Magic Choral Trick #23 Energy Leaks

An Energy Leak can happen at just about any place in a performance – from the moment the curtain opens until it closes again.

If the choir is not in ‘ready’ mode when the curtain opens, the audience will feel this – and you’ll have lost them right away. It’s always tougher to bring an audience back to the level of excitement you want than to just drive them there in the first place. The choir’s level of energy has to be much more than the audience’s in order for the audience to feel that you deserve their attention.

I’ll talk later about a number of tricks to grab and keep their attention before you start to sing.

Once the song has begun, Energy Leaks can happen if the target vowel isn’t sustained long enough, if people run out of breath before the end of the phrase, if the breath between phrases is too slow, if the rhythm is lost on the breath/pick up note deadly combo, and if the emotional intensity isn’t carried over from one phrase to the next.

Even something as subtle as the dropping of ‘performance faces’ on a harmony part section that has a rest can break the forward energy motion.

Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to start noticing the Energy Leaks and where they’re happening in your choir.

I promise that I’ll have much much more to say about how to handle this huge issue in later blogs, but for now, just becoming aware of exactly when and where it’s happening is a great exercise.

Please, please feel free to ask me specific questions about this, or anything else you read here. My intention is to continue this blog for one year – and I have tons of topics to discuss – but I’d be happy to discuss them in any order that they’re needed.


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on December 10, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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