Help my choir find a home.
December 10, 2007 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Help the choir I'm trying to start find a home!

So, I'm starting a new choir in the Ottawa area, a choir that will do mainly Celtic-y type stuff as its repertoire (British Isles, Brittany, Eastern Seaboard of NA, Ottawa Valley). The problem is, I have been looking for rehearsal space for the better part of five months, and have been coming up short. Most places in the area, such as churches, old-folks' homes, community centres and the like, want too much in rent to make running the choir feasible, or are unwilling to rent the space out on anything other than a week-to-week basis. Schools are a possible venue I'm looking into, but I can't get away for under $150 CDN a month, bare minimum, and they're only available for the school year. I would like to keep the member's cost of the choir down to something workable - I don't want to scare potential members away with a huge membership cost!

Hive Mind, what are some alternative rehearsal spaces - spaces you wouldn't normally consider for a choir rehearsal, but that might work?

And any Ottawa mefites that can think of spaces specifically in Ottawa, I would be much obliged.
posted by LN to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
Maybe you've already tried this but would some of these places consider cutting you a deal if you agreed to doing X free concerts for the congregation/old folks/community? Maybe you could sing for free and they could keep the gate.
posted by Opposite George at 12:22 PM on December 10, 2007

The community college in my city hosts the local symphony (which I'm a member of). They charge us rent for the space, UNLESS we have members in the symphony signed up for "Advanced Orchestra." It's possible this only works because the conductor of the symphony is also a teacher at the college, but you might look into seeing if you can get your choir to be offered as a class somewhere...? Also - consider getting sponsorship from local businesses that might be interested in advertising at your concerts ("For $$ donation we'll put your business ad in our program," etc.)

(And I don't think charging dues is such a terrible thing - I can see why you want to keep costs down, but the local choir I'm affiliated with charges $40 or $50 for each member per year - just for music).
posted by eleyna at 2:02 PM on December 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for your answers, eleyna and Opposite George. The trouble I'm having is, the cost per member is projected into the $300/year range, for an untried, untested community choir. Choir conductor friends of mine have indicated that large symphonic choirs charge in the ballpark of $275. So you see my desire to get costs down to something manageable.
posted by LN at 5:23 AM on December 11, 2007

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