If you have officers or section leaders, allow them to meet with you to plan or if you want you can turn the planning completely over to the choir leadership.  Just make sure you give those singers your criteria for the party.  From experience, I have found the better organized the party, the more positive the response was by the singers and fun was had by all.  I usually begin the planning process by handing out a sheet of questions to the choir leadership called END OF YEAR CELEBRATION AND PARTY PLANNING.  If you want all your singers to be able to attend, I would suggest you plan the party to follow a regular rehearsal.  Make your rehearsal as short as possible and then allow the party to go on afterwards for approximately an hour to an hour and a half.

Here are the questions I have listed on my planning sheet for the leadership to answer when they gather to plan our party.

            #1. What is the date of the celebration?

            #2.  How long will the party last?

            #3.  What kinds or types of food do you want to serve at the party?

      1. Will choir members sign up to bring food or will each member bring money to cover the cost?
        1. Who will type up the sign-up sheet or collect the money?

            #4.  Contact 3 parents to help with the party.  Who will make the contact?   Brainstorm parent names here.

            #5.  Brainstorm one fun activity or game.  The game(s) should last 20 – 30 minutes. Which game(s) did you choose? Who is taking leadership of guiding the game?

            #6.  Timeline to party

      1. Inform the singers of the party by this date ______
      2. Collect monies or sign-up to bring food by this date________
      3. Make and put up event signs by this date _______
      4. Inform parents by this date _______

I know filling out this sheet might seem a bit “Type A” but I’ve found that after completion of the sheet, the singers (and you) have a blueprint to follow for their party and everyone involved in the planning knows who is responsible for each part of the party. I make copies of the planning sheet for everyone.

Remind your choir the week before the party that the next rehearsal time will be extended so if they have someone picking them up, they would need to adjust the pickup time. You certainly can organize a party at another site and at another time.  This is just my suggestion and has worked well for me. 

Types of games that have gone over well in my choir range from board games to Disney computer trivia to an all out battle of Twister (we had 6 Twister games going on at the same time… great photo op!), to relay games.  Let your singers take the lead on what games they’d like to organize but be ready to say no if you think the game is not appropriate.  Encourage all singers to participate in the games and you, as director, should partake as well. The singers will love watching you play.

A fun way to wrap up the party is with some year-end “awards”.   The awards should not be serious but fun or goofy.  For example, if you go on tour you might give awards for best bus sleeper, most awkward bus sleeper, most cheerful in the morning, person who ate the most (or weirdest) food; always on time; etc.  Brainstorm awards with your leadership.  They will love helping you come up with some unique awards.  Give “dollar store” awards and then do 5 – 10 drawings of singer’s names to give away whatever is left from the Dollar Store.

Have fun and celebrate your year of joyful singing.