Choir Recruitment Ideas ...
Date: October 22, 2009
Dear Choir Directors,
I am putting together as many choir recruitment ideas possible and wanted to ask for any ideas you have that have been successful. Below are a few. I would love to hear your feedback on your effective recruitment ideas and thoughts on those below. Thank you in advance!
Bob Grant, bgrant(a)sjboc.org
St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa
Parish Community Sing - which was very successful drawing over 100 people (with pot luck meal, raffle drawing for prizes, music brochures, a choir from each community sang a couple of songs (secular or sacred), and we sang very popular songs that were drawn from a survey from the parish). All this was very well received and from it several people signed on to sing in the choir; however, given a solid amount of follow-up, these people have yet to be see at rehearsal. Perhaps a Community Sing on a smaller scale can be done more frequently (quarterly) with one large Community Sing in the Fall.
Parish Choir at Different Masses - during a particular month have the choir sing at a different Mass each Sunday to expose the choir to these Masses that may know we aware of an opportunity to sing, and to hear the quality of the music.
Continuous Invite - music director and members of choir encouraged to always be listening for good voices and encouragement them to join the choir.
Testimonials - during a particular month (could be concurrent with having the choir sing at a different Mass), have two members from the choir give a brief testimonial about the experience of being in the parish choir, how they might have experienced being intimated in the beginning, but how it got easier with time.
Choir Table - have a table outside of church building giving people an opportunity to take a music brochure, ask questions, and sign up for choir. Perhaps for a one-month period during each quarter.
Seasonal Invite - invite people to sing for just the season of Christmas, say for Midnight Mass and Christmas Day, and Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday only, from this they may gain a very positive experience and choose to stay as a regular choir member.
Music Variety/Social Functions - ensure the music provides a variety of music and plenty of opporunities for social events.
Choir Retreats - at the beginning of the season host a retreat offsite or onsite, with guest clinicians, and lots of social and fun events. A head-start, choir kick-off type of program.
Pastor Appeal at Announcements or Within Homily (a music homily) - The priest can give a strong appeal at the announcements and/or have a music-oriented homily.
Invite People to Sit In on Rehearsal and/or Sunday Morning - simple sit in and observe the rehearsal and/or Sunday Mass when the choir sings to see what is involved and the fun the choir has as a smaller family within the larger parish family.
Start a Parish Community Choir as a Feeder Choir - this choir, open to the entire parish and all communities, to sing all styles of music, sacred, religious, and secular. From this members may be encouraged to support the Parish Choir.
Cross-Cultural Recruiting - Recruiting from other communities within the parish (from the Spanish, Vietnamese, and Filipino groups)
In terms of retaining, keep up the use of a newsletter to communicate and tie the groups together.