Magic Choral Trick #35 Maintaining Excitement Over a Silent Pause

Sometimes the piece of music builds to a great climax – after which there’s a silent pause. Usually the pause is there to intensify the emotion – but if it’s not handled carefully there can be a huge Energy Leak and the emotion just falls flat.

Imagine a vibrant exciting chord followed by a pause in which the singers’ faces fall, or they flip the page over, or they shift their stance, or they cough, or look around, or scratch…

Here are two tricks for keeping the intensity alive.

1. After the big chord before the pause, have the singers wait until immediately before the next phrase to breathe. Keep the breath held out. If some choir members are dying of oxygen deprivation, they must at least look like they haven’t yet taken a breath.

2. Facial expressions need to freeze until the breath is taken for the next phrase.


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 22, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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