One of the non-musical tasks every choral conductors has to perform is recruiting singers. Okay, I know there are a couple schools in the country where a staggeringly high percentage of student sing in choir, the rest of us poor mortals have to sell, sell, sell! It’s even harder in a church. In an educational environment, choral ensembles are generally part of a curricular offering – a church has no such motivator.
Lee Barrow might have formulated at least a partial recruiting solution for the church choir director. In his article “‘Choir Lite’ – Less Time, Just as Filling!” (ACDA Southern Division Newsletter, Fall 2008), Lee shares his method for recruiting singers for a limited time – it seems rather like ‘trial offers’ so many firms use to motivate consumers to try their services.
As Lee puts it, “I developed several yearly invitations to join the choir with a short-term commitment which I designated ‘Short-Term Choir’ or ‘Choir Lite.’ At least twice each year, I advertised the idea, which included a six-week period leading up to a major performance occurring most often at Christmas and Easter.”
Did it work? Lee said, “The short-term commitment got them in the door, but the camaraderie and sense of fulfillment kept them coming back. This method of recruitment was far more successful than all of my previous efforts combined.”
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