook live.
We will be using music available from the ChoirCommunity.net website. Normally there is a restriction to buy no less than 15 copies (based on the size of your choir) but this will be lifted for anyone joining the session so that the resource pack can be bought and downloaded by individuals wanting to take part as well.
Here’s how it’s going to work.
- Register an account on ChoirCommunity (if you haven’t already) so you can access and download the resource pack for each session
- If you want to join the session via Zoom, look into downloading the appropriate app or client for the device you are going to use
- Download the resource pack for the appropriate upcoming session (the current pack can be found here)
- Follow the instructions in the instructions and guidelines document includes in the resource pack for logging on and taking part in the session
The two experiences (Zoom and Facebook Live) will be a little different from each other. Here’s how they will work:
If you choose the Zoom option you will be able to
- See everybody who has turned their camera on
- Talk to anyone who has joined (one at a time!)
- Hear and watch the session leader teach the music
- Type comments at any time or feedback when asked.
- Sing along to the generated tracks.
- Smile, wave, drink what you like, show pets, dance etc
If you choose the Facebook option you will be able to
- See and hear the session leader very clearly
- Type comments at any time – the leader can respond to these as well
- Sometimes even hear the discussion between the singing sections
- Sing along to any generated tracks
It’s important to note that the Zoom option will only be available to the first 100 joiners. This is down to the limitation of the Zoom conferencing software. If this idea is successful however, we will look at the options for increasing the number for future sessions.
We really hope you give this a try and join the community making great choral music together.
See you online soon!
One of the really enjoyable experiences we have had since setting up ChoirCommunity has been to see the growing number of choirs discover the website and sign up. I get an alert email every time that happens and it still gives me a little buzz each time it happens!
….which is quite nice since it has now happened well over 800 times since January 2018! After we put out the results of the competition last month, it struck me that it might be rather cool to see a more visual illustration of that experience, so after researching various options, our new Maps page has been born!
It’s a great feeling when an opportunity seems to just pop up out of nowhere and leads to something really beneficial for all concerned. I happened to see a post on Facebook last week promoting a network event for choir leaders in Surrey. The event was being organised by Polly Murray who runs the Full Circle Vocal Group in Godalming. It looked like a great event so I got in touch to see if there was any way we could support it.
A few days and emails later and we are proudly sponsoring the event, while also providing a discount to anyone who is able to register and attend.
This is just the sort of thing I hope we can do more of in the future. We started up ChoirCommunity to promote and share the positive experience of being part of a choir as much as providing great music to sing. Anything which enables people to come together and do that is definitely something we want to promote.
Do you know of any similar event happening in your area? If so, please get in touch and let us know, either by posting a message here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, why not start something up yourself? We would be delighted to talk about supporting you!
One of the challenges of any new business is to find new ways of reaching as much of their potential market as possible with a message that sparks interest or resonates with their audience in some way. In these times where we are all constantly bombarded with information practically every moment, it sometimes feels like an impossible task not to be lost in the maelstrom!
This week I can let you know about our third partnership we have just set up at ChoirCommunity. Music In Offices has been bringing music in all its forms into the workplace for over 10 years, through instrument tuition, musical workshops and events and of course, setting up and managing workplace choirs.
The organisation also runs the Office Choir of the Year Competition which is now in its sixth year. The current competition will culminate in the final at St John’s Smith Square in March 2019.
As a new start-up business trying something a bit different, much of our effort and thinking goes into finding ways of building our audience and generating awareness of our existence. In the modern world of connected devices and social media, this is in many ways easier than it used to be, but in some ways it is also more challenging, given the bewildering number of options available and the fact that we are now just one of millions of individuals and companies vying for your attention.
ChoirCommunity is nearly 5 months old this weekend. It’s been a very enjoyable and rewarding process for us so far – as well as being quite hard work! By far the best part of creating a new service like this has been getting the positive feedback and support from choir leaders who have embraced our idea and given some arrangements a go. We’re always delighted to hear that a piece has been enjoyed and even more delighted when customers come back for more!
To that end, we wanted to create our own way of rewarding the people who are supporting us as we continue to develop the website. Every purchase on the site from now on will earn rewards points which can be redeemed later for discounts on future purchases. We will also be offering lots of ways to earn additional points in various ways in the future (we just need to work out what they will be!).
To kick things off, we are recognising our top 10 customers so far (e.g. the 10 customers who have bought the most music) by offering them 1000 rewards points as a thank you for giving us a try. We can’t tell you who they are, but they will be receiving a thank you email from us today.
We are also offering 500 points for anyone registering a new account with us through the summer. So if you haven’t taken that step yet, why not go to the registration page here and join up!