Watch & Listen Member Center / Docs Shop

Across the country, and right at home

Membership Musings: I moved across the country, and felt right at home

Guest blog by Michael Testa

I just moved to a new home 1100 miles away from my old one, and I’ve visited four chapters in my new local area over the last 10 days looking for a new chorus home.

I think I’ve found one, in the Heart of Florida Chorus.

What did they do so well?

  • They had a packet of music and a name tag waiting for me so I could follow along
  • They took my information and told me that someone will be following up with me to answer any questions
  • They strongly encourage quartet singing and have healthy chapter quartets
  • The rehearsal started and ended at the advertised time
  • They had a special “guest song” unique to their chorus to give an extravagant welcome
  • They paired me with a member of the same voice part to help me throughout the rehearsal
  • They send the repertoire for the evening to all members and known guests in advance so that the members can be out of the paper, allowing the Director to lead an engaging rehearsal
  • The chorus was performing music at its skill level - not above or below
  • They announced a goal to add a certain number of net new members before the end of the year
  • They encourage the formation of quartets and VLQs to go do sing-outs at local events
  • The administrative part of the chapter meeting was five minutes total
  • You could tell that they were friends, and they had an afterglow afterwards at a local pizza place to build camaraderie

What I’ve learned— chapters seem to succeed when they put serious thought into these two questions:

  1. How do you invite people to come through your doors?
  2. How do you make them want to stay?

These are simple questions with complex answers. But if every chapter answers those questions in the way that is best for them and then goes and does it, then we will never have to worry about membership numbers.

Learn more

See the very welcoming website of the Heart of Florida Chorus. Note especially the clear Simple Steps to Membership, and the entertaining and informative Barbershop Break YouTube playlist.

About the author:

Michael Testa has been a BHS Member since 2019. Read his earlier guest blog post on finding joy with the Ambassadors of Harmony during the pandemic.