World Choir Games Flanders 2021

Planning ahead: leave space for the unexpected

  • [A version of this article first appeared as a post on my blog From the Front of the Choir]

    A vital part of a choir leader's job is to spend time planning: individual rehearsals, concerts, repertoire, choir seasons, etc.


    photo by webmink


    But be careful not to over-plan or you won’t be able to respond to the unexpected.

    The more organised you are, the more likely it is that you’re well-advanced in your planning for the next choir season. Some choir leaders think way ahead and look for Christmas repertoire from early summer.

    It’s always good to plan ahead, but there is a danger that your plan becomes too elaborate and inflexible. Try not to micro-manage the whole rehearsal and allow space and time for the unforeseen.

    It’s great to be able to respond in the moment to something that happens in rehearsal. The sign of a good choir leader is the ability to spin on a sixpence and change creative direction.

    You might also come across amazing new songs that just demand to be squeezed into your programme.

    Venues often need to be booked way in advance and publicity sometimes needs to go out way before the choir season begins. So when you’re choosing the title, theme and images for your next concert, try to build in some ambiguity and flexibility so you have some wriggle-room later.

    The best rehearsals I’ve ever had were the ones which were planned in some detail beforehand, but which then went off at the most unexpected and delightful tangents.

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    Chris Rowbury

    Monthly Music Roundup:

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