Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CHOIR HOW-TO -- The Choir Secretary -- NOTEable Mention -- Andrea Walton, the Magnificent

Andrea, on her cell, getting everyone where they should be for A CBC radio spot
Andrea Walton, soprano, and my dear friend, has been the most efficient and exhaustive secretary any organization could have.  I prefer to think of her as administrative manager because she handles so many of the administrative tasks necessary to the smooth running of our choir machine.

From the recording of the Minutes and clarifying Action Items at each Steering Committee meeting to taking attendance at each rehearsal, Andrea does dozens of tasks in between. I've touched on some major ones in this post.
A Steering Committee meeting can last all afternoon. Andrea helps focus the team while she records the Minutes.
As any good manager knows, clear and regular communication is key to an efficient operation.   She supplies each choir member with a regularly updated phone and email list of the membership in both xls and pdf formats.

Before the Fall season starts we do auditions. Sorry, ANDREA takes all the calls, sets up and organizes the audition nights.

We just show up.

For many years, at the beginning of each season, Andrea gave each choir member a package that she had organized the reproduction and collation of. The package includes the sheet music, an up to date phone and email list, the season's song list and rehearsal dates, and info sheets on Stairwell Caroller performance, costume and commitment requirements (attendance and preparation). Quite the document! Now, the choir members go to a special link on our website and download and print their own.

Database and email queen that she is, Andrea was the first to have a signature promoting the choir on all her emails. Most of us now have adopted that simple yet effective promotional device. She further created and manages the email database of the "Friends of the Stairwell Carollers" -- our Newsletter fan list. When concert time nears, Andrea shows up to rehearsal with programs and posters, flyers and tickets, all printed and collated into individual packets to help each choir member promote the concert and maximize ticket sales. We each get an envelope with 10 tickets and simply  return the envelope with money and any unsold (never!) tickets to Susan, our Treasurer.

A CD door prize results in names for our mailing list
After the concert, Andrea can't wait to gather up the new names for the Newsletter database.

Outside CD tray Proof for our Madrigal  CD, Audite Nova

CD production has been largely in Andrea's hands, whether finding the right company for the graphic design or circulating the proofs to the Steering Committee to ferret out typos or correct colour choices.

Recently, Andrea took on Events Coordination. This involves everything from communicating with and meeting church or venue representatives and confirming event details, to investigating new venues and opportunities for appearances. Suggestions are now handed over to her.

Listening attentively to our Director, Andrea is as meticulous in her vocal work as she is with her paperwork

In every task that Andrea has taken on, she has performed above and beyond what was asked, and is always available by email or phone. She completes everything in record time, making the choir run smoothly and efficiently. Pierre, our director, praises her commitment and passion for this huge responsibility, that, for years now, she has borne  with a winning smile.

Every choir NEEDS an Andrea Walton, but, sorry, we got her and she's worth a million to us.

Maybe two million..


  1. I agree with you, Holly - Andrea really IS one in a million! And we are very, very blessed that she puts up with all of us and our foibles ... thanks TONS to Andrea from all of us!!

  2. Thanks for commenting, D. I know you speak for all of the choir, as do I, about the incredible job Andrea does for us :)

  3. I am still rather speechless. It is such a nice piece. You have really touched my heart - thank you!

    Andrea :)


You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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