While musical experts of the world focus on what choir members can do, I would like to focus on what choir members can be. – Russell Nelson: Anglican Priest
As singers in the church choir, can we focus and listen deep enough to begin to “sing as one voice”? And then I would ask the choir if we can take it a step further, and strive together to create “a moment” in time and space in our offering of song. Those, I believe, are truly lofty goals for the choir. – Weston Noble
Interestingly enough, the primary illusion created by painting is depth. Whereas the primary illusion created by music is movement.
Acoustics are usually the last thing we think of in building design and the first obstacle we confront when trying to preach, or sing, or worship in a room. What the floor is to a dancer, acoustics are to a musician. “No doubt, if you put a musician into a great live acoustical environment they will automatically get feedback from that environment and play [or sing] better.” – Hans Zimmer (composer)
On this page we will offer resources for starting up a choir, leading children’s (see bottom of page) and adult choirs, recruitment, effective repertoire selection, demonstration videos, and Q & A sessions with successful choir directors from around the Province.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ARTICLES AND VIDEOS:
The WHAT of Choir Leadership (start video at 8:23) – see link below for related PDF handout
https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/welcome.jsp JW Pepper & Sons (If it’s music in print, they can find it and order it. JW Pepper also allows you to order single copies on perusal.)
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
Evoking Sound—James Jordan (available on Amazon)
“As artists we must constantly strive to achieve that which leads to those magical, ethereal, and completely fulfilling musical experiences that leave us all enriched and transformed. The art to which we have dedicated our lives demands no less. James Jordan knows this and gives us bountiful ways and methodologies, from his own years of experience as an esteemed conductor and educator, to do this through his splendid Evoking Sound, an essential book for any conductor’s permanent library.”
You will come away from Evoking Sound with a renewed sense of the totality of the conducting experience and also an understanding of how to better evoke honest and meaningful sounds from your choir.
Building Beautiful Voices – Director’s Edition by Paul Nesheim & Weston Noble (Amazon)
Text for college classrooms, church choirs, private voice studios and those who are currently in the choral classroom. A concise, yet comprehensive study of vocal technique along with an extensive collection of related vocalises. The vocalises are presented in a manner that is “user-friendly,” complete with accompaniments and numerous transpositions. This book contains more than 60 different exercises each designed to address specific vocal concepts. Whether you are a student of choral/vocal pedagogy, a beginning director or a veteran of many years in need of new and fresh warm-ups to begin your daily rehearsals and get singers thinking about singing well, this is the text that you have been waiting for. There is an accompanying student book so that every singer can see the exercises, making introduction of new material much easier and more efficient although the student book it is not required for the materials to be effective.
Voice for Life: Guide to Choir Training (Available from GIA Publications)
A practical resource for choir directors, trainers, and teachers.
Every choir needs a leader to inspire, train and direct it. That person needs all kinds of musical, social, and administrative skills, and these are all explored in depth in The Voice for Life Guide to Choir Training.
Here is a comprehensive manual dedicated to the theory and practice of choir training, drawn from the collective knowledge and wisdom of seasoned practitioners in the field. Conceived for experienced leaders and novices alike, it systematically addresses the many different aspects of choir training from conducting and rehearsal management to legal, financial, worship and pastoral issues. It offers countless practical strategies that will be of enormous assistance to all choir trainers and directors, whether or not they are running a Voice for Life scheme.
What turned it around for us was when we began to rehearse and to sing every week, not just once a month or for Christmas and Easter. When the children (grades 2-8, mixed boys and girls) began to share in a weekly habit and to process with the Adult Choir, to sing and rehearse the hymns, descants, Psalms, and Service Music, and to build a repertoire of melodic and 2-part anthems to offer in worship on their own or with the Adult Choir, they began to feel an integral and important part of worship and a part of a long-standing Anglican tradition.
Before the Singing: Structuring Children’s Choirs For Success by Barbara Tagg (available on Amazon)
“Dr. Barbara Tagg has done it! She has written the book we have all needed since the huge surge in the children’s choir movement three decades ago. Structuring Children’s Choirs for Success: Before the Singing provides the vast number of tools and resources necessary to run an exceptional children’s choir. I only wish it had been available forty five years ago at the beginning of my career. This book is a must read!”–Jean Ashworth Bartle C.M., O. Ont., Founder/Conductor Laureate, Toronto Children’s Chorus
Teaching Kids to Sing: 1st Edition by Kenneth H. Phillips (Available on Amazon)
A foundational text in music education, TEACHING KIDS TO SING, delivers a developmental program of exercises and skills to help all students achieve confident, accurate, and expressive singing. Founded on the principle that singing is a “learned” skill and grounded in the latest physiological research, this popular text provides a groundbreaking, step-by-step methodology for energizing the body, breath, ear, voice, and song. Thoroughly revised and updated, the new Second Edition includes a revision of the basic methodology, updated research on young singers, a separate new section on vocal physiology, contemporary music selections, and much more.