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…
Very nearly a year ago today, we posted a blog announcing a brand new deal we had just signed with Hal Leonard, the largest publisher of sheet music in the world (Read the original blog here). This was a very exciting moment for us, as Hal Leonard own or manage the rights to the vast majority of the most popular music produced over the last few decades. The deal meant that many of our arrangers’ favourite songs could now be published on a worldwide basis, something previously denied to us.
It is well known that community choirs in particular have a long-standing tradition of fundraising and charity work. In fact, we wrote about the very subject in our blog last April.
One of the most powerful ways in which choirs can make a real difference is when they come together and join forces for a common cause and there is perhaps no better example of this that the ‘Sing For Water’ initiative, which from humble beginnings has now raised over £1 million for Water Aid.
The idea behind the Sing For Water initiative is that choirs all over the country learn a set number of songs separately and then come together in large collaborative concerts to sing them.
We are therefore delighted that one of our songs has been chosen as one of the set pieces of music for this years events! Craig’s arrangement of ‘Pokarekare Ana’ has been selected as one of seven pieces originating from different parts of the world.
Events for 2020 are starting to be announced all over the country, so if you’re interested in getting involved, google your nearest even and get stuck in!
A great way to start of course, would be to download our song and start practising! It will continue to be freely available here all year.
It’s no great secret or surprise I’m sure that the biggest challenge we have faced with this venture is the clearance process for copyrighted material. We are extremely proud of our arrangements created from songs in the public domain, but we know that the arrangements which really get hearts racing are those adapted from popular favourites of recent (and not so recent) years.
We have had some success in getting rights-owned songs approved for publication. As of this post, we have 33 cleared titles available on the website. The problem is that it has taken a great deal of effort, time and cost just to get these 33 titles approved.
I am very excited to announce therefore that this is all about to change!
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!
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.
I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve set up a new partnership with Making Music, the UK’s largest organisation supporting leisure-time music of all types. With a membership of over 3200 groups representing about 180,000 amateur musicians around the country.
I am absolutely delighted to announce that Young Voices has decided to partner with ChoirCommunity to make the back catalogue of music performed at their concerts in the UK and around the world available online.
Young Voices has been staging the largest children’s choir concerts in the world for 20 years. With music specially selected and arranged to introduce children to a diverse musical repertoire, Young Voices aims to inspire young people with a love of music and a deep understanding of what it means to sing together.
We have made an initial set of arrangements available on our site, but hope to bring more titles on line in the near future. The arrangements are designed for school choirs, but can equally be enjoyed by community choirs who are looking for something a bit more simple and fun!
We have also decided to package these titles a bit differently. Rather than requiring the correct number of copies to be purchased, we have created ‘Resource Packs’, which include the scores, learning tracks, backing tracks, lyric sheets and teachers notes in one place and one copy provides the license for a single choir to share, rehearse and perform the arrangement.
You can find out a bit more about Young Voices on our website here