6 mins

Developing Choirslist with over 150 choirs pre-launch.

September 4, 2023

Developing Choirslist with over 150 choirs pre-launch.

Back in July we launched the early registrations for Choirslist London. We have been thrilled by the responses. Over 150 choirs are now pre-registered, each of London’s 33 Boroughs are represented by at least 1 choir, and we expect many more to follow suit once we launch. This post shares a little more information about what Choirslist is and summarises the questions we were asked in our registration, so hopefully we can offer some useful answers here.

What is Choirslist? 

Firstly, for those who have not heard of Choirslist, this is a new project to develop an online choir directory aiming to make it easier for people to find and join their ideal local choir. We won funding last year to develop the concept, and a small team has been working on the project since the start of the year.

Choirslist takes a hyperlocal approach to how the directory is designed and built, and how we will enable search. This means our focus is on achieving a critical supply of local choirs for a particular region and then building other services to support the local network. We are launching and testing in London first and, assuming this is successful, will continue to expand the service across a few more regions towards the end of this year. The aim is to launch nationally and operate a Choirslist across all 12 regions in the UK by the end of 2024.

Consulting the Choir Community summarised questions from choir organisers. 

We started with the aim of reaching the 450+ choirs across the capital. We opened up early registration for Choirslist London here, and in addition to capturing some very basic registration details, we asked what each choir was expecting from a new directory and whether they had any questions for us.

Below is a summary of the questions and our responses, followed by the choir's expectations from a new local directory. 


We’ve edited the questions and combined them to read as a simple FAQ: 

When will Choirslist London launch?

We are aiming to launch by the last week of September, 2023.

Can I list more than one choir?

Absolutely, if you run several choirs, then you are invited to make a listing page for each one of them!  If you run a single choir, but you rehearse on multiple nights of the week, each day or night you rehearse would count as a single choir.  The basic listing is free so as long as there is a choir rehearsal to show up for, you can list it.

How detailed will a Choirslist directory listing be?

Choirslist will give a free landing page for each choir where quite a lot of information can be presented, and an easy means for people to learn about and contact the choir.  

Can we submit written descriptions about our choir?

Yes. Each listing will offer an opportunity to feature a short bio about a choir; this will be where you can set yourself apart from the other choirs. Describing that your sense of fun is what makes your choir different. Or perhaps it is your commitment and long standing history that is most attractive. We know that the social side of being part of a choir can be the reason people start looking in the first place, so if you have a thriving pub/cafe scene post rehearsal then be sure to brag about it here.

Will it be really free? How will you make money?

Yes, the basic listing will always be free. The initial development of Choirslist has already been funded by InnovateUK , so we are now figuring out how to manage the ongoing running costs.  We’ve got lots of ideas on this, but we’re not rushed. We still need to talk to more choirs about what they really need to help them and then make a decision on what we could build to meet that need.  

How is Choirslist different from other directories?

We know Choirslist isn’t the first directory for choirs, but we’re trying what we think is a different approach, and focusing on one region at a time.  Our approach is to focus on what someone searching for a choir might want to know. Then we’ll dive deeper into the search criteria, basing the search on an amateur member's time commitment to singing. Thus we define a choir based on the time and location of a rehearsal, and what’s involved in joining, rather than simply by the organisation and their history. 

Is this an app or website

Choirslist.com will be a public facing, mobile responsive website. 

How will the wider public find out about Choirslist?

We have 3 approaches to being found by a public audience:

Firstly we are leading with the hyperlocal approach that is engineered to take full advantage of search engine optimisation. As we build out the site, there will be a range of landing pages rich in metadata to describe each choir, and also links to choirs grouped together by the search criteria. And we will slowly build backlinks from authoritative websites to promote the site generally.   

Secondly, a central site, Choirslist.com will launch a public facing website that provides the starting point to find your local Choirslist. We also want to just celebrate choirs and singing on this site, so our Just Join a Choir video features here, helping to get people excited about joining a local choir. We have plans for how we will grow this feature in the future. 

Finally we will run an outbound social media campaign around our Just Join A Choir videos to help content be discovered. 

Who will own the data and who will operate the free listings?

Just like other directories, all submitted data is owned by the choirs submitting it -  Choirfarm is simply licensed to publish and copy content across the pages in order to promote the choir(s) which is the whole point of the site. For the free listing there is a detailed listing registration and verification process to ensure that we are publishing correct data and choirs will need to verify the data on a regular basis, probably annually. Choirfarm is listed with ICO and is GDPR compliant.

Will Choirslist help us attract certain types of members?

We have been asked this a lot. 

We’re thinking about how to do this, so the answer is possibly yes, it will be possible to advertise who you are looking for. There were several instances where people said that their choirs were interested in attracting younger members, whilst others were looking for more men to join. Individual listings will be able to advertise who they are looking for. The site will be easy to find and easy to use which should delete some of the unnecessary ‘admin’ that has surrounded joining a choir until now. This means that fewer people will be daunted by the prospect of searching for a choir and therefore there will be more ‘traffic’ to the choir listings, resulting in more membership sign-ups!

Is there an example I can see? 

Not yet, but we will publish a couple of example pages very soon as we start to onboard choirs and the process will give you a detailed illustration as to what your page could look like.

Choir Expectations for a new local directory. 

We wanted to find out more about what choirs expected from Choirslist as a directory. Generally there were three things we found choirs are looking for, each relating to increased visibility of their choir organisation:

Increase membership

The most obvious expectation was that Choirslist should help a choir grow its membership . In particular there is a desire to attract specific singers (e.g) male singers, which is something we can take on board going forward.

Increase audiences

With a more public centralised audience, there was interest in promoting events like concerts. 

Share information across a choir network

Again related to visibility, another expectation was that a hyperlocal directory would offer the ability for different choirs to connect with each other. This could result in more collaboration on local events, charity fundraising opportunities, networking evenings and even holidays. We think there is indeed potential for this if we can build a critical mass of choirs listed in local areas, thus maintaining our focus on the hyperlocal approach to a listing.

Get in touch with your questions

The above is a summary of the key questions we were asked and we hope the answers are useful. If you have registered, and you have a burning question that has not been answered above, or you need further information or clarification on anything, just drop us a line via the website or get in touch with Lily.

If you have not yet registered, and you run a choir in London, it’s definitely not too late to register, just follow the link below.

Register your London based choir on Choirslist London

It's free to list on Choirslist London. So long as you run a choir rehearsal on any day or night of the week, somewhere across one of London's 33 Boroughs, you can list your choir on Choirslist London.

Talk to us about your choir or singing project