The Leigh Orpheus Recruitment Campaign. January 2023

Over the years we’ve undertaken a number of recruitment campaigns, the most remembered probably being the three ‘Come and Sings’ However, the results of each Come and Sing campaign have been progressively less successful in terms of the numbers of new recruits who have actually stayed with the choir. The Come and Sing campaigns relied largely on Leigh Orpheus members plodding the streets delivering huge quantities of leaflets through doors. Many of us are just not up for that any more.

With published research proving that Singing is good for your health (Click here for the research), and with a campaign aimed at the start of a New Year, the idea of this campaign was to appeal to those who were making New Year resolutions and wanted to feel healthier by singing. Lots of meetings of the Recruitment Sub Committee took place. Plans were made. Flyers were designed and printed. Many liked the pic of the choir we used, taken some years ago at Hadleigh Castle when we were making a promotional video.

In December, in preparation for the launch of the campaign after Christmas and New Year Leigh Orpheus members were asked to try to get stocks of leaflets into GP surgeries, Health Centres and Pharmacies. Some were successful in doing so. We ensured that the public-facing section of our website was up-to-date and fit-for-purpose.

Initially members were allocated a batch of leaflets to give to family and friends. Some loyal and motivated members distributed leaflet in supermarkets. A team of members stood in Rayleigh High Street promoting not just the Recruitment campaign but also our forthcoming concert in Rayleigh. 50 A3 posters were positioned on notice board around the Southend area. 10,000 leaflets were printed for paid distribution in the Hadleigh area. There was major promotion on the choir’s Facebook page. Press releases went out (but weren’t successful).

The outcome? A good number of guys responded to our invitation to come along to a special session in George’s Hall on Friday, 3rd February, joined by Section Leaders and some Committee members. The deal was ‘come along and try us out. No commitment. nothing to pay. If you don’t like it nothing’s been lost. If you do like it we hope you’ll stay.

And most of them have stayed! We started with 8. Three decided it wasn’t for them. One extra joined. So we now have, hopefully, 6 new members. They’re certainly showing a welcome enthusiasm and commitment. Such a shame the Welsh-speaker couldn’t commit to Fridays!

So that they weren’t feeling that they hadn’t got a clue what was going on while surrounded by others who had sung familiar pieces over many years everyone, our new visitors and choir alike, embarked on learning new material. We were all in the same boat. None of us knew more than anyone else. So we got going on ‘Alexanders Ragtime Band’ and ‘Wellerman’.

And, as it turned out, knowledge of these new pieces presented extra opportunities for our new recruits. Theyt were able to take part in the Earthquake Appeak and ‘On the Water’ concerts.