Choir with very unbalanced numbers
Date: June 5, 2014
I will be in my second year at my high school this coming school year. The current enrollment for my beginning, non-auditioned group is 37 girls and 8 boys. I had similar numbers this last year and I made it work, but it was a struggle. I will be working hard to be very visible for the 8th graders next year so that I can boost the number of boys when they enter the 9th grade, but in the meantime I need to make this work.
My question is, what are your thoughts on splitting up rehearsal time for some music, so that maybe 8 or 10 of the girls are performing a piece with the boys on our first concert while the rest of the girls do a 3 part women's piece? Another thought I had was to do a TB or TTB piece for the boys and an SSA piece for the girls. We are on a block-4 schedule so I see each choir for 84 minutes every day of the week. I of course will have them performing much of their music together, but I don't want to subject my boys to singing the awkward SAB music that is not meant for their voices, simply because there aren't many of them. I'm not sure, based on their past experience in the 8th grade, that these particular boys will be able to dive right into SATB music, especially since the girls far outnumber them. I want to ease them in. Does anyone have a similar experience to share? Any ideas are welcome!