Our history

 

Many a trip, for example, which could be organised as a choir would have been unfeasible for an individual singer. This changed, so that today's choirs have lost one of their special attractions. What remained, though, and is becoming increasingly important, is the song as a shared experience. Here personal effort and endurance as well as the – really gratifying – feeling of accomplishment after a successful concert play an important role.

The German Police Choral Federation is aware of this change. The - increasingly difficult – promotion for new members highlights not the social but the cultural and achievement-oriented benefits. We would like to mention project choirs as just one of the possibilities in this connection.

Public relations activities by the police

Every organisation, the police included, has to be interested in a positive image. This is often difficult to achieve though the law enforcement and similar duties of the police. Clever people among the police's leadership have recognised the special significance and necessity of public relations. Many German states have now established binding rules, which, e.g. in North Rhine-Westphalia, name the police choirs as one suitable instrument to improve public relations. One of the numerous examples in practice is the longstanding and successful series of concerts "Citizens and the police sing and play music together". Another successful event is the choir event "Cäcilienmesse" (1856 by Charles Gounod) in which police choirs from all over North Rhine-Westphalia participate, adding up to an impressive 300 singers plus police orchestra on the stage.

The police choir – a choir of the police?

The identity of a police choir has changed. Having been exclusively made up of members of the police force in former times, by now – differing in number from choir to choir – people of other occupations have become part of the singing community. Their reasons differ – some wish to improve their singing skills, some want to share the hobby of a friend who is a policeman and sometimes it is just lack of new members. The result, however, is always a positive one: nowhere else is the relationship between citizens and police closer than in a shared police choir. Such a public relations measure is invaluable.

This development, though, led to the legitimate question, if and when a choir may continue to be called a police choir. Our federation of choirs had intense and controversial debates on this issue. Now we and the police officials share this common view: it is not important how many police officers are part of the choir but whether the choir actively promotes police public relations. The patronage of a president of the police usually shows visible proof this acceptance.

Our future

The values of society are subject to constant change. For this reason alone police choirs cannot and will not remain as they were during the founding years. The leisure activities of modern people have altered completely: gone is the focus on just one hobby. Now they seek varying and short term activities – from event to event. The enduring often gave way to the erratic. The German Police Choral Federation will continue to address this change and adjust the strategies towards new membership, presentation and self-conception of the police choirs. One thing is certain, though: Singing is a human need and it will continue – hopefully in form of police choirs. We are sure to succeed in this, if we heed the advice by the chairman of the Police Choir Munich: He recently wrote for the South German Newspaper: "The purpose is always to reach the hearts of the people."
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