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Summer events

Seems like most community choirs follow the academic year, starting in September and giving their final concerts in May/June. For children's choirs, this kind of makes sense, but I'm not sure why adult choirs do it, other than force of habit.
But some groups have special summer events, ranging from one-day workshops or reading sessions to full concerts. What has your group done in the summers? Do you find you get a different group of singers in the summer than during the school year? Does it help keep your momentum for the fall? Share your ideas!
on May 30, 2013 10:49am
Here in France it is almost a necessity to cease singing in July and August.  The first tranche of holidays coincide with the National Day, 14th July.  The second tranche happens in August.  These are the two hottest months of the year, and the heat can be quite unpleasant if one has to be in indoors.  Not every rehearsal venue has a/c.  But more importantly, in Europe we have much longer holidays than people in America.  It's usual here to have 5 weeks.  The northern French like to descend on the Mediterranean coast and have a beach holiday.  When the northerners head south and the southerners head north at the midpoint of the two tranches, there can be road chaos.  Normally French roads/highways are clear, but this one period is known as Black Weekend, when it seems like all France is on the move.  And the habits that lead to this migration are deeply ingrained.  So the only choirs you are likely to hear in the Languedoc in July and August are those visiting France.
My choir is giving its end of year concert on 14 June.  Afterwards we will make acquaintance with some of the new season's programme in the two or three rehearsals until the end of June.  After that it breaks until September.  This year it will be late September as I will be taking a holiday when the lunacy of heavy road traffic has ceased and ferry fares drop to half their high season level.
I mentioned choirs coming here on holiday.  There is an English group that invites a choir from Britain to come here.  Some French and ex-patriates join with them and after a relatively short rehearsal period they put on a performance.  This happens in the Arriège, an inland département that backs up into the high Pyrenees.  As I live close to the coast, it is a fair distance from me, so I have never taken part in the event.  I think they have used Mirepoix cathedral as a concert venue, and I believe that on one occasion they presented Messiah.
In Ireland many choirs break in mid June and resume in the first week in September.
on May 30, 2013 11:10am
The Plant City Community Choir is an adult community choir. We break from June 1 until August 1. There are many reasons we do this:
1. It gives the Board a chance to regroup. We use this time to fix any bylaws, procedures, or issues and plan the next year's budget, music, and processes.
2. About 25% of our members, including myself, are teachers. This allows vacations with no issues.
3. Taking a break keeps members from getting tempermental... "Fish and visitors both stink after 3 days"
4. Being in Florida, we have a lot of snowbirds and our membership drops by about 10% when those people go back north
We do, however, have a small ensemble when we are asked to perform at 4th of July events or weddings. And in the future, we will be doing a summer "vignettes" program with whomever decides to stay around for the summer!
One thing we do over the summer is prepare for Disney's Candlelight Processional. This is a Christmas event, but we film our audition video over the summer so it does not conflict with our other events.
Another thing we do is called "Summer Sing". At this event, members invite as many friends as possible, we put up posters, and bring people in to sight-read through 2 or 3 pieces from each of our upcoming concerts. This gives people a peek at what they will work on if they join us.
Hope this helps and I look forward to the other replies!
In Music,
Joseph Mendolia
Executive & Artistic Director
Plant City Community Choir
on May 30, 2013 12:53pm
Hi Allen,  
One of the reasons we break for most of the summer is the weather.  It is hot and often sultry here in southern Ontario.  Our free practice facility is not air conditioned.  We restart with a pot luck dinner and practice at my home in late August. 
Another reason for the break is that there are few opportunities to sing in the summer.  Our farm community is very busy on the land and people involved in teaching are free and usually away.  
We sing at the Embro Fair in September and it starts off our season.  
So weather, availability of singers and singing venues seem to determine our time at practices.  
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