World Choir Games Flanders 2023

Choir committees and how to handle them 3: the advantages of a good committee

  • [The views expressed in this blog are from my personal experiences from 25 years of leading non-auditioned community choirs in the UK, as well as adult singing workshops. My focus is on teaching by ear using a repertoire of songs from traditions across the globe. Your experiences may differ from mine, so do feel free to leave a comment and let's begin a conversation! A version of this article first appeared as a post on my blog From the Front of the Choir]

     

    I’ve written about the things that can go wrong with choir committees, now it’s time to celebrate the good bits.

     

     

    A good committee can be a huge benefit to any choir.

    In previous posts I’ve looked at what a choir committee is for and what can happen when a committee goes bad.

    Now it’s time to look at how a good committee can really benefit a choir.

    If you’ve made sure you know what your committee is for, laid down clear guidelines about the committee’s remit, carefully chosen the committee members and put safeguards in place to prevent things going bad, you can sit back and reap the benefits.

    Here are a few of the many things that a good committee can bring to your choir:

    • chance give back to your choir – being on the committee gives choir members a chance to give back to the choir rather than simply being a passive member with no sense of control or destiny
    • sense of ownership – the option of being on the committee and of having  a group of choir members to represent you can give a real sense of ownership of your choir and bring it together as a true team.
    • frees up your choir leader – there are lots of niggling, but important, practical tasks that many choir leaders end up doing by themselves. With an effective committee, this workload is taken away giving your MD time to focus on what they’re good at: leading your choir.
    • puts members’ skills to good use  – there is a huge reservoir of skill in any choir. Each choir member brings specific practical skills with them, often connected with their day job. Utilising this rich seam of talent can be really powerful.
    • enables growth and development – it’s easy to have great ideas for your choir — foreign tour, commission a composer, get funding, buy new risers, put on a big concert — so it’s wonderful to have a small team of people who can actually get on the case and make it happen. Your committee doesn’t have to do all the work themselves but can set up different teams of choir members to be responsible for particular developments.
    • gives choir members a voice – individual choir members can feel that they disappear in a large choir and are not being heard. If you have a committee you can have an informal chat with a committee member, write a formal letter, propose an agenda item at the AGM, suggest a project to be discussed at the next committee meeting and so on. In this way you can feel that your voice is being heard.


    I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface here and there must be many more advantages in having a choir committee. Do feel free to leave a comment and share your own experiences.

     

     

     

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    Chris Rowbury

    website: chrisrowbury.com
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