Defined by Merriam-Webster: “Curators are in charge of a collection of exhibits in a museum or art gallery. Their job is to build up collections, often in specialist areas. Curators develop ways in which objects, archives and artworks can be interpreted, through exhibitions, publications, events and audio-visual presentations.”
Larry Nickel acquired Cypress Choral Music Publishing in 2010, shortly after completing a doctorate in composition. He soon realized that the Cypress catalogue was heavily weighted towards user-friendly repertoire for community choirs. Seeking to expand the catalogue with repertoire for more advanced choirs, he asked Dr. Julia Davids to start a collection called “The Canadian Chamber Choir Series – music for advanced choirs”. Since then seven more choral luminaries have joined the Cypress Curator team, covering various genres of the choral spectrum including French Canadian repertoire, Women’s Choir (advanced), Men’s Choir, Children’s Choir (advanced), Youth Choir, Church Choir and Gospel Choir.
THE MANDATE AND CHALLENGE FOR CYPRESS CURATORS
1) Create a collection of titles that you can enthusiastically embrace and display.
2) Work out details regarding any copyright restrictions.
3) Provide a quality recording to demonstrate the music.
4) Help to edit and proof-read the scores until they are print ready (in negotiation with the composer and editor Larry Nickel)
5) Reach out widely to choirs that are bound to be searching for music in your collection. (an ongoing challenge)
WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE CYPRESS CURATOR?
1) The joy of supporting Canadian composers.
2) The satisfaction of presenting new quality music to the choral world.
3) “Curator and Editor with Cypress Choral Music” – looks impressive on your CV – resumé.
4) The Cypress website will feature and promote you, your choir, and your excellent work.
5) You will earn a 5% of retail royalty for anything that sells from your series.
REACHING OUT TO CHOIRS – IDEAS THAT HAVE WORKED WELL FOR CYPRESS CURATORS
1) Newsletters: create a contact list and send out email blasts in a timely way. (for example)
2) Record the music from your collection with your choir; sell CDs or digital downloads. (for example)
3) Video your choir in performance; post the video on Youtube and other social media outlets. (for example)
4) Create a special Facebook page for your series.
5) Create short videos that extol the virtues of a composer and his/her composition. (for example) (another example)
6) Feature your series on your choir’s website. (for example)
7) Post selections on the ACDA ChoralNet which is viewed by thousands of directors around the world every week. (for example)
8) Post selections to any of the many Facebook sites which specialize in choral genres.(for example)
9) Perform music from your series while on tour, at Podium or at an ACDA convention. (for example, this performance really launched the music)
10) Choose music from your collection when directing at Festivals and reading clinics. (for example)
11) Encourage your roster of composers to get busy and reach out too. Many composers are adept with social media and have their own websites.
12) other ideas?
EXCELLENT TIME-WINDOWS TO MAKE AN EXTRA EFFORT:
1) June as teachers are cleaning up the classroom and thinking of September. (and wishing to spend the remainder of their budget allowance)
2) August – as choir directors everywhere are making plans for the Fall.
3) September/October for Christmas repertoire.
4) During the Christmas break as directors are preparing for the Spring Concert.