Our contests and concerts are over
Easter has come and gone too
There’s still six weeks until summer
Oh, what is my choir to do?
RELAX. Your choir has just come through an intense time of focus, preparation and hard work. May is the right month to take a little time to relax and release. Take your choir to do something fun. Plan a party. Go bowling or play mini golf or laser tag. Encourage singers to bring board games to rehearsal and simply enjoy being together. Spending time relaxing and playing together builds ensemble community like nothing else. Take time to enjoy being together without the pressure of an imminent performance.
- EVALUATE. Now that the dust has settled from April contests and concerts, May is a perfect time for self-reflection and honest evaluation. Take time with your choir to watch and listen to your recent performances for evaluation. There are hundreds of self-evaluation forms to choose from. Encourage your choir to give honest input about the songs and events that were most meaningful to them this past year.
ORGANIZE. Let’s have a choir-folder-clean-out party! Take time to collect all copies, erase pencil markings and place in organized stacks. Clean out all folders. Provide some type of mild cleaner to apply to choir folders. Clean out and re-organize the music library too. This will make things look great before summer while building ensemble ownership in your singers.
INVITE. May is a great month to invite guest clinicians/composers to come work with your choir. With no looming major performance, singers can actually focus on perfecting choral sound, instead of being distracted by repertoire, looming programs, concerts and special services. You probably know clinicians in your area, but if you need a recommendation, email firstname.lastname@example.org for clinician/composer suggestions and contact information.
DREAM. May is a great time for you to dream and scheme with your ensemble about something really big you’re wanting to tackle. Maybe a trip out of the country? Maybe auditioning for a major performance like ACDA or Carnegie Hall? Do your research and begin sewing seeds and building excitement in your choir about the next big thing.
- PLAN. May is a great time to get a head-start on your next season of rehearsals. Involve your choir in helping decide some aspect of your planning for the upcoming fall/spring. Calendar the big events. Choose and order repertoire. Won’t it be wonderful to have all your new music ordered, processed and in place when your ensemble returns for fall rehearsals.
- IMPROVE. Not having time for new rep doesn’t mean you don’t have time to improve. Spend the last few weeks of the year working on fundamentals such as sight-reading, or training your other set of ears (article link). The time you have is a resource; spend it growing and investing in your singers.
- THANK. It took so many volunteers and people-hours to make your spring concerts, shows and services such big successes. Perhaps the greatest thing you can do with your ensemble in the month of May is to take time to say “thank you” to all who helped out. Provide thank-you notes for singers to write. Make a short thank-you video for distribution and posting. Saying thank you is the right thing to do, and it sure goes a long way toward getting a ‘yes’ the next time you ask for help.