Search in the document preview
Connexions module: m17653 1
Choral Activities ∗
This work is produced by The Connexions Project and licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution License †
This module represents many of the various choral activities that can enhance a choral program in
schools, communities and churches. These include festivals, clinics, exchanges, dinners, and commission-
ing a choral work for performance.
The department, in the beginning, may have all the activities it can successfully sustain. As the department
grows, however, it will be desirable to add activities that merit inclusion in the program. When the point
arrives that new activities can be introduced, try to plan activities that are stimulating to the ensemble.
The activities listed below have been successful in a number of schools throughout the country. These are
also adaptable to church and community choirs.
Bring in a Clinician. Invite a choral director from a nearby college, high school, community or church
as a clinician for your choir for a day or for a rehearsal or set of rehearsals. The money spent in this endeavor
is usually very well spent. Often one can exchange clinical leadership at no cost to either.
Attend Concerts as a Group. Organize a group of the choir members to attend a professional or
college concert. The members will enjoy the opportunity to attend the concert as a member of their special
group. Many of the members will attend in this manner but would not have the initiative to attend the same
concert on their own. Others would nd it impossible to attend concerts because of lack of transportation
or lack of funds or both. These opportunities can introduce many students to the nest music in stimulating
Exchange Concerts. Plan an exchange concert with a nearby ensemble. In a school situation, if
it is not possible to sing for the entire student body of the school, perform only for the choir and have
their choir later perform for yours. It is also good to perform a concert for the junior high school that sends
students to your high school and for elementary schools. This can be a good recruiting device for registration.
Church choirs can share the experience of the choir as a part of the religious service. Community choirs
can share a camaraderie that is not easily possible in other circumstances. All ensembles should try to
nd opportunities to share concerts, either joining together to perform a major work or sharing a concert
with each group performing. Finding ways to become involved with other directors and ensembles can be a
positive experience for everybody.
Participate in Area Festivals. In almost every area of the United States there are small festivals
sponsored by universities or professional organizations. It should not be dicult to become a part of a
worthwhile festival that will add to the dimension of your ensemble.
∗Version 1.1: Oct 6, 2008 9:30 am GMT-5 †http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Connexions module: m17653 2
Informal Choir Day. Where several rural schools are close to each other but there are not enough
schools of sucient size to support a festival, an informal choir day can be quite stimulating. The format is
wide openit can be whatever the participating directors want it to be. Use a Saturday to let the members
of the choirs get together and enjoy some fellowship as well as an opportunity to hear each other sing. It is
usually rewarding to let the singers join together to sing one or two pieces. The day can be divided so that
part of the time is spent socially and the rest enjoying choral music.
Madrigal Festival. This can be an informal or formal aair. The more madrigals that participate, the
more organization that will be required. This activity can range from two or three madrigals getting together
for dinner and some informal singing, to a large scale event with a clinician and performances by several
ensembles. The format is again wide open. It is most desirable to allow the format to change, depending
upon the schools involved and the interest of the directors and the students.
Commission a Choral Work. This is a project that can be immensely stimulating to a well-established
choir in a program of sound musical values. Performing a work written especially for the school, community
or church choir can be an exciting experience. Let the singers participate in the selection of a composer
by having them suggest composers on the basis of some of the music they have sung. Perhaps there is a
composer nearby whose music the choir has performed. If so, he would probably be willing to write a piece
for the choir for a smaller fee than usual. This project does not have to be undertaken each year. It can be
something special to mark an anniversary of the school, a convention appearance by the choir, an anniversary
of a local event or of a person who supports the school and the arts. In a church situation it could be for a
particular part of the religious year or in memory of a member of the church, or many other occasions. The
same can be said for community choirs where there are occasions that can bring about commissions. Many
commissions have taken place in the last 30 years. Being a part of this creative act can be inspiring for all