The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Repertoire Selection
Repertoire is an important aspect of the choral experience, and it’s a topic on which everyone has an opinion – we all have our favourites, of course, but there’s much more that goes into choosing the repertoire for the year than many people think. Here are three things that are taken into consideration when the conductor chooses repertoire:
#1. Choral assessment:
One of the most ephemeral aspects of a choral group is its membership; and after all, a choir is just the sum of its parts. Each year the conductor must assess the choir they will have, and determine what the groups’ strengths are, and what areas need improvement. Assessing the group as a whole means the conductor must select repertoire that will challenge the choristers without overwhelming them.
#2. Learning objectives:
Each conductor has specific learning objectives and outcomes in their mind, and these can be different from semester to semester as the choir grows and learns together. We are fortunate to have such a large body of choral repertoire, so that pieces can be selected to enhance these learning objectives, and the choir can take on new challenges, and prepare to meet them in a fun and engaging manner!
#3. Concert series:
Concerts are a difficult aspect of the musical experience to organize. Halls must be booked, tickets must be created and sold, programs printed, and the concert itself marketed. Thus planning a series of concerts for the year begins long before the first rehearsal.
Repertoire is often chosen to fit a concert theme, or a concert learning objective – particularly if that concert is being shared with other musicians, or performers.