Director Tips For Choir Recruiting

Fall is just around the corner and it’s time to begin thinking about adding to your ensemble’s numbers. Since fall is the beginning of a new annual cycle for most choirs, it’s the most logical time for recruiting. But, to be effective, you must have a plan for recruiting. So, here are five ideas you might consider helpful as you ramp up into your choir’s prime recruiting season.

1. Plan a Fun Event 

Whether it’s bowling, laser tag, movie night, a talent show, etc., social events have proven over time to be a great way to recruit new singers. When prospective singers have an opportunity to get to know your current singers, new relationships are formed, which makes joining up a natural progression. It’s so important to let your current singers do the ‘heavy lifting’ in planning and executing the details of the event. This will broaden ownership in the ensemble, while helping you not feel over-burdened.

2. Make a Video

Video content is currently one of the best marketing tools available in advertising. Leading your choir to create a promotional video is both easy and incredibly fun! Again, it is so important to utilize the energy of your current singers in the creation and execution of this project. Let them come up with the video concept, let them script it, let them shoot it and edit it – all under your supervision of course. Video content of this kind can be shot, edited and produced in less than a week in most cases. Keep it simple and launch it to all social media.

3. Mobilize Leaders 

Hopefully you’re catching a theme in this article – MOBILIZE YOUR LEADERSHIP! You, as director, have plenty to worry about in guiding your ensemble toward success in every way. Assemble the leadership of your ensemble to come up with great ideas for recruiting. After all, if they aren’t recruiting new singers for your choir, then no one is. Current singers are far and away the biggest cheer leaders for your ensemble.

4. Hold Open Rehearsals 

Plan a day when prospective singers can join your ensemble for a day to sort of ‘test the waters.’ They will make new friends and lose most of their apprehension about joining you permanently. Plan some extraordinary features for the open rehearsal such as, prize giveaways, snacks, etc.

5. Devise an Enlistment Contest 

Contests are a great way to build enthusiasm within the sections of your choir. Devise a contest whereby the sections compete to win some sort of ‘recruitment prize.’ Guide your ensemble leaders in coming up with an appropriate contest, then let the games begin. Perhaps each section will need their own colored recruitment T-shirt. Be sure to set a clear starting and ending point with an appropriate reward for the winning section.


John Parker is a conductor, composer, clinician, author and publisher residing in Austin, TX. He can be contacted here.

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