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Storing sheet music

We are a community choir and having trouble finding a spot to house seven filing cabinets worth of sheet music.  It is in an ex-member's garage at the moment, no one else in our group has volunteered space.  Renting a storage spot is ideal but cost probitive for our group.  It really should be climate controlled (we are in Minnesota, brr) for the librarian to pull/file music as well as probably best to keep from heat/cold/critters.  Any creative ideas?
on June 2, 2012 4:29pm
We had exactly the same problem a few years ago, and we are in northern Illinois (also, brrr, but somewhat less...).  They were in my basement for a long time, then in an unused barn (definitely NOT climate controlled...).  We solicited a donation of the space at a climate controlled storage facility.  This donation is equal to about $100/month, so we give them a full-page cover ad in all our programs, as well as any complimentary tickets they would like.  Like you, if we had to pay this out of our budget, it would be cost prohibitive.  Perhaps there is a facility nearby that would be willing to donate the space.  I should add that the person operating the storage facility has no direct connection to our choir, so there was no "inside track" - they just like music.
on June 2, 2012 5:56pm
Maria:  Every organization will have a different solution.  Our community band did rent a storage space.  Our community string orchestra finagled space in the Community Center where we rehearse (actually an unused entrance hall and emergency exit that holds about 8 file cabinets).  Our community chorus asks members to purchase their own scores so it isn't a problem.
However, making your expenses fit your budget makes a lot less sense than making your budget fit your expenses.  If you need to rent a storage space, put it into your budget and raise your dues to cover it (after asking for volunteers, of course, and not just hoping for someone to voluntter without being asked).
All the best,
on June 3, 2012 6:56am
If there is a college or university with a music program in your commmunity, you might contact them to see whether they would have space in their library to house your music.  You could enter into an agreement with them whereby you as well as the choral program there have reciprocal loaning privileges; that way both organizations benefit. This has worked very successfully at my university, where the city's symphonic choir also stores their music (they also rehearse in the rehearsal room next door).
All best,
Len Ratzlaff
University of Alberta
on June 3, 2012 10:27am
Any possibility of scanning the music into PDFs and then printing when needed?

George Moloney

on June 3, 2012 6:13pm
I'm Elmer Bueno from the Philippines.  We also had the same problem storing our pile of music sheets before.  But as of now, we tried to have an electronic library wherein all our music sheets are, one by one, being transferred to a program and saved in a flashdrive.  I am using Finale Songwriter and it has been a great help for all of us not only in keeping our sheets but also in providing members of study guide because we convert each file into midi's and/or mp3's so they could listen and learn their parts easily.  There are downloadable Finale Songwriter versions, you might want to check it out and/or try an electronic library.  Now our library is just in our pocket.
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