Characteristics of the high school varsity mixed show choir
This descriptive study was designed to provide researchers and educators with baseline data about characteristics of show choirs and information regarding the role the show choir plays in the high school choral department. Seventy directors of varsity mixed show choirs across the nation responded to a researcher-constructed survey designed to examine the role, logistics, musical and pedagogical characteristics and potential benefits and drawbacks of these ensembles. Results indicated that the participants believed that the purpose of the show choir was to make sure that students are receiving a wellrounded choral experience by exposing them to different musical genres, while allowing for the inclusion of multiple disciplines like dance, band and theatre. Data indicated the considerable amounts of time and money expended on this ensemble. The results showed that the directors taught proper vocal technique and that the students were learning about the basics of singing even while being exposed to pop, rock and Broadway style music. Participants indicated that through the show choir, the students were learning more than just music. This includes life skills that they can use not only while in school but also once they graduate, such as how to be a part of a team and how to present themselves in front of an audience. The biggest drawbacks reported were time commitments for the director and ensemble. The findings of this study provide educational reasons in support of the role the show choir plays in the choral curriculum, while the logistical data could serve as a baseline against which teachers, administrators and school districts might compare their own programs with a national sample of responses.
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