Before the Singing: Structuring Children's Choirs for Success  -     By: Barbara Tagg
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Before the Singing: Structuring Children's Choirs for Success

Oxford University Press / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

How can a children's choir achieve artistic excellence? Drawing from her lifetime experience conducting the Syracuse Children's Chorus, Tagg provides the skills needed to nurture and sustain children's and youth choirs. This book is an essential tool for those who wish to start, further develop, or expand a youth choir for school, church, or community context. It focuses less about vocal development and conducting techniques, although these areas are not neglected, and more about the organizational matters needed to enable the music to thrive - from establishing a new non-profit organization to staffing and budgeting while also addressing music matters including auditions & rehearsals, developing musical programs, to improving singing ability and unity of choir sound.

  • Includes such topics as boards of directors, finances, rehearsals and parents, touring, negotiating transitions of artistic leadership, commissioning new works, promotion and fundraising, building community, preparing a choir to work with an orchestra and more.
  • Extensive repertoire list for children's choirs (over 700 titles)
  • Extensive bibliography of children's choir, business, leadership, music education, and arts related resources
  • Oxford University Press provides a companion website of extensive appendices that is equally helpful with sample policy statements, forms, evaluations, worksheets, timelines, and many more useful tools for those in this field.
  • Includes essays by fifteen nationally recognized leaders in the choral field including Alice Parker, Libby Larsen, Sandra Snow, and Jim Papoulis among others.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 296
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0199920702
ISBN-13: 9780199920709
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

All children must have an opportunity to share the joy of choral music participation - whether in school, church, or community choirs. What happens before the singing begins, is critical to supporting, sustaining, and nurturing choirs to give every child the opportunity to experience the wonder of choral singing.

Based on years of experience conducting and teaching, Barbara Tagg brings a wealth of practical information about ways of organizing choirs. From classroom choirs, to mission statements, boards of directors, commissioning, auditioning, and repertoire, Before the Singing will inspire new ways of thinking about how choirs organize their daily tasks.

The collaborative community that surrounds a choir includes conductors, music educators, church choir directors, board members, volunteers, staff, administrators, and university students in music education and nonprofit arts management degree programs. For all these, Tagg offers a wealth of knowledge about creating a positive environment to support artistry, creativity, dedication, and a commitment to striving for excellence.

Author Bio


Dr. Barbara M. Tagg is a member of the music education faculty at Syracuse University and conductor of the SU Women's Choir. She is founder and artistic director emeritus of the Syracuse Children's Chorus and has presented concerts and workshops in England, Europe, Canada, Hong Kong and China, as well as for universities and choral organizations throughout the United States.

Editorial Reviews


"Dr. Barbara Tagg has done it!! She has written the book we have all needed since the huge surge in the children's choir movement three decades ago. Structuring Children's Choirs for Success: Before the Singing provides the vast number of tools and resources necessary to run an exceptional children's choir. I only wish it had been available forty five years ago at the beginning of my career. This book is a must read!"--Jean Ashworth Bartle C.M., O. Ont., Founder/Conductor Laureate, Toronto Children's Chorus


"This is a timely manual for anyone who believes in the empowerment that choral singing can provide for young singers. Everything is here to support, inspire and guide everyone who wants to know how 'to do it'. Read it and absorb!"-Malcolm Goldring, Artistic Director, Sing UK


"A comprehensive and resourceful guide made available through a systematic organization of pointers gathered from years of experience. Useful advice on what has proven workable in subjects ranging from finance to logistics and singing."--Dr. Angelina Au, Senior Music Officer (Musicianship/Training Support), Music Office, Leisure & Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong


"[T]his book contains a wealth of practical information about choir organization, classroom choirs, mission statements, auditioning, repertoire, and more." --Teaching Music


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