The Ten Commandments of Leading Good Choral Rehearsals: When Research and Common Sense Converge

Betsy Cook Weber

Tuesday, June 21, 10 AM
Grand Ballroom A

An organ student usually learns his craft by taking private lessons with a teacher who has studied technique and pedagogy for decades. In contrast, the training of a choral director too often consists of one or two semesters of conducting class (often with wind and string players). This class usually addresses both manual gesture and rehearsal technique simultaneously, and the rehearsal techniques portion is largely anecdotal. When a choral director finally steps in front of a choir, he has little objective information upon which to rely and usually resorts to imitating what he thinks he observed while he served as a singer or accompanist; feedback from a professional is extremely rare.

There is objective information however, to be found in a number of studies examining specific choral director behaviors that enhance or undermine a choral rehearsal. In addition, there have been numerous studies conducted outside the choral rehearsal room that can reasonably be applied to the choral rehearsal. This session will outline ten precepts, supported by research, which can help directors focus and ground their thinking and help them lead more efficient, productive, engaging and inspiring choral rehearsals.

Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston. Under Weber’s leadership, The UH Concert Choralehas competed internationally (Wales, France, and Germany) and has been featured at multiple state and national conventions, earning a reputation as one of the world’s finest collegiate choirs. In the summer of 2013, Weber became the 13th person and 1st woman to receive TCDA’s coveted Texas Choirmaster Award, and in 2014, she was appointed Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus. Weber is highly active internationally as a conductor and clinician.

You can find the handout for this workshop here.