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Question about boys in a church youth choir setting

Greetings!
 
I am the Director of Music at a Lutheran church and I conduct several ensembles, including the children's choir (grades 2 - 5) and the youth choir (grades 6 - 12).  Both choirs are mixed.  I feel that I need to hear the singing range of the boys in the youth choir individually on a regular basis.  How often is it recommended?  Right now the youth choir rehearses after the last worship on Sunday morning, so I could always let the girls go 10 minutes early in order to hear the boys. 
 
Thanks,
Austen
Replies (2): Threaded | Chronological
on February 8, 2011 12:46pm
Hi Austen,  Right now my church youth choir is small (13) but talented.  I have been seating them in a semi-circle for 3 reasons: 1) They don't feel lost in a huge choir room, 2) they can hear and see each other which builds community and 3) I can hear my boys each week.
When my choir was bigger (35) I still walked up the aisle and around the sides to help my boys find their part (yes, I sang with them a bit -- don't flame me) and again could hear their voices.  I found this less intimidating than setting up formal "hearings."  I always told the boys if the part started to feel too high (i.e. they were still altos but beginning to change) they should talk to me, I would listen and re-assign them as needed or edit their parts.
Hope this helps.  Judith
on February 8, 2011 4:33pm
Judith -
 
Thanks for your response.  However, I need to hear my kids individually.  I would like to be able to show them on a piece of paper "this is your range this time, look how it's changed!"  I have two boys whose voices I suspect have not changed yet.  Both just joined recently and have been singing tenor.  I've asked them "Is that part too low?"  They may say yes, even though they can't really hit those particular notes.  I suspect they should probably be singing alto (or even soprano).  I would even like to hear the girls alone, mostly to hear when their passagio emerges and where it is in their range. 
 
I really do need to get off the podium more and walk amongst the kids as they're singing.  Thanks for the reminder!
 
Austen
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