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High School Choir Needs Men

In middle/elemtary school, singing in a choir was a fun thing for men to do. But now in high school, I'm finding the enrollment of guys in my choir dropping! Is there a way to get the men back on board? Thanks.
Replies (6): Threaded | Chronological
on April 18, 2014 5:27am
I believe one thing that attracts boys to the choral program is including "men only" choral activities in the program.  Try adding a barbershop/doo wop quartet or octet to the program.  ...or other TTBB repertoire.  
 
I can say from experience, that it wasn't the excellent mixed concert choir or chamber singers ensembles that got me interested in singing.  (I was perfectly happy and satisfied as a band student.)  It was the fun, and incredible a cappella sound I heard from my high school's barbershiop octet that got me hooked.  (btw... the high school girls cheering and screaming at the end of a well done rendition of "Coney Island Baby" or "Under the Boardwalk" or "Duke of Earl" or "I'm Yours" (Jason Mraz) don't hurt in attracting boys to the choral program, either.) 
 
If you want boys in you choral program, give them a place where they can BE boys in your choral program.  
Applauded by an audience of 4
on April 18, 2014 6:00am
I found that a quiet personal invitation in the hallway at school often was enough to get those guys to become involved again. Find male students that you know, and just ask them. It takes no effort and if it adds even a few new guys, you've won.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on April 19, 2014 6:49am
Not a few community choruses could benefit from your sort of thinking.
on April 20, 2014 7:50am
Go to their athletic games. Write them notes of encouragement - nothing fancy, but something that shows you appreciate them and that you care about what it is THEY do. Then, they'll care about what you do. Try to find 2-3 of the most charismatic jocks. Start to relate to them. Get them in your choir. Peers will follow.
 
I totally agree with David re: creating a place where they can be guys - do the "guys" only stuff. Each concert I include a boys' quartet, or choral arrangement of something like Barbara Ann. If you can find some of a male faculty that sing, and that the boys respect, you can get them onboard too. This year, the men of my choir are singing "Seize the Day" from Newsies. I'm letting them wear flat-caps, suspenders, and plaid shirts, and hold rolled up newspapers. They're stoked.
 
Bribery with pizza never hurts either.
 
I started my choral director position 4 years ago with 3 guys in choir. I now have more guys than girls! 33 guys and 31 girls. All these things work - I've done them all...and all at once.
Applauded by an audience of 4
on April 21, 2014 6:24am
Yes, even if you don't have a separate male ensemble, find something TTBB for the guys in your mixed ensemble to sing, and start with that.  
 
BTW... if you're looking for charts appropriate for young men, the Barbershop Harmony Society (barbershop.org) has several charts arranged specifically for younger voices.  They range from traditional Barbershop ("Goodbye My Coney Island Baby", "Good Night Ladies", etc.) to Beatles ("Yesterday", "When I'm Sixty Four", etc) to Beach Boys ("In My Room", etc.) or Gospel (there's a nice "This Little Light of Mine/Do Lord" medley).
 
Your local barbershop chapter may even be interested in donating charts to your program if you're interested.  (You can search for them at barbershop.org, or contact me and I'll search for you.)
 
Disclaimer:  I'm not trying to sell "barbershop" as a solution, but I am familiar with what the BHS has to offer.  (...and just finished a production of "The Music Man" with the drama program at my kid's high school.)  :)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on May 5, 2014 4:11pm
Thank you for all your very helpful responses! :)
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