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Choir folders

I am looking for cheap, but sturdy choir music folders. I could use some recommendations for brands and/or solutions. Also, if there is anybody out there who is replacing their choir folders and wants to get rid of the old ones for free, please let me know as well.
Much obliged,
Remy van der Put
Replies (13): Threaded | Chronological
on January 29, 2011 10:25pm
You just can't beat a good ol' fashioned black, three ringed binder from Wal Mart.    Cost effective, plentiful, and doesn't break the budget when lost.  The music contained therein notwithstanding... 
Applauded by an audience of 3
on January 30, 2011 1:19am
I still believe one cannot beat the less than $3 ring binder from Staples as opposed to the exobitantly priced "choral" folder. Music stays in place and in good condition, there is no music left under the chairs, the music fits into a cabinet very well etc,etc,etc. OK! Spring for a $5 ring binder if you must and you still have spent less than half of the replacement cost of a folder. True, if you are performing an extended work the score doesn't fit into the fold BUT it IS its own folder. Maybe you need garish green for your school colors. There are a million colors of ring binders.
on January 31, 2011 5:51pm
I would agree with the above posts.  I love the "The Black Folder," but for $25 or $30 each, they aren't very cost effective.  I ask my students to get 1/2 inch 3-ring binders.  I think anything bigger is difficult to manage.  If punching holes in music is not an option, you could certainly rig something up with rubber bands that would look professional at a distance.  My experience with the faux leather folders from the music stores is basically that you get what you pay for.
on February 1, 2011 12:33pm
...and to add to my post, one year, many years ago, after nearly all the $10 choral folder were defunct after a year of not much use, I raided the colorful, light weight paper folders from the school storeroom which held up better than the choral folders. And may you deserve what you get if you decide on opting for the gold lettering. There can be no justification for buying choral folders if that cost is more than your entire music budget for two years.
on June 13, 2011 5:46am
I purchased about 800 of the magazine holders from an online ebay store for around $50.00.  Two members of my community choir steped forward to purchase them since the college wouldn't allow purchases from ebay.   
Robin Mygrant
Music Librarian, Terra Choral Society
Terra State Community College
Fremont, Ohio
on June 14, 2011 7:18am
We purchased 100 of the "The Black Folder" for my two adult choirs (community and church) several years ago. They get a lot of use and still look like new. They are easy on the hands and backs of older choristers being self-supporting, unlike a 3-ring binder, and can accommodate any music form from single octavos to 3-hole punched (with the 3-ring insert) to a book such as Messiah, not to mention extra pockets and pencil holders. True, more expensive, but once bought, they are a joy to use time after time. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 14, 2011 5:19pm
I have been using the same Gold embossed 'Black Folder' for well over a decade and it looks and acts just about as good as new. It is a quality item, and to boot it is made in North America (Vancouver), which should count as something considering the economic mess in both Canada and the USA. (Economic recovery begins at home with each of us– one small step at a time!)

The Black Folder has several advantages over cheaper, imported ring binders- a strap on the back that allows it to be carried with one hand and another on the front that keeps it open at just the right angle. It also has horizontal ‘strings’, which allow for easy insertion of music without having to puncture it, as well as the customary three rings. Newer versions contain pencil holders and side pockets- very useful I would think. Rigorous and well constructed, it also stands the test of time- at least mine has!   

There are rip-off ‘Black Folders’ (I heard the name was too general to obtain copyright) that are produced in China. These are apparently so similar they cannot be told apart from the real thing- right down to the name. No further comment!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 14, 2012 10:44am
How about music folder solutions for children's choris?  We tried the binder thing for 5 years.  Binders are just too big and combersome for 8 year olds.
on August 19, 2012 10:30am
I use the paper folders that sell in July-Aug at Ofc Depot for a dime (or less). Currently our Big Lots stores have them for 14c apiece. They last a semester, which is great for me.  The ones I buy have two pockets and a 3-ring section in the middle. It doesn't work well for octavos, but we never give the kids the real octavo anyway.  We give them a copy so that they can mark it up, highlight their part, write symbol definitions on them, or whatever, and then our octavos will be usable for longer. 
on August 20, 2012 5:43am
We've been using the Choralex Compact folder with the nylon strings for holding octavos. When the 3-ring adaptor is properly inserted, it works very well in holding loose leaf pages. They cost about $22.00 when purchased in bulk and they have lasted for years. If they're not abused they serve extremely well. They also look great, they're easy to hold and the choir loves them.
on August 28, 2012 3:16pm
Hi Remy, there is another option that hasn't been mentioned and I'm going to add it as a topical comment, especially since we manufacture the better folders which people are talking about in this thread:
  1. As the manufacturer, we have "factory seconds" at up to 50% off. They can be 'grade A' (25%) which have tiny flaws or scratches that are functionally insignificant - or 'grade B' which may have more visible issues but are usually perfect folders that have been mis-imprinted. Sometimes staff imprint the wrong type of folder or miss a spelling error - but one can black out the printing with a marker, and have a perfectly good folder otherwise, of excellent durability as you desire.
  2. We generally manufacture our different versions of folders in batches of 1600-2000 of one type at a time. So 'factory seconds' of grade A trickle in of that one type at a time (plus the B imprinting errors more frequently in this peak seaon). This week we're building "The Black Folder". Just call toll-free or click "Chat" during business hours on our web site's chat icon, to ask for a certain type of folder as a factory second (specify A or B) - we'll walk back to the bins and let you know what's availiable. Today, for example, there are no seconds of the 'standard' version of The Black Folder; a large quantity of Band and Orchestra folders as 'grade B' seconds, and a variety of other choral folders as A or B seconds. In a perfect world we'd create no factory seconds!
  3. Lead times. It's August 28th and I know other folks are quoting up to 8 weeks or more to get your orders to you. Not us. We ship within a day (unless you add imprinting which generally takes a few days to do). If a folder is listed there and you can order it, we have it and will ship right away, in the shipping time frame you have paid for. If ever we did run low I'd be announcing that in an alert on the web site. I prepared for the Fall order crunch and we have THOUSANDS of folders ready for you here, now, and are of course building more daily. 
  4. Any music store can order in for you from us, too (we don't control their pricing) ... or you can order direct at .
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 29, 2012 5:34am
Yup, cheap black binders do the trick. For the 300+ singers each at USC and USM, at least, they worked fine. Get the 1-inch rings; the 1/2 inch ones tear your music. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 13, 2013 3:48pm
I can tell, Don!
We've been too busy keeping up with increasing sales to keep the rest of the blog active (sigh) but that is a good read on the subject.
But don't take our word for it - does independent posting of reviews and we're proud of what we put together on this continent, those great reviews from customers, and the help we give to questioning new customers.
Watch for some new offerings in the Band and Orchestra AND Choral sections later this year :)
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