Choosing a theme for your choir performance

If you are planning a performance or charity event, you might want to give it a theme and tailor your repertoire to suit. If you decide to use a theme, here are a few quick pointers to help you make good choices.

Deciding on a theme

Are you raising money for a specific charity or event? It may be that if you are the theme is created by this. For example if you were raising money for a children’s charity, you may choose a theme relating to family or childhood. It may be that the charity lends itself to an era or style of music. Our choir recently took part in a performance to support the local library and all the music had a literary theme, which tied in very well and was unusual and quirky.

Keep the theme open rather than too specific

Some themes are much easier than others when selecting repertoire. For example, a theme of ‘love’ gives you many more song opportunities than one of, say, ‘zoo animals’! Try not to make things too specific, otherwise you may struggle to find repertoire and also a range of repertoire which isn’t too much of the same.

Choose an artist or composer

If this suits your event you could choose music of one artist, band or composer which gives you a nice selection. This can be a great way to learn more about the music and take your singers on a journey. However one word of caution though:  those who don’t like the composer or artist may have a pretty miserable time in the run-up to the performance!

Think about the fun factor

View the themed performance from the audience’s point of view and ask yourself what theme will provide a varied and interesting programme. You could choose a theme of film or TV music which gives you a wide scope of music to choose from. We did a TV themed performance once and included a quiz for the audience to complete during the interval. Also remember to think about the fun factor from your singers’ point of view. Will this theme enable you to create an enjoyable and fulfilling performance for them?

Comments on Choosing a theme for your choir performance

  1. Avatar Jo Cox says:

    Hi! Nice article.
    I don’t always pick a theme but we have done a time tunnel (couple of songs from each decade… teamed with a quiz with a questions for each decade), a 1930/40s afternoon tea (we made sure our costume was of that era too) and my favourite was the train set (I love songs about trains) but that was just a section of our 5th Borthday concert.

    1. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

      I love the ‘time tunnel’ idea Jo.

  2. Thanks for this – perfect timing as spring season nearing its end and beginning planning for fall.

    I always pick a theme – it helps me focus my repertoire search. Some ideas of themes we’ve done before, maybe to help get the ideas flowing for folks:
    – tv/movie, as you said
    – we are Canadian, so we did all Canadian (composers and singers)
    – currently doing Momentum – songs that inspire change and connection
    – earth and sky
    – fire and ice
    – water (we called it wave)
    – journeys (we included train songs, of which there are many!)
    – near & far (we included songs about home)
    – up (songs that lift you higher)
    – setting standards (jazz standards)
    – soul

    We sing contemporary music, so these themes were broad enough to be able to choose songs of a wide variety.

    Love your articles!

    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Thanks for this Wendy, some great ideas for themes, it’s always good fun thinking what repertoire will fit within them. Really pleased you enjoy the articles.

  3. Avatar Valerie Summers says:

    A lovely article. Your ideas are so inspiring. I look forward so much to your tips. I find your articles a breath of fresh air.

    Thank you


    1. Christine Mulgrew Christine Mulgrew says:

      Thanks Valerie, I’m really pleased you find the articles helpful.

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