By now, you’ve read all the fantastic reasons to have a show choir at your school. And you’re wondering: “Where do I begin?” and “Can I really do this?”
The first step is to determine if there is a demand at your school for a show choir.
Half the work of introducing a new idea is already done. Thanks to the phenomenon of Glee, you can be sure that your students will know what show choirs are all about, so you won’t have to explain what one is. They may even be excited by this opportunity, as it is once again cool to sing and dance—even for guys!
You will need to survey your school’s students to gauge interest. You could do this by holding a general meeting to get the idea out there and get a sense of who may be interested. Put up signs, announce it on the PA system along with the national anthem in the morning, visit homerooms, etc. and talk about the idea. This will also help get some buzz going, which will help when you hold auditions. You’ll want as many students auditioning as possible, so you’ll want to hype it up—focus on the team aspect of it and emphasize the fun they’ll have.
Next, talk to your colleagues in ALL departments. You never know what hidden talents you’ll come across! You may find out that the Grade 12 chemistry teacher on staff plays the piano or that the school secretary sings in the local community theatre. This also ensures that your show choir will be a school-wide initiative, one that is inclusive of everyone who wants to take part. No matter how small a role they’ll play, there is something for everyone.
Once your primary team is assembled—the choir director, the choreographer, the accompanist, and a director—and everyone knows what their responsibilities are, you can begin to think about the repertoire.
The audition process is next. You may need to demystify the idea of auditions, as you may have some students who have never auditioned for anything before, but still need show choir as an outlet. During auditions, be on the lookout for students who may even be able to assist the staff in the process with things like choreography or costuming. Keep in mind that the more they are able to make it their own, the more empowered they will feel, and the better the product you’ll produce.
Once you have your choir together, and know the level of talent and experience with which you have to work, you can start to think about repertoire, with a focus on your show choir’s strengths.
And that, in a nutshell is it. It may sound like a big thing to get off the ground, especially if you’re starting from Ground Zero. But the rewards will be many.
And remember: it’s not about winning a show choir title; it’s about the process, not only for the students, but also for you and your colleagues. Let’s face it: the relationships you’ll foster with students are what made you become a teacher in the first place. You’ll watch them grow and blossom before your very eyes, while engaging in a great team-building experience with colleagues.
Now get on out there and … do, re, me, fa, so
Please see the “Standards” section for additional reference material.