How to Start a Glee Choir

By Gail Sessoms ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Paper
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Notebooks
  • File folders
Glee clubs can be small groups or large choirs.

Today’s glee clubs have evolved from the historical male-only model into multi-talented performance groups that perform a mixture of singing, dancing and, depending on the production, a little acting. The Oak Harbor High School in Washington started its glee club in 2010 in response to student demand by adding a show choir elective. Glee club productions have roles for anyone who wants to participate – musicians, choreographers, stage design and production management assistants. Students at high schools and colleges, and adults with interest and free time, are starting glee clubs and rediscovering the joy of music and performance.

Publicize your glee club plans by placing notices in school or organization publications, using fliers you've made, talking to people who might be interested in joining the glee club and asking those people to spread the word to recruit more members.

Contact all of those who are interested in joining the glee club and confirm their interest, commitment and what times they are available for meetings and rehearsals.

Schedule your first planning meeting with everyone who has expressed interest in the glee club. Library conference rooms, community centers, churches or someone's family room are good places for a first meeting. Use this meeting to get to know each other by discussing musical interests and backgrounds.

Complete the basic tasks to organize your group, such as choosing and voting on a group name, choosing a coordinator, appointing people charged with organization and planning tasks, and listing specific needs for singers, musicians and other participants.

Decide the level of formal organization your group needs. Western Washington University suggests to its students that new groups create an organizing document, such as a constitution, to guide the operation of the group. Your group might not be ready for this level of organization and might choose to go forward with a more informal arrangement in the beginning.

Identify a place for regular meetings and rehearsals that includes enough space to dance and move around. Today’s glee clubs function as show choirs, described by Washington’s Sunnyside High School’s program directors as performances that resemble music videos with their combination of pop music, dancing and dramatics.

Set a regular schedule for meetings and rehearsals. If you need a piano for rehearsals, check with schools and community centers for permission to use their buildings.

Procure other equipment you need, such as a CD player, music recordings, sheet music and lyrics. Ask people you know about availability of donated or used equipment.

Tip

Keep it simple in the beginning and start meeting regularly to sing and come together as a group, no matter how small. Get the word out about your group and schedule a few free performances in places like schools and nursing homes to practice performing in public. If your group becomes large, consider becoming a nonprofit to increase financial support to cover your expenses.

Warning

If your group is based at a school, you might need to have an adult involved and follow the school’s requirements for starting a group. Your group might require permission to perform copyrighted songs in public.

About the Author

Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.