My name is Janet, and I am an Autocrat.
However, I’m very proud to say that I’ve now been successfully in recovery since I took over my women’s Barbershop chorus almost 20 years ago. A huge part of the success of this chorus is that we not only have a Board – which is elected by the membership – but also a Music Team. (And a Choreography Team, and a Costume Team and a Make Up Team, and a PR team, and a Fundraising Team and a Road Manager, and a Historian and a Show Team and a Charity Team and a….more about these and the other teams another time)
The Music Team includes leaders from each of the sections, the Choreographer, a Chairperson, and me. And while my input has a great deal of weight, ultimately it is this entire group of people that decides on new repertoire, and discusses any new musical directions that the chorus would like to explore.
One of the Music Team’s most valuable functions is to keep me aware of how the rest of the chorus is feeling about particular songs. They hear the rumblings before I ever do – which means that anything which might be troubling the members a little can be dealt with before it ever becomes a problem.
The fact that our decisions are made by the entire group means that even when things go horribly wrong, it’s not my burden to bear alone. I don’t have to play the role of inflexible Autocrat.
And the Music Team keeps me planning ahead. The chairperson for my Women’s chorus emails me every Thursday to remind me to send out the schedule for the following Tuesday. Life happens, and without this weekly prodding I’ve been know to forget all about it till the night before.
The team also:
Schedules and plans special events – like the programming for shows
Decides on what Coaches to invite to work with us
Contacts, then arranges for travel and accommodation for Coaches
Checks out, and makes suggestions about my weekly rehearsal schedules before I email them to the chorus
Is always on the lookout for new repertoire that would suit us
And very important to me is the fact that they are a sounding board for any new ideas I may have. They are also thoughtful, sympathetic listeners when there are chorus related issues with which I might be struggling. They keep me aware and awake.