As singers head back to rehearsal rooms all over the country, now is a great time to press ‘reset’ on our commitment to excellence in our ensembles. Here’s a fun list of ‘new choir year resolutions’ for your consideration as you ramp back up this fall:
- I WILL ALWAYS WATCH THE DIRECTOR: Watching the director at all times ensures the best possible presentation for our choir. Missed entrances and releases can nearly always be traced back to a singer who is not watching. Avoid unintended solos, watch the director!
- I WILL LISTEN LOUDER THAN I SING: When we sing louder than all the other singers in our section, we are likely not achieving a good balance or blend within our section or the entire ensemble. Sectional rehearsal work is often the best time and place to make permanent corrections within each section.
- I WILL MAKE MARKS WITH PENCIL IN MY SCORE: Perfectly marked scores help to ensure perfect presentations and performances. Marking efficiently in pencil helps the brain respond correctly in real time during performances.
- I WILL BE ON TIME TO ALL REHEARSALS: Nothing wastes more rehearsal time than singers who are late and unprepared. Allow plenty of time to arrive and place your music in rehearsal order. Warming your voice in advance also helps as we all strive to make the best use of our limited rehearsal time.
- I WILL NOT TALK WHILE THE DIRECTOR IS TALKING: When we make comments while the director is talking, others around us may not hear the instructions. The result will be confusion and poor presentations. Resolve in this choir season, to reserve your comments for a later time. I know the director will want to hear what you have to say after rehearsal is over.
- I WILL RECRUIT NEW SINGERS: How does your choir grow? First of all, it grows when you do an excellent job with your music. It also grows when each ensemble member reaches out to others who are skilled and available to sing. The director may invite new prospects, but when ensemble members invite new prospects, it means a great deal more to recruits!
- I WILL LEARN NOTES AND RHYTHMS BEFORE REHEARSAL: This is absolutely THE best way to multiply your rehearsal time. Can you imagine what musical expression could be realized in a rehearsal where every singer arrived with notes and rhythms firmly in place?
- I WILL PROMOTE CHOIR EVENTS: Want big crowds to attend your choir’s big events? The biggest burden for promotion lies with each singer as they invite family, friends and neighbors to hear experience what their ensemble has achieved.
Editor’s note: Please enjoy these selections from John Parker.