Jane's Best Tips for Outreach Concerts
- Be proactive, not reactive. Decide where YOU want to sing as a chorus in order to work at your mission, expand a segment of your audience or whatever motivator you have determined.
- Ask your singers what their priorities are for reaching out to the community. Get them invested!
- Start small. Sing for one classroom or after-school event. Some of our best connections have happened when while song-sharing with a school choir during their rehearsal period.
- Plan ahead. Negotiate at least 2-3 outreach concerts and add them to your performance calendar so that singers have those dates at their very first rehearsal in September.
- Create ways to connect with students: serve food at every rehearsal, sing together, create mingling moments, go back to the same school several years in a row, give comp tickets to your next concert.
- Collect quotes from students before and after your concerts with them.
- Identify core rep to use in outreach concerts (simple to learn, audience appeal, sing-along music, music with parts for students, mission-related themes, repeatable without driving singers crazy).
- Form a Production Team to help you manage the logistics (buses, stage managing, props, counting people, negotiating routes, etc).
- Collect stories: pass a clip board in the bus, hang large paper in the green room, set aside time at the next rehearsal to share stories and record them. Document, share and archive!
- Let your patrons/donors know what you are doing! Talk about your outreach in concerts, tell stories in your newsletter, talk to donors – get the word out.
But how do I make connections to schools?
- Ask teachers in your choir if the chorus can sing at their school
- Treasure Map: Take 10 minutes in rehearsalfor singers to brainstorm ideas for connecting with schools/teachers
- Attend professional choral events and broach the idea with teacher colleagues
- Attend choral and arts performances in your community and introduce yourself to school and other arts groups that might want to connect with your chorus
- Talk to pastors of supportive congregations to see if they have teachers in their church or synagogue
- Offer comp tickets to school choirs and school choir conductors/administrators/teachers.