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Choral Conducting can feel like a daunting experience, particularly if it’s one of those first times in front of a choir—but it doesn’t need to be! Leading a choir is a role that is enormously fulfilling and fun, and comes with privilege. This course aims to help you build more confidence in those early stages. Classes take place on Zoom on Monday evenings 10, 17 and 24 May and 7 and 17 June, 1800:19:10hrs BST. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for information about bursaries and to book online.
Who should attend?
• Beginner conductors will receive help getting underway.
• Those with some experience will be encouraged to build firm foundations to become a practitioner with the knowledge and skills to effectively support your vision for the group in front of you, in the context within which you’re working.
• The course is suitable for those working with any style of choir as we look at elements of good practice, beat patterns, body language, and think about the choral conductor as a complete musician.
• The course is limited to 10 participants so early booking is advised.
Each session will include practical work on selected choral repertoire which will be made available to you in advance.
Week 1, The Conductor—the 3Ws
Who are they, why do we need them, and if they’re there, what should they be doing? The essential first steps in making sure that we add value by standing at the front.
Week 2, Elementary Essentials—the Five Strands, part 1
• Elements relating to the whole body such as posture, body language, and eye contact
• Beat patterns and how you convey them to your choir
• How to begin, stop, pause, and change tempi
• Holding your hands in different positions and what that might mean
• The relationship between your hands
Week 3, Elementary Essentials—The 5 Strands, part 2
Week 4, Repertoire & Rehearsals
Selecting appropriate repertoire and planning rehearsals to make effective use of your (often time-limited or time-pressured) session with a choir.
Week 5, The choral conductor as a complete musician
Planning and realising a musical vision, structuring a rehearsal, vocal pedagogy.
Requirements to participate
• attendance at all five classes
• a commitment to spend a minimum of one hour between classes engaging with the session content and tasks (you do not need a choir to work with—this is private study)
• a good broadband connection (ideally wired, but stable wireless if not) and fluency with Zoom technology. Click here for further information.
• if aged under 18, a parent, guardian or other trusted adult must be present in the same building for the duration of the class
Tansy Castledine gained her MMus with Distinction in Choral Direction and Church Music from the Royal Academy of Music, winning all the major prizes for Choral Direction. She has subsequentrly worked has worked with a wide range of choirs and from 2018 has been Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral. The online choral directing sessions she led in last year's RCO TOSE Course Online were a highlight of the programme.
We welcome applications for bursaries to cover the full or partial cost of attendance fees. Click here for further information and make sure to return your completed form by 1 May.
Fee: £200 (RCO Members); £275 (Non-members)