The off-season is a great time to gather resources so you can be as productive as possible next season. There are plenty of resources out there to help executive and administrative leaders of community choruses, if you know where to find them. Here's a list of resources you should be following as you prepare for the new season.
If you belong to a community chorus and you don't have a Chorus America membership... stop everything you're doing and go sign up now. Chorus America offers a variety of tools, resources, and programs for operating your community chorus. They are one of the few organizations in the United States that invests in research and studies specifically related to the choral field for both management and advocacy purposes. They also have communities, such as their chorus management listserv, where you can connect with other choral leaders and talk best practices.
Their annual conference is the perfect place to send your chorus staff to learn and grow in their positions. We recommend budgeting in the Chorus America conference for your executive and administrative leaders annually.
Membership prices range from $150-$950/year depending on your chorus's size and budget. Join here!
Total Choir Resources
They also have a Community Choir Professionals network which will enhance your experience by providing you access to monthly trainings, a supportive community of other choral leaders, regular warm-up plans, and more. Plus, the wonderful ladies who own and operate Total Choir Resources have finally found a great solution to your copyright woes. They've started and are continuing to build out a music library within the Community Choir Professionals network where you can access sheet music and listening files for a one-time payment with licensing that lasts forever.
And finally, don't forget to join their Total Choir Resources Mastermind group on Facebook to talk shop with other choral leaders.
Okay, I hate to toot our own horn, but um... beep beep. Chorus Connection's Chorus Management Blog is chock-full of free and helpful resources for managing a community chorus. Subscribe here and you'll get chorus management resources delivered straight to your inbox weekly.
Recently, we also launched a new community on Facebook - The Chorus Management Network. The group has nearly 500 members and is primarily made up of executive and administrative leaders in community choruses. The group focuses on solving chorus management challenges together. Join the network here!
And, of course, our chorus management software makes it super easy to manage a chorus!
Choral Nation is a free resource for helping you recruit new singers and for boosting ticket sales. List your choral organization and your events here - for free!
American Choral Directors Association
In my opinion, the American Choral Directors Association's best resource is ChoralNet - a place for all choir-related things. Subscribe to ChoralNet to stay up-to-date on choir happenings and post your own announcements too. Engage in forums, groups, or just explore the many resources they have.
ACDA itself also offers an annual conference, Career Center, repertoire resources, Choral Journal, and more on their site. Member dues are only $125 per year for ensembles.
Local Choral Consortia
If you are lucky enough to live in a city with a choral consortium, use it! Get your chorus listed on their website, post your events, and engage with the programming provided. Make sure your staff is on any listserv they offer and connect with the other choral leaders in your area.
National Council of Nonprofits
While this isn't chorus-specific, the National Council of Nonprofits is going to make sure you have everything you need to manage your nonprofit. Use their resources to ensure that you are up-to-date on all your nonprofit status, filings, reporting, etc. And use their resources to help onboard new board members and build board competencies.
Everything you need to manage you board effectively can be found at BoardSource. Make sure your board chair and every board member knows about this great resource!
Genre-Based Umbrella Organizations
If your chorus sings a particular genre of music, such as barbershop or gospel, there might be an umbrella organization that caters to groups like yours. These umbrella organizations can help address your specific needs related to the genre of music you sing.
Here are a few examples:
- GALA Choruses
- National Convention of Gospel Choirs & Choruses
- Sweet Adelines International
- Barbershop Harmony Society
- Harmony, Inc.
Tori Cook is the former Director of Sales & Marketing at Chorus Connection, an active board member of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium, and a soprano with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. In a past life, she was the Music Director of the Harborlight Show Chorus and President of Chorus pro-Musica. When not making music, she daydreams about adopting a golden retriever puppy and scuba diving to exotic locations around the world.