Alex Gartner serves as the Artistic & Executive Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus in Pensacola, FL. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to impact nearly twenty-five thousand individuals throughout Northwest Florida, including over five thousand youth, through innovative programs, performances, and organizational practices. He also serves the American Choral Directors Association as the Children’s and Youth R&R Coordinator for the Southern Region, is an all-state coordinator for the Florida Music Education Association, and previously served on the National Arts Education Council with Americans for the Arts. An active clinician, guest conductor, and composer, his arrangements are available through many reputable publishers. Check out his latest work on social media or at www.AlexGartner.com.
Every octavo is different, yet as music specialists we have the tools we need to teach each song with ease—we know all the tricks to teach musical concepts and create a beautiful sound. Yet when it comes to building support for these same choirs, sometimes our bag of tricks doesn’t run as deep. Because most of our degrees are in music, donning a business-like mindset in order to build support for our organizations can feel daunting. In this session, we step out of the classroom and into the community with confidence by exploring how to communicate your organization’s value to attract new supporters.
As the song goes… money makes the world go 'round. If that’s true, then why is it so hard to grasp the concept of fundraising?! Raising funds is an important element of successful choral programs, but many find that fundraising is a tedious and even frightening concept. This session will help unpack some of the common misconceptions of successful fundraising and equip choral leaders with the tools they need to build connections with funders in their communities.
In this age of social media, the “influencer lifestyle” is all around us. While we may not all have a huge following on Instagram, as choral leaders, our choirs are filled and supported by an array of participants and supporters who look to us for example, inspiration, and leadership. In this session, we’ll get out of the musical score and leave conducting gestures for another time. Instead, we’ll explore what it means to be a choral leader off the podium.
Somewhere, deep down in the heart of the choir director who has run themselves ragged planning for next week’s concert, there is a voice that cries out, “You can’t do it alone!” And it’s right. You shouldn’t have to place the burden of choral leadership squarely on your shoulders. In this session, we will explore how to build a healthy community of supporters at all levels of leadership, from the boardroom, backstage, and everywhere in between!
Is bigger always better? On the surface, perhaps, but that’s just it—it’s only on the surface! Instead of focusing on numbers, what happens if we shift our thinking on recruitment and retention toward impact? In this session, we will explore a goal-oriented way of growing our choirs so that our size, scope, depth, and impact are magnified.
Ever wonder how others perceive your choir from the outside? The thought might have crossed your mind once or twice. In this session, we’ll consider this question from a marketing perspective, one that helps us analyze and evaluate the message that our brand and marketing efforts send to our community. Roll up your sleeves—this is Choral Marketing 101!
In theory, musicians should be good at math. After all, we have to count beats and manage fractional rhythms almost daily! And while musicianship skills can take you far in the musical world, they hardly provide any grounding when it comes to talking about the other important numerical aspect of choirs: money. This session will be a crash course in Accounting for the Arts—that class that you missed in your undergrad!
Raise your hand if you love receiving unsolicited feedback. Many will bristle at the thought of a singer’s parent calling the day after the concert to give their honest review. Still, there are opinions and feedback that might be worth hearing, especially if they can make you and your choir stronger. In this session, we will unpack what it means to build a culture of evaluation where feedback is welcomed, appreciated, and put to its best use: taking your choir to the next level.