I submitted this article to the Harmony Rag and it was published in the Spring 2012 issue. I thought it might be useful to re-post it here – with some updates – as these tools are still valid.
In these days it is pretty essential for your chorus/choir to have a presence in social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to create awareness and engage with the community. But did you know that there are plenty of other web-based applications (you can access over the internet) that are available? They will not only help you spread the music love but also make the management of your chorus more flexible. Below are three (3) free apps and tools that we have used at London City Singers (LCS) and how they are bringing value to our chorus.
MailChimp is an email marketing service that helps you manage a mailing list, design your own newsletters and publish them. At LCS, we use MailChimp to create and deliver our weekly news bulletin for members and prospects. This replaced our Word- and PDF-based documents that we distributed over emails with a more interactive newsletter where we can embed media sources and provide easy access for the recipients. We also use MailChimp to automate part of our prospective members management. Moreover, we will soon start sending newsletters to our friends and followers so we’ve compiled the email addresses of guests at past events along with those who have signed up to receive updates from us on a separate mailing list on MailChimp, too. MailChimp is completely free for lists up to 2,000 subscribers which allows you to send up to 12,000 emails each month.
SoundCloud is a social network where members can upload sound files and share them. LCS used SoundCloud to share our audition track to prospective members (we do not allow them access to our website until they pass their audition). The link to the audition set was included in the email automatically sent by MailChimp following confirmation of the prospect’s interest to join our chorus. The prospective members do not need to have an account with SoundCloud to listen and download the audition tracks. SoundCloud has mobile apps for iPhone and Android where you can record sounds and upload them to your profile. Some of our members are using it to record their part and sharing it (privately) to their voice leader to verify if they are indeed singing the right notes. This saves extracting the sound file from a recording device and emailing a potentially large file to the section leader. SoundCloud is free for up to 120 minutes of uploaded audio.
One of our past Events Coordinator at LCS is a very organised person. For every event, she produces spreadsheets with tasks to ensure it (the event) runs smoothly. She’s been recently introduced to TaskAnt where it is now possible for her to send each task in her spreadsheets to the person responsible via email as immediate notification. The progress of each task is also visible to the rest of the Chorus Coordination Committee (CCC) for discussion and collaboration. At present, there seems to be no limit to the number of users, tasks and projects that you can setup with TaskAnt.
There are hundreds of apps and tools that are introduced almost everyday to make chorus marketing and management more efficient and flexible, which we are always eager to try out at LCS. When we do, I’ll be happy to report them here again for you to try it out on your own chorus.