Reply To: Female singers and a male director

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I think male and female directors can be equally effective with the opposite sex, and there are any number of variables influencing what you are noticing in your female singers. It is not always productive to diagnose a choir without observation, but (given what you say) I am wondering if the female singers need some time and instruction on putting the sound “in the mask?” From your description, it may be that these young women are trying to darken the sound to make it more “mature,” but their technique fails them (resulting in pitch and tone problems). Try voice-building exercises that go after “ping” –especially on “oo” and “ee” sounds (always modifying vowels as necessary, and always avoiding tension–especially in the tongue). Emulating Julia Child’s unique speaking voice is help. You can always devote a rehearsal to a master class, bringing in an outside respected voice teacher to help sort through this. It is such a good sign that you are searching for answers! You will find them!

Anna Hamre, DMA
Choral Council NAfME Advisory Member