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American Choral Directors Association

Women's Choir Repertoire & Standards Leadership

Women's Choir R&S Standards

Women's Choir R&S Standards
Phillip A. Swan, National Chair

The following lists are suggested as a means to enhance women's choirs and to provide guidance to conductors. They are stated as actions conductors undertake to build and uphold the standards of the profession.  

Repertoire Standards

  • Perform music composed specifically for the mature female ensemble
  • Seek out repertoire that is challenging and interesting to mature female singers
  • Educate the choir and audiences about the historic choral repertoire as well as new compositions
  • Perform music based upon worthwhile texts of literary significance
  • Promote and perform music that educates singers about the music of various world cultures
  • Commission works for women's choir by female and male composers
  • Program music from the historic women's repertoire prior to the 2oth century in order to expose singers to the entire spectrum of music
  • Research and incorporate authentic performance practices appropriate to the genre and stylistic period of the music performed
  • Keep abreast of new repertoire by attending reading sessions, searching the internet, and attending concerts
  • Advocate for quality compositions  and encourage other conductors to perform quality music
  • Seek a varied repertoire of sacred and secular genres and styles in order to broaden the choral education of the singers

Professional Standards

  • Become involved in professional organizations such as ACDA
  • Attend conferences at the local, state, division, and national level
  • Advocate for women's choir issues and promote women's choir events
  • Promote equal treatment of female singers in all-states and other auditioned choirs
  • Place women's ensembles on an equal footing with other ensembles by allowing comparable travel, audition, and social opportunities
  • Teach sight-reading regularly and make music literacy a priority
  • Seek out alliances with other women's choir conductors  
  • Listen to recordings of excellent women's choirs to develop an ear for age-appropriate tone quality
  • Study vocal pedagogy in order to teach healthy singing technique in the choral ensemble
  • Read journal articles and books pertaining to the vocal training and the choral art
  • Show support for choral composers and publishers by not illegally photocopying music
  • Participate in and promote festivals and other events for women's choirs
  • Study choral acoustics and relate the information to standing arrangements, spacing, rehearsal halls and performance spaces