It’s estimated that the number of choirs in the UK alone has risen to over 40,000 in recent years. A large proportion of those have been formed purely to share the enjoyment of singing – and perhaps performing – music within a local community, workplace or other environment.
One of the challenges faced by the growing number of choirs is finding a good source of quality music to work with which is both accessible and enjoyable for everyone to sing.
It was this challenge that inspired the idea for ChoirCommunity. With 30 years experience of leading choirs, Craig McLeish recognised the problem of finding good quality music. And he realised at the same time that he’d partially solved it for himself.
As a writer and musical arranger, Craig had created dozens of arrangements, which he had developed with his choirs over the years. Unfortunately, they were mostly stuck away in drawers (or on computer drives) and not easily sharable with anyone else.
The biggest problem was that most of these arrangements existed without any consent from the publishers or rights owners. Other than sharing copies of these over the internet or via photocopies, which is a breach of copyright, getting permission to offer them to other choirs was a real challenge.
Meanwhile, leisure-time choirs of all types faced a dilemma: they either bought music from established online retailers, where each copy is often priced at £2.50 or more; or they looked for other sources, which were often ‘grey’ in terms of their legitimacy.
Craig was convinced there must be an opportunity to solve both problems: the difficulty of distributing arrangements without breaching copyright; and providing easy access to those arrangements for leisure-time choirs of all kinds.
He discussed the idea with his brother, Piers, whose years of experience in business and information technology provided the perfect complement to Craig’s musical expertise.
After nearly a year of hard work, the ChoirCommunity website launched in January 2018, offering a variety of titles from Craig and two other ‘launch’ arrangers. With plans to expand the portfolio and partner with other like-minded musical organisations, we are delighted to become part of the Making Music network and look forward to supporting the unbeatable experience of singing together all over the UK and beyond.
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