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Recommended Reading

Many publications come to our attention that might be of interest to our member choruses. Below we have provided excerpts of books that we have found helpful along with links to where they can be purchased. If you have a favorite reference book that you think would be useful to other member choruses that we have not shown please bring it to our attention at

A Queerly Joyful Noise by Julia "Jules" Balen

A Queerly Joyful Noise examines how choral singing can be both personally transformative and politically impactful. As they blend their different voices to create something beautiful, LGBTIQ singers stand together and make themselves heard. Comparing queer choral performances to the uses of group singing within the civil rights and labor movements, Julia “Jules” Balén maps the relationship between different forms of oppression and strategic musical forms of resistance. She also explores the potential this queer communal space creates for mobilizing progressive social action. Click here to purchase the book through Rutgers University Press.

The Cycle by Michael Kaiser

A guide for developing successful and sustainable arts organizations. The book develops the concept of both programmatic and institutional marketing and building a base of supporters Kaiser refers to as "family". Click here to purchase this book through

The Cycle by Michael Kaiser

A guide for developing successful and sustainable arts organizations. The book develops the concept of both programmatic and institutional marketing and building a base of supporters Kaiser refers to as "family". Click here to purchase this book through

Building Communities, Not Audiences by Doug Borwick

Borwick argues that “It is from community that the arts developed and it is in serving communities that the arts will thrive…Communities do not exist to serve the arts; the arts exist to serve communities. Click here to purchase this book through

By The Book by Rob Monath

In By the Book, music copyright attorney Rob Monath shares the method that has helped music professionals lead a non-infringing, worry-free existence as regular users of copyrighted music. Click here to purchase this book through

Breaking the Fifth Wall by Eugene Carr

This book proposes a new framework for arts marketing, an approach that embraces the new tools that are available and will empower you to transform your organization's audience development efforts. Click here to purchase this book through

Yours for the Asking by Reynold Levy

The must-read, must-own guide to raising funds in the 21st century, Yours for the Asking will greatly enhance your effectiveness and confidence in fundraising. Drawing on his experience in raising funds as President of Lincoln Center, Reynold Levy has written the ultimate insider's guide to asking for and receiving funds. Click here to purchase this book through


Sign-Up for Culture by Eugene Carr

Sign-Up for Culture answers the question: How can I grow my e-mail list quickly and effectively? Arts patrons are living in a digital world where e-mail communication has become ingrained into the fabric of their daily lives. You'll learn how arts patrons behave online and how to market to them, what goes into an e-mail acquisition plan and how to create one and 21 top ideas to build your list quickly. You will also understand the basics of the CAN-SPAM law and learn how to build your list legally. Click here to purchase this book through


Wired for Culture by Eugene Carr

Wired for Culture helps you learn how e-mail can help you do more marketing for less money and get better results. You will learn why an investment in e-mail marketing will provide a spectacular return, what arts patrons do online and why e-mail works better than other marketing techniques. Click here to purchase this book through


Web Sites for Culture by Eugene Carr

Web Sites for Culture provides a structured way of thinking about how to build and improve your arts Web site. You'll learn how to think about basic issues of site strategy, conception, design and traffic development from a marketer's perspective. You'll improve your site when you know what most arts sites are lacking, what arts patrons really want from an arts site, and what it takes to run your site once it is launched. Click here to purchase this book through


The Art of the Turnaround by Michael Kaiser

Many arts organizations today find themselves in financial difficulties because of economic constraints inherent in the industry. In The Art of the Turnaround, Michael Kaiser shares with readers his ten basic rules for bringing financially distressed arts organizations back to life and keeping them strong. These rules cover the requirements for successful leadership, the pitfalls of cost cutting, the necessity of extending the programming calendar, the centrality of effective marketing and fund raising and the importance of focusing on the present with a positive public message. Kaiser is the president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has been dubbed "the turnaround king" for his work with numerous institutions. Click here to purchase this book through

The Conductor as Leader by Ramona Wis

At last there is a book that applies the principles business leaders have turned to for years to the task of leading a musical ensemble. The Conductor as Leader will inspire you to go beyond teaching notes and rhythms to learning how to build connections between people that enhance their quality of life - and their musical performance. Dr. Ramona Wis has been a conductor, teacher, and performer for thirty years, leading musicians of all ages in educational, professional and volunteer organizations. Currently she is the Mimi Rolland Professor in the Fine Arts and Chair of the Department of Music at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, where she conducts the North Central College Women's Chorale and teaches courses in conducting, methods and servant leadership. Click here to purchase this book through

The Perfect Blend by Dr. Timothy Seelig

It will make you think. It will make you laugh. It may change the way you approach your job as a choral director. The Perfect Blend provides an entertaining, yet practical approach to the voice and to the choir. Over 100 exercises, including photos to explain them, rehearsal and programming tips, vocal health and the aging voice, plus "things they didn't teach you in school." It all adds up to the perfect blend for any choral director. Click here to purchase this book from Shawnee Press.

The Perfect Rehearsal by Dr. Timothy Seelig

There never seems to be enough time to rehearse! The Perfect Rehearsal is a resource that will help maximize your rehearsal time to the fullest...and lead to more efficient, effective, productive rehearsals...and to a better choir! This sequel to Dr. Seelig's The Perfect Blend takes you on an entertaining journey through the ins and outs of rehearsing your chorus after which you'll never look at rehearsals the same way again. Click here to purchase this book through Shawnee Press.

The Perfect Choral Workbook by Dr. Timothy Seelig

Who knew that when you set out to be a choral conductor that your life would be completely filled with so many other activities and a plethora of roles other than just conductor? One of the main jobs of a choral director is that of a juggler...or a multitasker in the contemporary vernacular! The only way to survive and thrive in this world of music is to keep yourself organized. In The Perfect Workbook: Everything You Need to Organize Your Choral Program, you will find the tools to organize your choral program and your career. There are over 50 forms and lists on the CD ROM with printable files that will assist you with a range of tasks from making sure you are in the right place, to possessing the necessary tools, and to cultivating magic in your music program. This workbook provides the necessary tools to help you tailor the forms to your specific program. Click here to purchase this book through Shawnee Press.

Good to Great and the Social Sectors by Jim Collins

Good to Great and the Social Sectors is a monograph adapting Collin's work Good to Great to non-profits. Collins examines what it takes to move from good to great in the non-profit sector concluding that it is mostly a matter of conscious choice and discipline. Jim Collins has authored several books and taught on the faculty of Stanford's Graduate School of Business. The book is supported by his web site at Click here to purchase Good to Great and the Social Sectors through

The Chorus Leadership Guide by Matthew Sigman

The Chorus Leadership Guide is a guide for managers, board members and music directors which was commissioned by Chorus America. It is a simple, straightforward overview of all of the functions of chorus management including governance, artistic leadership, the chorus and music, concerts and touring, finance and fundraising, marketing and community outreach. Click here to purchase The Chorus Leadership Guide by Matthew Sigman. Click here to purchase The Chorus Leadership Guide from Chorus America.

Conductors Count by Chorus America

Conductors Count is intended to help all those in chorus leadership positions to understand better the role music directors play organizationally and how to manage transitions in the artistic leadership positions. It covers working with the music director, preparing for and managing transitions and supporting the new director in their first year. Click here to purchase Conductors Count from Chorus America.