Competing choir membership
Date: December 31, 2014
I direct a 35-voiced (so I am technically "ilegal" for this community, but have no other that fits our profile as well), highly auditioned and accomplished choir made up of members of our community and near-by communities. We perform at what I thankfully consider a professional level of competence. Developing this choir has consumed many, many hours and lots of dollars - we must be a "presence" in the artistic community, meaning excellent performances but also lots and lots of marketing. We are now in our 24th season. For the first time in memory, a church music director new to town has come in and tried to form his own group by recruiting from mine and another larger symphonic choir in our area. The repertoire would, in part, be identical (sacred music, which covers a lot of ground).This strikes me as unwise at best, unethical at worst. Frankly, it makes my blood boil. The details as events unfolded are somewhat more convoluted, but this is the gist of the story.
Also, I understand singers want freedom to sing whenever and whatever they would like. However, I also can forsee horrendous conflicts of interest, as well as a dilution of core esprit (for want of a better term - can't think of one) as a result of separate groups being formed from existing groups. I am considering proposing a non-compete clause for our membership. They would be free to do any- and everthing, re singing in groups, unless the repertoire were substantially the same. I.e., a small jazz ensemble would be no problem. But a classical ensemble that duplicated our efforts woul not be allowed, if they wanted to remain in our chorus.
Has anyone else faced a similar problem? What did you do? Thanks in advance!