Technology for Choirs Interest Group
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Notes from our session at the Spring Festival 2012

Monday, 14 May 2012

Thank you so much for expressing an interest in “Technology for Choirs” at Sunday’s Sing a Cappella! workshop.  I hope you found the session useful.  I’m also passing on David Green’s email address ( as I know a number of you had questions about producing teach tracks and scores.  Poor David is probably still languishing with the flu but we hope that he’ll be attending a future workshop to show us what he’s discovered.  In the meantime if you have any burning queries do feel free to drop him a note.

At the breakout group we produced the attached brainstorm of what might make a brilliant choir website.  I think it will be an invaluable tool for briefing any web developers you’re commissioning or for producing a project plan if you’re producing a site yourselves.  Do have a look through and let me know if I missed anything – one thing which I should have mentioned was that your site will ultimately need to be able to work with mobile phones.  In the UK browsing from mobile phones (smartphones) is forecast to overtake browsing from a computer within the next few years and so any sites built from now on will need to work well with such devices.  Fortunately the well-developed templates for the content management systems we discussed are already optimised for mobile and will adjust your webpages to look good on this platform when they detect a mobile is being used.  I use templates from which are excellent in this respect.

We also:

  • Had an exploration of RSS feeds (really simple syndication) about which you can learn more here.  I mentioned that I use it with Outlook which has an RSS aggregator built in.
  • Talked about where to put your effort when you first start off – I suggested Facebook due to the power of personal recommendation in building your initial audiences and members
  • Examined the pros and cons of three of the top content management systems available (Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress).  My view is that Drupal is quite complicated but very powerful – stay away unless you know some html and css.  Wordpress is the fastest growing and is ideal for simple blog sites.  Joomla has some really powerful extensions which would match the functional part of our specification quite well.
  • Took a quite dip into website analytics and what they can tell you about how people use your website (and their paths through it).  More information about this is over at Google.
  • Had a very brief chat about free options for producing websites including Google Sites, and the Sing a Cappella! members’ area
  • Glanced behind the scenes at to see how front end page editing worked in Joomla (it’s very similar in Wordpress)

Sadly in the time we had we didn’t go into too much detail so do feel free to come back to me by commenting in this forum.

I’ll hope to see you all online soon…

All the best,


Ian Tolley

Sing a Cappella! Technical

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