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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.

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