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Choral Potpourri: Choral Ethics; Envy and Jealousy

July 28, 2016 -

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” William Penn In preparation for writing the blog post today, I looked up the

Hi everyone!
Potential touchy subject...

I am a high school director in Northern VA with 6 choirs. Only 2 of the choirs don't include the words "men", "women's", or "ladies."

I have students who identify as either male or female, but are placed in their choir according to their (birth) sex which is listed on their transcripts. The singers said they were "OKAY" with their placements because they would be in the classes with other students with similar voice parts. Even though they said this, I know I will keep a close eye on their well-being this year, and in the future.

My question for you is - Do you have any suggestions on what to rename my choirs so that they don't conform into the gender binary?
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23 hours ago

Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, Laura Surguine and 5 others like this

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Joel Adam ShapiroWhat about Treble Choir instead of Women's/Ladies' etc?

23 hours ago   ·  4

4 Replies

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My-Van NguyenWe're seriously choral twins. Have been considering this all summer!

23 hours ago   ·  3

2 Replies

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Joel Adam ShapiroInstead of Men's Choir, maybe give it a unique name relating to your school/mascot?

23 hours ago   ·  3
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Douglas NeslundOh for God's sake, people! Don't let the political correctness infect and pollute our youngsters. Enough of this mind twisting junk!!!

23 hours ago   ·  3

16 Replies

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Jason LongtinI think coming up with fun, creative names for each group is the best solution. This actually comes up in church choir all the time. Lots of church ladies sing tenor (even bass...I sit next to one), so we have to be mindful of not calling the TB section "Men."

22 hours ago   ·  3
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Tyler ForsytheFor my creative juices to flow, I need to know your school mascot and school colors. Additionally, any unique or interesting characteristics about your school or town would be helpful. (For example, if the town's festival is called Stucco Days, that could be useful in naming the choirs.)

22 hours ago   ·  1

11 Replies

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Joel Adam ShapiroDefinitely don't name it after the Occoquan :)

22 hours ago

1 Reply

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Martin LassmanI struggled with this, too. Having a transitioning person in the Women's Choir was awkward for me and him. I tried SSAA but no one knew what that meant. I ended up with Treble and Advanced Treble choirs. Since I teach middle school, this has not been an issue with the Men's Choir. Their voices will not allow transitioning students to sing in the male range.

21 hours ago   ·  1
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Rhonda JulianoThank you for being aware of your students needs and well being. I also suggest that you come up with a great name that your students will relate to and feel good about singing in.

19 hours ago   ·  5
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Susanna Lace PeeplesI believe Josh Palkki knows a lot on this subject as he gave a session at ACDA on LGBT issues in the choral classroom.

17 hours ago   ·  4
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Shawna McKay GleasonWe use names like concert choir (freshmen group) select chorus ( mixed upper grades) and Vocal ensemble (treble choir) how about Woodbridge singers or Viking Singers

10 hours ago   ·  2
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Leah PeerWe discussed this at COACDA last summer. The best suggestion I heard was Treble, Bass and Mixed - instead of gender designations

8 hours ago   ·  1
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Jason StevensAt my school we have three levels of choir. The entry level got so big we were able to offer two sections which we split by voicing. The entry level group was called "Voce" so we have a SA choir "Bella Voce" and a TB choir called "Voce di Forza" however it is often called Macho Voce.

8 hours ago   ·  3
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Laura SurguineI just went through this and had a private facebook discussion with a bunch of directors- it's awesome you're being mindful of this!!! After so much discussion (and keeping in mind that we want the name to be easy to understand by our admin- we're H.S. directors) we landed on Treble Choir and Bass Choir. Obviously bass choir could be confusing, but we had to keep in mind our students and admin would not appreciate a clever latinate name. :) Good luck to you! Ours is going out to the board for official renaming this year!!

6 hours ago   ·  2
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Michael Bussewitz-QuarmThrilled with the sensitivity our choral directors have to this topic. Bravo!

4 hours ago   ·  2

1 Reply

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Cate WindelbornI have just changed the names of my beginning gender choirs from Women's Chorus and Men's Choir to Treble Chorus and Varsity Chorus. This will not only be more friendly for transgender students, but also guys who have a conflict can sing in the treble chorus and just sing the appropriate part down an octave. I had three guys in this situation last year and called the choir mixed chorus. I think Treble Chorus is more appropriate since we sing SSA music in that class. Just can't justify SAB with 3 boys and 45 girls.

11 minutes ago   ·  1

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