Choir web sites and community platforms
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,156
    I'm asking for an open discussion about online facilities for sharing choir information with the choir. (Not about publicising the choir, but communicating with and amongst members.)

    How does your choir or schola share schedules, information, and communication amongst yourselves online? If you do.

    If you're a director or choir secretary, and so you have to manage that online community, what's good and bad about the ways you (have to) do that task online?

    Could be you use a custom web site, social platform, community platform, file sharing, shared document editor, email, instant messaging, or ad hoc combination of those.

    Or, you might find that being online doesn't help, or choristers don't use it, or even some are put off. Maybe you distribute paper at rehearsals and that's all.

  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,025
    I sent you a pm with links.
    Thanked by 1Andrew_Malton
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,945
    There are a bunch of parishes in my diocese which use the MyParish app. It is… well. Convenient because there is one way to officially communicate. The bulletin is published there as well as on the website, announcements are made there, etc.

    The pastor, secretary (who manages which groups are where at various times), and MC (who sometimes needs to know details) can all check in as they wish without actively participating. Each parish group has a group, and no one can see the conversations unless approved (the parish staff and lead volunteers have admin privileges).

    It’s a pain because I’m sure we pay for it via the diocese or whatever, you can’t share files (I use Google Drive links if I need to share music)… and there’s no text formatting.

    But people actually check it.

    Otherwise, the default texting app is how people communicate. If it were up to me, I’d have a WhatsApp group; it is the best cross-platform app that would allow people to send PDFs directly, it has text formatting, and it has a usable desktop version. And then people could use just the same app in case they need to communicate outside the main thread. But it’s not.

    And there will be some things for which paper has a role: perhaps this is micromanaging (or at least my expectations are calibrated strangely). I prepare out a document for each service of Holy Week with a reminder to bring a missal, the repertoire list, and then a break-down of what happens at the different points. That allows them to take notes; some people write down pitches, people mark call times and whatever else they need.
    Thanked by 1Andrew_Malton
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,045
    They get a weekly email a day or two before rehearsal, with after-action report on the past Sunday, upcoming repertoire, schedule for the rehearsal, any pdfs I need to get them.

    There's a bit of my personal web page where I collect other needfuls including links to learning aids.

    Low tech, but it's enough.
  • emac3183
    Posts: 31
    I do weekly emails as well. These remind them of any changes to the normal schedule and contain links to the Source and Summit practice tracks, practice tracks of anthems/motets (which I post on the parish YouTube channel if I need to make them) and pdf copies of the music for the week.
    For Christmas and Holy Week I create Schedule/Rep Lists PDFs with all pertinent information and send them out a few weeks beforehand. I then print up-to-date Schedule/Rep Lists for them the week before, because there are always changes that have to be made "last minute."
    Choir members look at these emails now a whole lot more than they used to, but I still make a point to remind them of important details (like the next rehearsal times, call times for Masses, or special music for upcoming Masses) at the end of rehearsal, because they are all volunteers who have families and I understand the chaos that can ensue if I don't communicate deviations from the norm at least 3 times in varying modes.
    Choir members/cantors will communicate absences or concerns with me via email or texting, and cantor/choir scheduling works via email as well (I send out a list of dates about a month beforehand and my roster of cantors/choir sends their individual availability...I often have to hound one or two to get back to me in time).
  • lmassery
    Posts: 404
    I make do with a weekly email and google docs.
    Thanked by 2Andrew_Malton tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,704
    We have a choir blog that is updated every time we sing, usually 12 hours in advance. Also email updates of the plan for the next few months, on a monthly basis and other updates as needed.
    We also have a choir Watts app thing for those that have those newfangled 'phones.
    Thanked by 1Andrew_Malton
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,499
    Weekly email. I use Google Docs and link everything there, so they can go back and take a look through all of the documents if they wish to rehearse at home. I managed a community choir for a couple of years and we had a website with links to the current music and schedules, but sent this information in emails too. It was a lot to maintain and would be too much for me to do for my church choir.

    We have a parish website and I have a choir "page". But it is useless for this kind of thing. I have perused the websites of other churches now and again and they seem to be better set up with links on their pages.
    Thanked by 2Andrew_Malton tomjaw
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 425
    Church choir - Informing and sharing between members - WhatsApp group.

    The 60-member community choir I'm in also has
    - a website (info for potential members and sponsors, and for posterity)
    - a Facebook page, Insta acct (and Twitter acct, now defunct), for promoting concerts
    - multiple WhatsApp groups (1 per section, and 1 for the committee).

    Would either of these pay for or use a choir-specific platform? Nope.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 392
    Here there is something called ChurchSuite, but I haven't figured out how to use it.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,704
    ChurchSuite seems to be an e-mail and messenger service. I suppose I could use it for the choir e-mails, but it is so much easier to send messages from my personal e-mail account.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 539
    We use Flocknote, which I don't hate.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 684
    At St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio we use a app called GroupMe. We share music, upcoming events, practice times, request for prayers, etc. You can share documents, jpgs, pdfs, YouTube videos, mp3s, and probably someother stuff. You can private message someone if you want. It's quite handy and it's free!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,945
    GroupMe is fine and has taken more hold in the US. I prefer WhatsApp, but it’s got more or less the same advantages over what we use (the app used by the parish; see above).