I’m encouraged to see that despite the economic struggles of the last few years, choirs are still managing to transport themselves to festivals and performance opportunities all over the world.
Since becoming more involved in the organizational side of choral music, I’ve noticed all the different ways choirs present music, often with works grouped together into themes that range from obvious to suggestive.
For many choral singers, learning music on their own can be challenging, especially for those who don’t have the keyboard skills needed to play more than just their own part. Learning one part, without the other parts or accompaniment, doesn’t usually get a singer very far.
Until that day comes when choirs can perform using iPads rather than paper scores, choir librarians and administrators like me continue to face the endless challenge of obtaining the multiple copies needed for the singers, which can come from sources as diverse as the music itself.
When I look at the scores we’ve accumulated at Melodia Women’s Choir, I marvel at the different ways we’ve come across them. Scores have found their way to us through recommendations from the online choral forum choralnet.org; and they’ve arrived in the mail and by e-mail from conductors, composers, and singers. We’ve also sought them out by browsing the repertoire lists of peer choirs online, digging into dictionaries and catalogs, and scouring programs and websites.
Choirs have been using the internet for years for communication, promotion, and networking. but now video is increasingly being used to connect choirs, singers, composers and audiences.
New Year’s resolutions, while frequently focusing on the physical–going back to the gym, revisiting that diet, getting out the running shoes–can also bring singers out of hiding and into audition rooms. When January 1 comes around each year, audition requests start to trickle into choirs’ e-mail boxes as singers set new goals and plans for the year, and as groups broadcast audition details for the spring season.
Choral music has experienced an astonishing year, claiming its place as a vital and evolving form that touches and engages millions of participants and audiences.
As seasonal decorations pop up all around New York City, holiday music now fills our ears wherever we go. Whether in a deli, a restaurant, or a department store, the annual holiday song mix rings out–a small taste of the vast selection of sung holiday music let loose in December.
For individual singers and choirs of all sizes and styles, special choral events, collaborations, and guest performances can bring a whole new range of experiences to choral musicians and take the choral repertoire to a vast new audience.