Betsy Cook Weber
In Search of the Secret Sauce
So, what do I hope to learn on this trip? Well, I hope to find the "secret sauce." What makes these choirs so wonderful?
What level of training do singers bring to the choir when they arrive?
What level of training do singers receive once they are in the choir?
How many hours do these choirs routinely rehearse?
How many concerts/services do these choirs give?
To what extent do these choirs repeat repertoire?
To what extent do the acoustics of the rehearsal and performing spaces contribute to the excellence?
What is the process used when beginning rehearsal on a new piece?
Do these choirs use voice part recordings or other technology to aid in the learning process?
What is the expectation for outside-of-rehearsal preparation?
Do singers and choirs employ solfege when learning new music? If so, do they use movable or fixed "Do?"
What motivates singers to participate in a particular choir?
What are the roles of the support staff, i.e. managers, producers, assistant and associate conductors, vocal coaches, etc.
What were the goals and dreams (in terms of their particular choirs) of the conductors when they first took the post?
What are the goals and dreams of the conductors now?
Tomorrow we will visit the first choir, Royal Holloway! Stay tuned!