justifying a high school chamber choir
December 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm #33730
We have a new head of our Upper School who has made the decision to eliminate our chamber choir strictly based on numbers. He has never seen them perform, never observed a class, never seen the larger concert choir perform nor seen one of those classes. His rationale is that there is not enough senior leadership in the larger choir.
Here are the numbers for this year
Concert Choir – 46 with 8 seniors ( 28 girls and 18 guys)
Chamber Choir – 11 with 8 seniors (9 girls and 2 guys)
For concerts, the Chamber Choir sings their own rep and then joins with the larger choir for the Concert Choir rep.
Our chamber choir has been in existence for 15 years.
Although it is a done deal, he is willing to sit down and “talk” about it. I would love some suggestions or advice from any of my colleagues out there. Thanks.
– BetsyDecember 10, 2013 at 9:48 am #33731
Does your school have honors or AP level classes, or any programs to challenge high acheiving students? If your school values those classes, it would be a good parallel for your chamber choir. Your administrator really needs to observe what you do in those rehearsals before he or she cuts it. Is there any way you can convince him or her to watch one first? If not, can you present a list of the skills you address there that you can’t do in concert choir?
Good luck.December 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm #33735
I agree with jnu. Administration seems to be pushing not just reaching out to low performing students, but also stretching those high-performing students further. Using that may gain you some leverage.December 24, 2013 at 9:23 am #33976
A fellow LGPE adjudicator once compared this situation to putting the Calculus students in the same classroom as the Algebra one students. While this may not be a perfect analogy, there are certainly advantages to having a graded choir system at your school. It allows you to challenge the advanced students with more difficult literature and sight-reading, expanding their vocal technique and musical knowledge, and allowing you to implement higher level discussions in rehearsal that just aren’t feasible with beginners.
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