Monday, March 12, 2018

When singers don’t show up – how to rehearse effectively

The other week it snowed quite badly where I live. I held a rehearsal as usual, but only 23 singers turned up out of 56.

Munich uni choir

We have a concert coming up soon. What do you do when so many singers are missing?

There will inevitably be times when life intervenes and a singer can’t make a rehearsal. Occasionally a whole chunk of singers might be missing due to weather conditions, road closures, flu epidemic, etc. How do you cope when you’ve got a concert to prepare for?

My principle is to work with what you’ve got.

It’s no good people saying “Trudy will be here on the day” or “I’ve left a space beside me for Derek”.

The fact is that neither Trudy or Derek are here now.

It may be four weeks until your concert, or the afternoon of the gig. Either way, you only have the singers you have and you need to make the best of it.

Try to cultivate the mind-set of “These are exactly the right singers I need” and not hang on to what might have been.

Don’t let missing singers bring out any negativity. You can spend the whole rehearsal fretting about what is not happening, but it’s best to use your energy to accept what is happening.

You may have to make adjustments to the structure or arrangement of a song. You might have to get people to stand in a different configuration. You may even have to drop a song from your set. But the fact is these are the singers you’ve got and you need to make it work.

It may be that on the day of the concert itself some of the missing singers turn up. Just slot them in to the new set-up and think of it as an added bonus.

By approaching missing singers like this, it makes it clear that nobody is indispensable and it may focus the singers minds next time they think about bunking off a rehearsal!

You might also like to read Don’t stress about things you can’t control

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Chris Rowbury



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