Magic Choral Trick #301 Concentric Circles
Introduced to my women’s chorus last week by our coach Wendy McCoole – this is a terrific tool for bumping up the presentation level of a song.
Of course, this only works well when the song is memorized. (For choirs that use music even working one phrase at a time like this will make a difference)
Two concentric circles:
The inside one facing outwards, and the outside one facing inwards. Equal number of people in each circle.
Every person sings directly to the person opposite them in the other circle.
1. Try to perform with more emotion than the person opposite
2. After a couple of phrases, the outside circle people move one place to the left
and sing the next couple of phrases to their new partners opposite
3. If there’s a big enough space for this exercise, you’ll be able to hear
your partner well enough to sing as if the song was just a duet for the
two of you
I tried this also with my men’s chorus – with the same result as with the women – much, much more emotional involvement in both face and body from everyone, but it was especially noticeable with the people who are usually the most restrained.
There were some tears with the women, and initially some hamming it up from the men. In our culture we tend to shy away from expressing emotion to one another, so the exercise was an emotional stretch for both groups. However, its difficulty makes it worth doing, and the power of the result speaks for itself.