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The Crooner's Gazette

News publication of the Singing Plainsmen Lubbock, Texas

Vol I No 2                       January 3, 2002

I know that this issue is somewhat delayed, but with the holidays and all.... Hope you enjoy this issue as there is a lot in here. Some old, some new, some coming.

Anyone for a bunk?

News from COTS....                                 

The weekend was a great one. Or rather fantastic! There were lots of great sessions with lots of really neat ideas that I think will help our chapter GROW... GROW... GROW! However, it will take a team effort from EVERYONE to make it happen. There was absolutely NO way that you could make all of the sessions that you wanted to. Just too much to learn and too little time. Remember - this is all from the eyes of a first time COTS attender. There was a great quote from one of the sessions I attended-"Membership is the recipient of everything done in the chapter". Let that soak in a while. If you have read the SWD ROUNDUP that just arrived, you'll find some great other comments about this event. The largest yet!

What ?   Where???                 

Contest time. Well almost anyway. I have it on good authority from Hank Hammer who sings with the Heart of Texas Chorus, the San Antonio Chordsmen and the Open Wide quartet, that contest this year (2002) is March 15-17 in Graham, Texas. You can check that also at the SWD website, Hank also just happens to be our chapter coach and our society board member at large. We are planning to have a visit from him sometime in the near future. Who's knocking at the door?                 

Well, guest night that is. What night? ANY NIGHT? Some ideas to keep a guest returning might include: Call him up the next day and ask how he enjoyed himself. Send his wife (girlfriend) a note thanking her for letting him come and remind her of the next time we meet. Create an excuse to call on him the next day to "get some more information".

I received this note from Bob Lang - Thought you might be interested (ed)

Don Hackett recently asked if I would be interested in serving as a member of the membership support team for the chapters in the Northwest Division. I really don't know why Don selected me for such a task but how can you turn Don down? (He's a great tenor, you know.)      

As a matter of background for those who like that stuff, I have served the Town North Plano chapter as Membership VP for four years. During those years we added 48 members to the chapter. Don't let that excite you too much, we also lost a few guys in the process. While trying to come up with some brilliant ideas to increase chapter membership, I did some things that sounded exciting but bombed out and, through member involvement, discovered some things that achieved results.

I would like to share with you only the latter experiences. It's up to you to determine if they're practical to consider for your chapter. (Town North has 80 members with average weekly turnout of about 47.) Membership support is a two way street. That means I'll offer some suggestions and you respond with either "That's whacko and I have a better idea" or " I think we can do that if I temper it to fit our needs." If you discover a brainstorm that works, share it with us in an email. Fair enough? Now, we've just about completed step 1 of my goal for 2002 and soon you'll be defining your membership objectives to your chapter members. I'll email a few thoughts along those lines shortly for your consideration. Meanwhile, I read my email once or twice every day and promise to respond to all questions and comments. If you prefer the spoken word, my telephone number is 972-380-5929. Hopefully, we can share with each other a commitment to do our best to motivate chapter growth and retention and have some fun in the process.

Bob Lang

Between now and your first board meeting of the new year, it would be appropriate to define some chapter development goals for presentation to the board and, subsequently, to chapter members. The presentations are important because we need the team effort of all chapter members to make the goals become a reality. Following are some suggestions which you may find helpful in defining your own objectives. Event timing dates indicated take into consideration the major member involvement during the year - Valentines, Spring Prelims, Division Contest, Spring Show, District Contest and Holiday Show/Caroling:              

Chapter Development Objectives for 2002

1. Chapter development through increased membership should be a chapter priority, second only to vocal performance.
2. Add __ new members to the chapter in 2002 through the following efforts:
a. Motivate and encourage members weekly to bring guests to       each chapter meeting. Every meeting is a "guest night."
b. Plan an Open House event in February for the meeting following the chapter's singing valentines promotion.
c. Plan a recruitment performance at a local mall during April and August.
d. Plan quartet performances at local service clubs and invite interested men to attend a chorus rehearsal.
e. Schedule chorus to perform in church services during summer vacations.
f. Chapter information and invitation to visit should be inserted in church bulletins.
3. Renew __ former members through personal contact.
4. Activate __ inactive members through personal contact. (Regarding items a,b and c, I can provide some promotional formats which, when tailored to your needs, you may find helpful in activating the events. We'll address those at the appropriate time.) Best Holiday Wishes, Bob Lang

EXCITING NEWS. Just read the Nov 2001 Society Membership Summary and noted that SWD membership as of 30 Nov was 1884, our second highest interim total in 2001 (our "peak" so far was 1915 at end of March) This puts us in excellent position to end the year at or above the 12/31/00 total of 1868. A recent report published by Kenosha projected our 12/31/01 total to be 1860...but I'm confident that we'll exceed that number. And when we do, the credit goes to each and every one of you who by your efforts actively did something to recruit or retain a member this year. Thanks for your efforts.

In that same report from Kenosha, it was noted that only 5 Districts had reached or exceeded their pro-rata goal for recruiting new members in 2001...SWD was one of them! Our assigned goal was 237 new members and we have recruited 254 (107% of the goal) through November 2001. Again, thanks for your efforts. It feels good to be among the folks who are recognized for achieving noteworthy results.

2002 Challenge. The number of new recruited members needed in 2002 to reach 100% of our goal is 282, an 11% increase over 2001. As hard to believe as that is, that's the number, when netted against projected losses from all sources and adjusted by the Society average retention rate of 87%, that will give the SWD a total of 1900 members at the end of 2002! We've just gotta' raise the bar, rise to the challenge, and do that...or we're losing ground. I know I can count on you or your successor to lead that effort in your chapters.

MORE EXCITING NEWS...AN EVENT! To help us get the year off to a dynamite start in the membership recruiting and retention areas, a special event is coming to SWD in January as part of a 10 stop, 7 state Membership Road Show conducted by Ev Nau, Membership Director for the Society. Ev will be spending an evening in three SWD locations sharing recruiting and retention ideas that will chalenge, energize and equip us to go out and get the job done in 2002. Here's the schedule:

Friday, Jan 18           Oklahoma City
Tuesday, Jan 29       El Paso
Wednesday, Jan 30   Dallas

These are events for all barbershoppers...not just chapter officers. We need to get the word out and start making plans to have absolutely every barbershopper who can possibly attend be at one of these three sessions. It will be worth every mile traveled...guaranteed. And the results from this kind of effort can only be positive and satisfying. Let's show Ev that Southwestern District is serious about growing and getting stronger! More details will follow...but you can put it on your calendars right now!

Have a peaceful and joyous holiday season...and then let's hit the road runnin' in 2002.

Don Hackett
VP Member Services-SWD

Our Christmas / officer installation banquet was quite good. I must say I was a bit surprised at receiving the BOTY award. Quite an honor and thanks to all who had a hand in that. I'll try and live up to it. As usual, anyone that has any items they would like to see in the Crooner, just forward them to me and I'll do my best to get them in. EMAIL: PHONE:806-894-1505