How to Start a Choir
In the ANCA office we get many requests from people who would like to or who has just begun the journey to starting a choir – we celebrate when we hear this! We are asked for advice and what steps to take – we are asking members to help flesh out this information and help others – we will add these starting thoughts to the website and make additions as it comes to hand. Please email your thoughts to the office.
Steps to think about in starting a choir:
Think about what kind of choir you would like to start – is it a specific agegroup, area of interest, location and the like
- What is the purpose for getting together – to sing a particular type of music, just for fun, want to perform?
- Visit another choir (or multiple) and observe the routines and culture to get some starting ideas.
- Meet with a director and pick their brains. Ask if they could be a mentor for the first year or more to support you in the process.
- Consider the demands of the repertoire with the skills of the singers
- Consider an audition or not
- Consider if you would like to perform, how many times a year, where and why
- What will you call your group?
- How often will you meet to rehearse and for how long?
- What will be the costs involved – venue, conductor, accompanies, insurance, APRA/AMCOS licences as a start
- Given the costs, what will you charge to belong to your group – is there funding available to help?
- Is your financial model based on choir membership fees or on concert ticket generation
- Seek out local grants from councils. This can kick start your group in terms of repertoire or equipment (eg if your venue doesn’t have a keyboard).
- What is your long term viability of using volunteers only against engaging professional services of conductors, accompanist, librarians
- What skill areas as a director do you need which might be different to your performance background ie the skills to run a group, might be different to the artistic skills to lead a group
- How is the administration of the group handled differently to the artistic skills
- If your choir is associated with another organisation, what is the relationship between the choirs purpose and the other organisations purpose
- Form a committee
- Ask a small group of friends to commit to being core members for the first year - a consistent dependable group. This may be different to your committee.
- Advertise! Newspaper, fliers, social media, whatever it takes
- Register as an incorporated association in your state, this is recommended and gives a structure to work around
- Join ANCA!
- Insurance for public liability – as an ANCA member discount insurance can be obtained through AON who is our official partner
- Pick songs that are easy to learn to gain confidence early on. Set a goal to perform and make it happen.
- Set a date, promote it and get started.
- Start singing!