Making Choir Binders: Seeking Tips
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I'm changing our choir from cheap, classroom-style folders to black 1" binders this year. I am wondering if any of you have any tips for making them. I'm looking for space-saving techniques and also general advice. Thank you in advance!
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,397
    My choir uses binders.

    Each binder has many page protectors. The music goes in the protectors. I also have "a/b/c" dividers. When I give out a piece of music, the idea is that it goes in the page protector behind the letter of the title of the piece.

    I made 8 1/2 x 11 bifolds of the ordinary which they can slip into the last page protector or they can slip it into their hymnbook or SEP book.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Who's functioning as your librarian? If not you, consult with that person first.
    General stuff from a 24 year library:
    1. If you purchase genuine octavos (Oxford/Concordia, etc.), copy the exact amount as study copies and hand those out, not the real deal. Keep those in tact in your files.
    2. Buy collections. When you rehearse use those books for specific pieces, but for actual use in church, see #1 for each piece.
    3. Try to make copies in 11/17 format, three-holed. For more than 4-8 pages, be sure to collate your originals correctly by mocking them up.
    4. #1/3 goes for Commons 3/CPDL reproductions as well.
    5. If you anticipate you're going to have a decent tenure, then advise your choristers to get 3-4" binders for alpha storage (or whatever criteria you want) so that you're not having to constantly re-copy Arcadelt's "AM" every May.
    6. If you must hand out, turn in, you'd better be prepared for folks who won't show on the designated rehearsal night and opt to keep multiple copies, including any original octavos in their big binders and suitcases. Choristers do not like turning stuff back in.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • This will reveal that I was born (considerably) before the year A.D. MM, but I am shamelessly addicted to those nice, sturdy, leatherette folders with brass protected corners that one gets from Gamble. Inside is a pocket on each side for to hold one's octavo anthems and any other pertinent choir-liturgy papers - and one can even order them with 'St. Anselm's Parish Choir' stamped on the front. I seem to have heard of stuff 'downloaded' from computers and free stuff that is making octavos into dinosaurs, and am aware (vaguely) that the 'in' thing nowadays seems to be punching holes in one's licensed computer-generated music (with one's own parts signaled by hideous neon markers) and putting it into those tacky (and noisy!) ring-binders. I doubt that I shall ever become a thoroughly modern major choirmaster. I'm happy with my octavos (with discreet pencil markings) and good old choir folder.

    (This could be in purple if you wish it to be.)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    I print a choirbook for everyone including accompanist. It is automatically created from an excel spreadsheet where all liturgies are planned. The choirbook is printed double sided, collated and stapled. I then also print the program from the same spreadsheet using the data merge. Everything is produced with inDesign and I love the system. Psalm responses are composed in Sibelius, exported as a .png and placed in the program and the choirbook. Octavos are handed out separately. Choirbooks are recycled Sunday afternoon!
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  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,498
    What works for my schola, mostly:
    We mostly use copied PD music. I issue things with numbers on them. B1-- is Eucharistic, B2-- Marian, B3-- Mass ordinaries, B4-- misc. motets, B5-- solos for the cantor (uh, me). We don't have a lot of seasonal music. Divider tabs are really nice, but cost as much as the binders. When we DO used printed music, they get copies. They get told at the beginning of the week, "Offertory is B [for Binder] 204, Communion B103"

    You want to discourage people from moving music around. We do chant from the Liber Brevior, so they have a whole different book and there's no point in putting things together.
  • I plan 12 months of music at a time. So I print each choir member's music in a single chronological packet, and put it in their binder. We swap out music 1x a year. Very simple.

    (We use professional, sturdy choir binders.)

    Working with ~30 choir members.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 985
    Great approaches. In addition, I found it helpful to copy the ordinaries on a colored paper. Helps when people are replacing one Mass's hymns and Propers and such with the next one. And also people learn to use those as a navigation aid during the Mass.

    I like to save paper.
    Thanked by 2Jani francis
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    OT,
    folks who won't show on the designated rehearsal night and opt to keep multiple copies

    We had a bass who had sung with my predecessor but one, but not for my immediate predecessor, (some long-standing feud,) whose wife saw my tenure as an opportunity to clean house.
    She dumped a banker's box on me - it was filled to the brim with mostly mimeos and photo copies, and most of it rubbish.
    There were also plenty of octavos, including, no joke, 12, TWELVE of the same edition of the Saint-Saens Tollite Hostias.
    Back on topic, if there are single-page PD items you use repeatedly, consider card stock.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,397
    @Carl D- me too! And the colours try and follow the litugical colours.