Consider having a “listening session” involving the singers and volunteers one week after the performance, at the regular rehearsal time, to review their experiences and collect input about the program’s strengths and how it might be improved.
There’s room for improvement in every chorus, and having the singers participate in the improvement process will yield lots of good ideas and allow the singers to have more “ownership” of the program. The Minneapolis Giving Voice Chorus has held a 90-minute listening session, led by its co-executive directors, at the end of each of its sessions. Singers have provided input on a variety of topics, including:
- Physical set-up (risers, positioning of singers, acoustics)
- Role of volunteers
- Marketing concerts
- Attracting and retaining volunteers
- Surprises, good and bad
- Music learning aids and techniques
- Concert attire
- Number and length of performances
- Repertoire selection
Receiving input is of course only the first step in the improvement process. The input needs to be shared with the appropriate decision makers and carefully considered. Changes based on the input should be reported back to the singers, and in some cases it may be helpful to explain why the feedback did not result in a change. Comparing notes with other choruses may also be helpful.