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A bit of everything

Our group sings a bit of everything, but maintains a membership of less than 20 usually.
I'd be interested in hearing how others deal with managements items for such small groups like attendance and part splits.   It's been a fun adventure so far!
Christopher J McCafferty
Artistic Director, Illumni Men's Chorale
on March 20, 2011 9:09am
Hi Chris,
We have By-Laws that are updated every concert cycle.  We began in the winter of 2006 and started out more "liberal" in attendence requirements but have, by my singers request, become more rigid.  And, this concert cycle (as of March 15) we allow only three excused absences for each concert cycle--if anyone needs to be absent more, their ability to sing at our concert will be at my discretion.
In our By-laws, we will not have more than 24 members.  Right now, I have 11 singers for this concert.  We are doing more of a "pop" concert this time, doing settings of Shakespeare and some Swingle Singer charts. We've done concerts of American Music, different settings of Ave Verum and Tantum Ergo spanning the eras from Byrd to Poulenc, a concert of Madigals, Liebeslieder & Gypsy Songs (Brahms), Folk Song settings with some Schubert quartets, etc. Next spring, it will be Italian Madigals and German Part Songs and Fall of 2011 will be Songs of Thanksgiving and Praise (Rutter, Clausen, etc.).  We do a bit of everything as well! The great thing about smaller groups is the rep is limited only by your imagination.
With SATB, it is not so much a problem with part splits, at least, it isn't in my group right now. 
What other things are issues for your group?
Marie Grass Amenta
Founder and Music Director, the Midwest Motet Society
on March 20, 2011 1:37pm
Hi Chris,
My SSA Choir is an organization that has been around for more than 25 years.  It has county membership but for many of those years each county choir in Indiana was associated with Purdue's PMO.  The first county choirs began in 1934.  For the last 5 or 6 years we still have sung a big yearly concert at Purdue but have created a state organization (Melody Makers of Indiana) with about 400 members.  As you can imagine, our individual choir found that we needed our own rules and bylaws and have muddled along until we have gotten more organized.  We have a county membership of 15 to 20 and we have definitely tightened up on attendance.  I try to make sure that we perform a little of everything from a pop song to an old Eddy Arnold song to an art song every year.  We also learn 12 to 13 songs to sing by memory in the state organization concert.  As you can imagine this means people have to be present. So...instead of constantly begging for membership, we have tightened up quite a bit on attendance (as I said) and also have gotten our bylaws strightened out voicing a few more points about what it means to be a member of the choir.  One of those examples would be that a member must be present at practice before any program.  While we want to have fun and help others enjoy music, we also want it to have quality.  It is very hard to be "tough" on members of volunteer choirs.  That falls to the director (moi) in our choir.  However, we make good music and we have fun too.
Kathy Allen, Director
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