Starting a Community Flute Choir
Starting a Community Flute Choir
Starting a community flute choir program can be an exciting way to bring together a diverse group of people through a common passion. It can offer an opportunity for individuals of all ages and skill levels to create beautiful music while building relationships, and importantly, having fun. Here are some steps to help you get started with your own community flute choir program.
Step 1: Define the Purpose and Goals of the Program
Before you begin organizing your flute choir program, it is important to determine what you hope to achieve – define the purpose and goals of this program. Do you want to provide an outlet for amateur flutists to come together to casually play music, or do you want to create a high-level performance ensemble to perform at events? Do you want to focus on repertoire for C flutes, or expand to include the whole flute family? Do you hope to be paid for your time and, if so, how do you plan to handle finances? Do you have a library, plan to use music in public domain, or need to fundraise to purchase new music? Write out all of the goals and purposes of your program in a list, but know that list might need to be flexible as your ensemble grows.
Step 2: Recruit Members
The success of your flute choir program will depend on the members who join. Start by spreading the word about your program through local schools, music stores, and community organizations. Post flyers in community centers, libraries, and other public spaces. Reach out to local flute teachers and ask them to refer their students to your program. Flute teachers can also be a great resource for borrowing or renting music parts. Consider hosting an open house or audition to attract interested flutists.
In these first contacts, be clear about the expectations for members, including rehearsal schedules and performance commitments. Survey those interested to see what instruments they have from the flute family (piccolo, C flute, alto flute, bass flute). Also be ready to provide resources to returning flute players.
Step 3: Find a Rehearsal Space
You will need to find a suitable space to rehearse. Consider renting a space from a local school or church, or contact your local parks and recreation department to see if they have any facilities available for use – some might even be willing to officially host, collect fees, and provide payment. Consider if the space has music stands, chairs, and other useful tools, or if the members will need to bring their own. Be sure to choose a space that is large enough to accommodate your group and has nice acoustics for larger groups. Make sure it is accessible to all members and has adequate parking.
Step 4: Choose Music and Arrange Parts
Choosing music in an important aspect of organizing a flute choir program. Consider the skill level of your members and choose pieces that will challenge them but are manageable. Select music that appeals to a wide variety of musical tastes and styles, and be sure to include both classical and contemporary pieces. Once you have chosen your music, arrange the parts for your ensemble. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your members, and make sure that each part will be well-suited to highlight their abilities in an uplifting way.
Step 5: Rehearse Regularly
Rehearsal is essential to the success of your flute choir program. Schedule regular rehearsals at a convenient time for all members and be consistent with your schedule. Make sure that members are prepared and have the necessary music and equipment for each rehearsal. Use the time to work on technique, blend, balance, and expression. Provide feedback and encouragement to your members.
Step 6: Plan Performances
Performances are a great way to showcase the talents of your flute choir program. Consider performing at local events such as fairs, festivals, and community concerts. Also, consider hosting your own concerts and inviting friends and families to attend. The local retirement centers can also provide a welcoming audience. Be sure to plan and promote your performances well in advance, and make sure your members are prepared and confident.
Starting a community flute choir program can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. It requires a lot of work and dedication, but the end result is a beautiful and harmonious ensemble that brings people together through music. By following a simple plan, you can create a successful flute choir program in your local community.
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Matthew Allison, D.M.A.