A choir needs musical scores in the same way as a car needs fuel. Both won’t go without them, are costly and need to be available in the right quantity and on time. As a choir, we are fortunate to have a sizeable stock of our own music and, at least, for the time being suitably stored. However, a lot of our existing stock is not always suitable for a specific concert theme, which means we need to look outside for music scores. This means either hiring or buying music with copying music where it is permissible to do so. All three options involve a cost.
This financial year we have spent over £1100 on music, part was to purchase redundant RBC Music Department music, which will be used in the future. However, much of the expenditure was down to our performing shorter pieces in our concerts, rather than one large set piece. Where possible I have hired music in and where permissible copied some of the simpler scores. Hiring though is not cheap, scores are lent out per copy per calendar month. A choir of fifty-five hiring music for four months at say .75p a copy produces a bill of £165. Multiply that by five sets and add postage costs (both ways) and the bill mounts up. RBC Music Dept used to be an inexpensive first port of call. However, Council cuts mean the service has been reduced and it is more expensive. It was the RBC service reduction that enabled us to acquire the scores mentioned above. We do have alternative sources for hiring. Scores bought are always purchased where discounts are the highest and hopefully no charge for packaging.
Sadly, over the past year I have obtained music which has not been performed as we ran out of rehearsal time. This ought not to happen.
A thanks to all of you who have co-operated in returning music promptly after a concert. As we seem to like performing at the end of a month, I do extend a hiring period by an additional month as we can be fined for late return, but time is of the essence. By and large we have not had many lost scores. Thanks also to those who have helped sort out the music after the concerts, I will need help at the end of the next concert in July.