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Concert Planning Checklist

by Don Sumwalt

The tangible result of the instruction in the music classroom is the concert performance. In the preparation of music for a performance, we often overlook the details involved in the logistics to make the concert happen. To make sure your concert occurs without any problems, devise a checklist to make sure all details are covered.

Some of the basic points for the concert checklist should include:

  1. Make sure the location for the concert is reserved well in advance. The location could be the school auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria area, or even a local park for an outdoor concert. Make reservations to avoid conflicts with other groups from the school or local organizations that may also need to use these facilities.
  2. See how many helpers you will need for the concert. This can include ushers, stage set-up crew, sound and lighting technicians, refreshment servers and a clean-up crew. Contact these people early to give them time to adjust their schedules to accommodate your needs.
  3. Plan what equipment is needed for the concert-chairs, stands, large percussion, stand lights (if necessary), backdrops, sound equipment, etc. Make sure to make arrangements for these items early so you can borrow them from another group or order them for purchase to avoid any problems.
  4. Write down seating plans for the group and give copies of these plans to the set-up crew. This will make sure everyone will know what items you need and where they need to be placed for the concert.
  5. Write out announcer notes for the concert. The notes can be for a specified announcer or even for you. A clear script for announcements will keep the flow of the concert moving and also keep the attention of the audience.
  6. Create a pleasant written concert program for the audience. Include the composer / arranger of each piece of music and the names and instrument of any featured soloist. With your program, also include a full list of performers names. Parents always enjoy seeing their child’s name printed in the program. Acknowledge all of the extra personnel that helped with the concert-chairs, stage crew, refreshment servers, etc. Most importantly, list the names of your administration and school board members. This note of thanks is an easy way to have good relations with your administration.
  7. Double-check one week before the concert that all items on your checklist is complete so no unexpected surprises interfere with your performance.

These are just a few items to remember so you can present a concert that both students and audience can enjoy and remember for years to come.