When a choir becomes a clique
Date: April 26, 2014
As a collegiate choral director, I'd love to hear opinions about the social aspects of your college choirs. I have observed a situation wherein an excellent choral ensemble has a clique mentality. It appears that there is almost a codependent relationship between the conductor and the members of this ensemble and it is the same year in and year out. Specific to this particular situation is the fact that the members of this "community" (the label they use) are involved in all aspects of the group's musical and non-musical activities, including the final word on who, by audition including blending and assessment of goodness of fit, are selected as new members. Ours is a small university with 4 vocal ensembles and about the same number of instrumental ensembles and none of the other ensembles are run this way or have this clique-ish characteristic. It is a source of friction within our department. Where do you, as a director, draw lines in administrative, musical, and audition policies? Have you experienced or observed such a thing? Do you find it healthy or unhealthy? Etc,?
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