Summer Project: Seattle Sings

My big side project this summer was to help the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium create a proper database system for their members and their members’ events.

The primary goal of this was to streamline the process of generating the Seattle Sings website, which lists upcoming concerts for all member organizations.

Of course, being far more ambitious than that, I pointed out that with the proper setup, we could do a whole lot more….

  • allow searching for nearby concerts
  • automatically produce a printable calendar in PDF form
  • keep a list of concert and rehearsal venues
  • generate active membership lists
  • auto-create standardized pages for each member
  • and my favorite: provide a choir finder tool

Fortunately for the coolness factor, yet unfortunately for my workload, people were receptive to my vision.

While some of the above is accessible only to GSCC members, the final results are publicly visible in several places:

  1. The interactive online calendar at seattlesings.org showcases the coming 4 weeks’ worth of performances and allows you to navigate to see more. You can click on the “Search for concerts near you or for specific groups” to refine your search.
  2. The printable Concert Listing, previously hand-curated, is now automatically generated from the data provided. This insert is made available at all GSCC member concerts and helps cross-promote choral concerts throughout the area.
  3. The members page at greaterseattlechoralconsortium.org shows off the active member list. You can click on any member name to be taken to an auto-created standardized page for each active member.
  4. The online Choir Finder tools lets you find groups that rehearse near you and filter on which day(s) they rehearse, where the rehearsals are, group size, type, and other factors.
  5. Both the main Seattle Sings site and the sister Greater Seattle Choral Consortium site are now hosted on new servers, and are now using a theme that is properly responsive to browser size and mobile friendly.

One thing I’m particularly happy about (but which is not publicly visible) is that there is now a curated database of venues for concerts and rehearsals, complete with GPS coordinates. This allows for finding things nearby and will also I hope help choir directors identify new venues.

For the more technically inclined, the new system is built off of a MySQL+PHP backend, with client-side JavaScript code running the interactive portions.

The new sites are hosted using WordPress as a simple CMS, with a pair of custom plugins that access the database and output the live content.

The interface for GSCC members to manage their profiles and update events consists of a few native webpages written in PHP and JavaScript.

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