Repertoire College and University Standards


The conductor of college and university choral ensembles serves as teacher, mentor, collaborator, and advocate for students, colleagues, composers, and the profession as a whole. These standards seek to encapsulate the conductor's responsibility in the selection, preparation and presentation of choral music with college and university choral ensembles, as well as in the development of musically astute, vocally flexible, and historically informed choral musicians.


  • Select and perform repertoire appropriate to the preparation, expertise, and composition of the ensemble.
  • Select and perform repertoire that exploits the voice's unique characteristics while avoiding its weaknesses.
  • Seek out both standard and more obscure repertoire of historical significance that is challenging and interesting to college and university-level singers.
  • Select repertoire that allows ensembles to experience both historic choral repertoire and new compositions.
  • Select repertoire that supports the teaching of healthy vocal production.
  • Perform repertoire representative of western and non-western cultures.
  • Seek out and perform repertoire that utilizes distinctive and thought-provoking texts with the potential to teach and/or move the ensembles members and audience.
  • Educate ensembles and audiences in performance practices appropriate to the music being performed.
  • Seek out newly composed repertoire by attending reading sessions, searching the internet, attending concerts, and soliciting repertoire ideas from colleagues
  • Advocate for the performance of compositions of quality, and encourage colleagues to do the same.
  • Seek a balanced repertoire of sacred and secular compositions
  • To the extent possible, perform selected repertoire with the accompaniment originally intended by the composer.

Choral Vocal Production:

  • Practice good vocal hygiene and encourage singers to do the same.
  • Seek out personal vocal coaching to maintain the conductor's voice at its optimum level of efficiency.
  • Seek out pedagogical research and publications addressing the particular needs of choral singers.
  • Establish lines of communication with college/university voice faculty for the common benefit of the students.
  • Remain cognizant of issues of vocal fatigue and stamina and adjust techniques accordingly.
  • Achieve intonation and tonal cohesion, within the context of the conductor's aesthetic, through a variety of vocally appropriate and healthy techniques

Rehearsal Techniques and Instruction:

  • Plan rehearsals that efficiently and thoroughly prepare ensembles for performance
  • Incorporate an understanding and appreciation of vocal health, hydration, and stamina into the rehearsal process.
  • Provide ensembles with clear and reasonable guidelines for rehearsal demeanor and expectations.
  • Provide opportunities outside of rehearsals for students to discuss rehearsal planning, process, and strategy.


  • Perform with artistic integrity, giving careful attention to accuracy of pitches, rhythms, dynamics, and articulation.
  • Demonstrate in performance the ensemble's understanding of the meaning, mood, and shape of texts being sung.
  • Perform with appropriate sensitivity to and understanding of the music's cultural and historical context.
  • To the extent possible and in the context of the conductor's individual aesthetic, employ historically appropriate performance practices.

Professional Growth & Development:

  • Comply with all applicable copyright laws in the acquisition and performance of published choral music.
  • Comply with all applicable copyright and licensing laws in the creation and distribution of rehearsal aids (recordings), archive recordings, and recordings created for distribution.
  • Actively seek out opportunities to interact with other conductors and colleagues in the field
  • Maintain an active agenda of research and performance
  • Remain current with pedagogical and research publications which inform the preparation and performance of college/university choral ensembles.
  • Be an active participant in professional organizations on the local, state, regional, and national levels, including ACDA, that specialize in topics related to the choral art.

Recruitment and retention:

  • Establish and maintain relationships with area high school choral faculty, offering guidance, clinics, and assistance as feasible when requested.
  • Provide or accept opportunities for ensembles to perform for and with area high school choirs.
  • To the level possible, provide community-building and recruitment opportunities for choral ensembles including tours, festivals, and performances for professional organizations

Audience Development and Education:

  • Provide audiences with a balanced presentation of historic, newly composed, accompanied, unaccompanied, small form, and extended repertoire.
  • Provide audiences with information necessary to appreciate the music being performed, including translations into the vernacular, explanations of cultural context, and insight into the compositional process.
  • Educate concert presenters in the particular needs of choral ensembles, including space, acoustics, and accompanying instruments.


  • Advocate for choral music education as a central component of music teacher preparation.
  • Seek out opportunities to demonstrate, through performance or explanation, the role of aesthetic education in the total education of students of any level.
  • Encourage the inclusion of choral ensembles in events and activities where participation would spotlight the art, honor the ensemble and its work, and further the public's understanding and appreciation of choral performance.

Preparation for the future:

  • Provide opportunities outside of rehearsals for students to discuss repertoire evaluation and selection, rehearsal strategies, rehearsal techniques, and preparation process.
  • Encourage students to be active participants in national professional organizations, including ACDA.
  • Assist students in their preparation for competitions and other extra-curricular conducting opportunities.
  • As appropriate, provide opportunities for choral music education and choral conducting students to rehearse and perform with choral ensembles
  • Encourage students to attend state, regional, and national ACDA conferences.
  • Assist students in networking with leaders in the field through participation in ACDA events and in the events of other sister organizations.
  • Encourage students to be lifelong singers, providing introductions and referrals to post-college church/synagogue, community, and professional choral experiences as appropriate.