The hidden benefits of doing free community projects with your choir

As choir leaders, we are always looking for interesting opportunities for our singer's to perform and often these performances will take place in our local communities. Singers like to feel part of their community and enjoy events at which their family and friends can listen to the music they've been working on.

Whether you run your choir as a business or a hobby, or for a church or other organisation, community projects have massive value for you and your choir.

Organisers of local events may get in touch with you, asking for your choir to perform. More often than not they will not be able to pay you for your time (although they may be able to cover your overheads - never be afraid to ask). This can be off-putting, especially if you need to earn a living from running your choir. However, don't dismiss the opportunity out of hand. There may be hidden benefits to accepting the gig.

My choir participates in all sorts of local performances, some paid, most not. There are all sorts of rewards that come from these performances, although a useful word of caution is to be wary of accepting opportunities that will leave you out of pocket. Will you need to hire an accompanist or sound equipment? Will you need additional scores? It's okay to remind organisers that although your choir is made up of amateur singers, it costs money to operate.

Here are some of the hidden benefits to free community performances:
  1. Well-organised and rehearsed performances give the choir a good reputation within their local community and raise their profile.
  2. Local performances often lead to the recruitment of new members. Many of our most loyal members discovered the choir by listening to a performance.
  3. People organising all sorts of events, both public and private, may see your choir and ask to book you.
  4. A free performance might give you the opportunity to plug a future, ticketed, one.
  5. Choirs love to perform. The more opportunities you can give them to do that (within reason!), the happier and more committed to the choir they will be.
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