Planning a rehearsal season can be a daunting task. You might have new repertoire to learn, existing repertoire to maintain and various performances and events to stay on top of. Here are a few helpful tips to keep everything in perspective.
Avoid ‘traffic jams’
If you’re lucky enough to receive lots of invitations for your choir to perform, think carefully before you accept, even if it’s something exciting that you’re dying to say yes to. Most people sing in choirs because it’s fun and enjoyable. If you try to squeeze in too many gigs, what was fun can begin to feel like a chore.
Make sure you have sufficient rehearsal time – but not too much!
Our choirs want to perform at their best, and it’s up to us to make sure they have sufficient rehearsal time to do that. That’s where good, thorough rehearsal planning comes in. However, we also need to avoid having too much rehearsal time. If we ‘peak’ too early, the repertoire will feel staid and boring by the time we perform it. If you have a long gap between performances, you could try refreshing some old repertoire (particularly if you have a high turnover of singers) or using some rehearsal time for workshop sessions on technique.
Look out for interruptions
Be aware of things that might interfere with your choir’s attendance at rehearsals. National holidays are a good example. If they fall on your rehearsal day, you might simply have a week off. If they fall near your rehearsal day, it might be a good idea to assume that some of your choir members will be taking a holiday and attendance may be down. If you’re planning some intensive learning on that occasion, you’ll need to remind the absentees to do some homework.
If you find yourself with a final rehearsal session of a season that falls after a performance (this often happens to us in the run-up to Christmas), consider having a ‘party’ rehearsal. It’s a great opportunity for some team-building and vocal technique work. Plan lots of fun exercises and games, throw in some refreshments and plenty of socialising time, and you’ll have a great session to finish off your choir season.