Category: Music

Theater Choir

Theater choir offers an exciting and challenging alternative to traditional concert choral music. However, a singer needs to have much more than a good voice.

Ensemble Broadway singing involves acting and often dance as well. This means that diction, blending, tuning, and phrasing are important, as in choral music, but these skills are applied differently. Click to learn more.


Choral music consists of vocal lines that are assigned to several singers. The line of singing may be polyphonic, which means several independent voice parts are used, or homophonic, in which all voices sing the same melody. Choral music has a long tradition in European church music, although it is performed in many venues outside the church today. Choral singers can sing a cappella or with instrumental accompaniment. Often, the accompanying instrumentation is specified on the score. If the score is for a group of choirs, there will usually be a separate piano reduction for each voice part.

Choral groups can be female, male, or mixed; they can also be divided into smaller independent groups based on voice part tessitura. Typically, mixed choirs consist of soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and SATB. However, many examples of four-part choral literature SATB or even eight-part choral music require division into first and second sopranos, first and second altos, tenors, and basses.

Most great composers have written choral music, and despite some of the changes in musical styles during the twentieth century, choral composition continued to develop and expand. New melodic and harmonic languages were developed during the Renaissance to create complex musical textures. In the Baroque period, great composers such as Bach and Handel wrote choral works that merged these musical styles into larger choral-oratorio forms.

In modern times, the choral music genre has expanded to include all kinds of texts and musical styles and is often combined with other types of performance. It is common to see a musical theater or opera production that includes the chorus and the main cast.

The primary function of a theater choir is to perform choral music, ranging from simple melodies in unison to large-scale oratorios and religious works. Theater choirs also often perform musical theatre and operettas, allowing students to gain valuable real-life stage experiences before beginning careers in professional theater or becoming music teachers who direct their choruses in their schools. In addition to performing a repertoire of choral literature, a theater choir frequently participates in Large Group Performance Evaluation, the national assessment and evaluation system for school music ensembles. This system provides a uniform method of communicating the fundamental elements that define a quality performance, with specific singing, rehearsal, and performance skills standards for all students enrolled in a given music ensemble. The evaluation process includes three expert evaluators who assess each student’s performance of prepared literature and conduct a brief clinic for each ensemble, providing face-to-face feedback to the students regarding pedagogical strategies for improvement and specific aspects of the performance that were particularly effective.

Musical theater is a very demanding form of vocal music for choirs. It often requires extended technique, which can be very stressful on the voice if not done properly. The singer should always listen to the pitches sung and ensure the vowels sound healthy and not forced. The ring or resonance that most adult voices have is critical to the overall blend of a choir. This resonant quality is most easily heard in the ‘ng’ sound in words like “singing.” Any throatiness will cut through the choral blend much more than a healthy, resonant sound.

It is important to avoid ‘choking’ out the resonant quality of the voice while singing choral music, especially when it is very high in the range. This practice is detrimental to a choir’s sound and can cause voice problems in the long term, especially if done repeatedly. Good choral directors should work diligently to ensure their singers’ voices are healthy.

Many high school musicals call for a mixed choir comprising both male and female voices. This is the most common arrangement and is usually contacted by SSA or Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, or SATB. Some larger works will also call for two choirs to sing at the same time in a piece called a double choir, such as SSAA or Soprano, Alto, A Cappella, or SATB + SATB.

In addition to the basic choir arrangements, some choral music pieces call for intergenerational blending of children’s and adult voices. This is usually noted in the score and can be arranged as SAB, SATB plus children’s choir, SSAA plus children’s choir, or SSAA with an adult choir.

Many young singers enjoy participating in both musical theatre and a choral ensemble. This type of combination can be very challenging and may require that some students take voice lessons to learn how to perform in a style that is different from the classical technique they are used to in a regular classroom setting. For example, a student trained in the classical method and who wants to sing in a Broadway show may need to take additional private lessons to develop the skills necessary for this performance genre.

A choir is a group of people who come together to sing a song in harmony. While the term is often used to refer to groups that have a religious affiliation, a choir can also be secular and may be accompanied by instruments or voices. Choruses are usually a part of larger musical pieces, and many different singing styles can be performed in a chorus.

For instance, a choral group might consist of a mix of male and female singers split into four vocal parts. The most common combination is soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, abbreviated as SATB. Other arrangements are often used for a mixed choir, including soprano, soprano, and tenor (SSAT) or all-female, all-alto, and all-bass (SATB). Some choirs can be further divided into subgroups, such as SATB or SATBarB.

Vocal tone is generally based on the voice’s speaking sound but with the added power of musical expression and emotion. To achieve this, the voice should be relaxed and free. Performing without tension is an important aspect of healthy vocal training, and singing teachers should encourage their students to sing in the most natural way. This can be a challenge for students with previous choral experience who have been trained to use the head or chest registers exclusively rather than a more mixed sound.

Musical theater is a form of music not rooted in classical tradition and requires the ability to express emotions theatrically. Its sound tends toward a bright, highly-pitched vocal quality that can incorporate elements of both head and chest registers. In addition, several vocal sounds, such as back vowels or glottal onset, are not available in the choral singing genre.

It can be difficult to balance the demands of musical theater and a more traditional choral style, and many choral students need help with this transition. Some find that their choral vocal technique could be better suited to musical theatre, while others feel uncomfortable being told they must remain in a high-pitched head voice or belt for a production. For this reason, it is essential for a singer who wants to pursue a professional career in music theater to learn the vocal styles that are most appropriate for that type of performance.

Choruses compete with various entertainment options, including TV, the Internet, and Twitter. Timothy Seelig, artistic director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, says that the traditional model of a classical music concert “just won’t cut it.” “We have to think differently,” he says. “We have to offer something that stands out and speaks to how people live now.”

One of the most effective ways to engage the audience is to invite them to interact with the performance. Getting them involved makes the experience more memorable and increases the impact of the music. Audience participation can range from singing along to the music to clapping along. In addition, it can include socializing with others in the audience and sharing thoughts or feelings about the music.

While it’s important to engage the audience, it’s equally important to provide a quality performance that will keep them interested. A chorus should focus on bringing its best musicians and providing a well-balanced program that will appeal to all tastes. Adding elements such as comedy or a narrative storyline to the concert can add interest and help create a sense of community among the audience.

The Choir of Man is a great example of this type of theater choir. The show is a musical extravaganza that brings to life many of the greatest hits from modern pop and rock music. The cast, who are all excellent singers, also plays instruments such as the piano, banjo, guitar, bass, ukulele, and tambourine. The music is fun, entertaining, and uplifting, and the cast engages the audience in a manner that would be hard to match. The show runs at the Arts Theatre in Melbourne and will tour for several months afterward.