Planning the Choir’s Program

by Naomi Roseth

In his President’s column, Roger outlines for the Choir its program for 2016. Ever wondered how the programs are shaped? Here is a description of the process we went through to come up with the 2016 program.

A sub-group of the Management Committee (Roger, Richard, Marj, Judy, Pam, Pat, Naomi) and of course, Carlos, met on a Thursday afternoon at Roger’s home, each of us laden with ideas for choral music and a dish for dinner.

We first agreed on an overall structure for the concerts: The May and August concerts should be ‘weighty’ and ‘serious’ while the December concert should be ‘lighter’ and of course in some way ‘Christmassy’.

We then started throwing around ideas, I guess expressing our personal likes, but also considering requests we get from members of the Choir. We considered the offerings and many were rejected: too difficult, too boring, too long, too short, sung too recently, not suitable for the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, orchestration too complex, not a crowd pleaser. But obviously the choral repertoire is so rich and varied that despite all these constraints a program was shaped. While we all chipped in, obviously Carlos had the last say.

We then added some instrumental music, allocated the pieces to the three concerts and checked on their length. A program obviously can be neither too long nor too short. We reviewed our work and were satisfied that we came up with a program that is challenging and satisfying for the Choir and that is likely to attract our audience.

This year in fact, so many good ideas came up that we have the fundamentals for the 2017 program!

The final decision on the program can only be made only when Pam, our hard working librarian does her research work to ascertain that scores for the various pieces are available.

Mission accomplished, we then gathered around the dining table in Roger’s elegant home and shared a delightful meal and a glass of wine. And at 7.30 we were all there for the weekly rehearsal.

This was all rather pleasant and amicable. Carlos in fact observed that he wishes that governments made decisions on the basis of such pleasant processes!