• Major solos are assigned by the conductor through audition.
    • Auditions are open to anyone regardless of section assignment.
    • Generally, the best voice is chosen; solos are not “passed around” democratically….. so If you want to sing a solo, you must win the audition.  
    • Audition winners, principal and understudy, are expected to learn the solo and be ready to sing it at the next rehearsal.  The final choice of soloist is frequently identified as the piece is sung in rehearsal.
  • Bit solos will be assigned by the conductor without audition.

Section Leaders

  1. In the Roster, the singers in each section are listed in alpha order by last name.  While that procedure avoids any hint of preference, it may not be the most productive seating arrangement.  Please arrange the seating within your section to achieve the best outcomes—based on whatever criteria you choose—reading skills, vocal skills, physical height, etc.
  2. Lead by knowing your part before rehearsal….lead by example.
  3. Encourage your section members to learn their part before rehearsal.  Make sure they are accessing the online rehearsal plan.  If necessary, ask your members how they learn their part and if they need your assistance.
  4. Plan and execute one or more rehearsals for your section.  Chose a date/time when everyone can be in attendance.  Make attendance mandatory.
  5. As errors occur in your section during rehearsal, make tactful but direct suggestions to your members about the error and how to fix them.  Do so quietly and in a way that does not distract the ensemble.
  6. Serve as the spokesperson to bring persistent/complicated errors to my attention.  I usually am working on a long list of errors and may seem to ignore errors in your section (or maybe have not detected an error); if I don’t get to your issue, bring it up in rehearsal.
  7. While Rachel (or her designee) will take role, keep track of tardies and absences in your section.  Contact your members to encourage perfect attendance

Phrasing in Choral Singing

Attributes of a High Quality Choral Experience

Pitch Integrity in Choral Singing

Diction Syllables for Tuning 7th Chords

Solfege for the 21st Century

Solfeggio for the 21st Century is an up-to-date system which corrects some of the illogical flaws of traditional solfege and provides answers to chromatic problems posed in 19th through 21st-century repertoire.  Any system (traditional solfege, numbers) helps the singer think through and hear complicated notation and combined with internal identification skills, helps singers become stronger musicians.

A New Approach to Sight Singing by Berkowitz, Frontier and Kraft– published by Norton

A New Approach to Sight Singing:  I recommend the old Fourth Edition because this edition is excellent, cheap and widely available online as a used copy for less than $10 (including shipping).  This book has hundreds of graded exercises which will help you build your SS skills.  Use in conjunction with Solfege for the 21st Century (above) and use moveable do.

Modus Novus by Lars Edlund–published by AB Nordiska Musicförlaget

Comments by Paul Wiens, who taught Sight Singing at the Wheaton Conservatory of music for a decade: This book is quite expensive compared to A New Approach; online prices range from $50 and above; the problem is that it is far-and-away the best pedagogical tool available.  The exercises in Modus Novus have proven effective in teaching the reading and hearing of intervals in non-harmonic contexts.  Edlund’s first chapter focuses on major and minor seconds and then each chapter adds another interval; the result is that each chapter is more difficult than the preceding.  With university students and beyond, Wiens recommends using this text simultaneously with tonal studies (rather than waiting as the author suggests).  Use in conjunction with Solfege for the 21st Century (above) and use fixed do.

Forward from the Text by Lars Edlund: This textbook is an attempt to tackle the problems connected with reading of 20th-century (and 21st-century) music that is not major/minor-tonal.  It has been evolved out of the author’s practical experience as a teacher in aural training the the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.  It is desirable that the student should be proficient in reading major/minor tonal music before starting with Modus Novus.


Music Theory–Intervals, Key Signatures and much more.–An interactive learning resource which will help you learn basic music theory.

Circle of Fifths–Handy chart which helps to identify keys and learn sharps and flats.