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"Auditioning" new Artistic Directors: Singer's Ballot

Our community choir is searching for a new Artistic Director.
We have a Search Committee of experienced musicians and singers in place to vet the candidates and set up 'auditions" with the choir.
 
We would like feedback from the choir members about each, and to that end are wanting to create a feedback sheet (or ballot).  Our members have a wide range of skills, but are all interested in making the best choice for our group.
 
The idea was to have SUBJECTIVE & OBJECTIVE questions.
 
Some of the potential ideas for OBJECTIVE points on the feedback: IS HER/HIS GESTURES, DIRECTIONS EXPLANATIONS CLEAR AND EASY TO FOLLOW?  DOES HE/SHE TALK DOWN TO THE GROUP?
 
SUBJECTIVE: DOES HER/HIS PERSONALITY RUB YOU THE WRONG WAY?  DOES HE/SHE SEEM TO LOVE MUSIC AND WORKING WITH A MIXED-SKILLED GROUP?
 
What other comments, questions, or suggestions should we consider?
 
Thanks you for your help!
 
Lark Underwood, Member-at-Large
Plant City Community Choir
 
 
Replies (6): Threaded | Chronological
on August 15, 2013 1:00pm
I'm not sure there's a very clear line between objective and subjective, but I'd recommend that you ask the singers to rate each conductor on a scale from 1 to 10 on each characteristic, rather than yes/no:
  • Clarity of gesture
  • Clarity of verbal instructions
  • Rehearsal pacing
  • Character of rehearsal
  • Musical interpretation
  • Vocal pedagogy
  • Personality
  • Choice of repertoire (if applicable)
  • etc.
 
What you're really looking for is someone whose presence motivates the singers to want intrinsically to work hard on the music, but I'm not sure how to phrase that as a question; it might be best assessed by observation. Be sure to leave space for comments. If the singers find someone obnoxious, or boring, they'll let you know without having to be specifically prompted.
 
I'd be less concerned about things like "talking down", if by that you mean explaining things at too elementary a level, because an auditioner won't really know what skill level to expect from the group at first; that's like to correct itself once they're familiar with the group.
 
It's an excellent idea to get feedback from the singers, although I'd recommend you consider it advisory rather than basing your final decision exclusively on that basis.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 16, 2013 6:46am
Thank you, Allen!
 
Such excellent advice!
 
The membership's feedback will be advisory, the Board is to make the final decision--but we're recovering from some turmoil and want the membership's "buy-in" for any candidate to re-establish harmony.
 
Lark
on August 15, 2013 2:20pm
I strongly suggest that you follow Allen's advice.  That is exactly what we have done with the last two auditions for conductors of the Seattle Bach Choir.  Having the numerical scale made it much easier to see who clearly rose to the top, and in a field of several very good candidates, we were grateful to have this sort of measure.  Both of our choices suited us quite well.
 
 
on August 15, 2013 2:21pm
I might add that this was helpful information to have when some of the candidates who were not selected asked about the reasons we arrived at any particular choice.
on August 16, 2013 6:49am
Thank you, Nan Beth!  Also excellent advice!  I very much appreciate both of yuou taking the time to help!
 
Lark
on August 15, 2013 2:21pm
I might add that this was helpful information to have when some of the candidates who were not selected asked about the reasons we arrived at any particular choice.
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