Magic Choral Trick #109 The Shuffle – Who Should Stand Where
This one has to be heard to be believed.
This one may also be a tough sell for church choirs where members have their own personal groove worn into the choir pew by decades of sitting in exactly the same place.
Work with one section at a time. For the purposes of this post I’m talking about having 2 rows of singers in each section
Ask the person with the largest voice to stand in the middle back of the section.
Place two people with voices that are the next step down in size on either side of the first singer.
Then alternate bright and dark voices in the rest of the 2 rows of the standing arrangement.
There isn’t actually a magic formula for The Shuffle. There are these couple of basic rules above but ultimately, the director and the rest of the chorus will have to listen to the section singing in different formations to hear which standing order works the best.
The miraculous thing is that moving even one small-voiced person can make a huge difference to the cohesion of the sound.
The exercise is great fun, and a real eye opener. You’ll be astonished by how different even a small section can sound when the standing arrangement is changed.