- May 19, 2017 at 11:06 am #537048
Russell Clifton RodenParticipant
I am artistic director for a semi-professional community choir. Over the years we have had older members decide that they must sit during performances. This is distracting and not professional. What are the legalities in requiring that all members must be able to stand during all performances. Of course, a person confined to a wheelchair would not be kept from being a member, but the sitting seems to have gotten out of hand. Any advice out there? Anyone experienced this issue before?May 20, 2017 at 9:04 am #537076
I’m speaking from the UK, and out here, you would not have a leg to stand on. As it were.
Allowing people to sit during a performance is an entirely reasonable adjustment, and something I’ve often had to do myself – I have chronic fatigue syndrome, and after several minutes of standing, my leg muscles become so painful that I can no longer concentrate on singing. If you’ve never had any pain as a result of standing, you have no idea what these people are going through – it could be anything from mild discomfort to fear of falling, severe muscle or joint pain (particularly in older singers) and whatever it is, I’m sure it will adversely affect the sound FAR more than sitting would. They wouldn’t ask otherwise.
Sitting in a slouched position would affect the sound, but sitting well-supported, either with a straight back or “perched” toward the front of the chair, or on a high stool, should allow singing at the usual standard.
Let me finally raise another spectre; if you force somebody to stand against their wishes as a condition of being in the choir, and they then faint or fall over, I cannot imagine that you would not be at least in part legally liable for the cost of that injury.
In short, let them sit. If you really want them at the same height, I would recommend high stools if the people involved are willing. The audience will understand.May 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm #537082
I structure my performances so that the chorus stands for no more than 15 minutes at a time. Around halfway through each half (we have an intermission), I have them file offstage and sit in chairs provided there. Then I do solos & ensembles. Then they file back and we finish the half.
Director, Southwest Women’s Chorus.
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