Understanding Repertoire Choices
“The Choral Buffet”
It goes without saying that song selection is one of the most important parts of building a great choir program! You can have the best uniforms, the nicest stage, fancy risers and a good conductor – buy without songs that engage the singers and the audience, the program won’t succeed. many directors live in the tension between the song they know that students SHOULD learn and the ones they know the students WANT to learn – and they spend countless hours looking for pieces that somehow accomplish both things at once.
At “theNLYC,” we are striving to be more than just a local sing-song club! We are looking to provide singers with a well-rounded choral experience that includes learning the basics of music theory, vocal technique and exposure to as many styles of choral singing as possible. We also train children to sing in parts (harmonic lines other than the melody of a song) and to be able to hold their own part while other singers do something else (such as a round). Good repertoire selection in other languages or adding movement, and tries to come up with a winning concert set of 7-8 songs per session for both Winter/Christmas and Spring.
When cooking up a recipe for a well-rounded choral program, the following “ingredients” help determine what ends up in your singer’s music binder:
- does this teach the singer a new skill (singing in a round, parts, etc.)
- is the accompaniment interesting and support the singers
- do these pieces cover a variety of genres (pop, classical, jazz, musical theatre, ethnic, etc.)
- does this song inspire the director?
- will this song interest the singers and their audience?