Repertoire Community Choir Standards


  1. Selection
    • Repertoire should be appropriate for the level of the choir but should also be challenging in order to allow for growth.
    • Repertoire should reflect the voicing of the ensemble.
    • Repertoire should be representative of historically significant, established and new choral literature.
    • Repertoire should have artistic and educational value.
    • Repertoire should be a tool to reinforce musicianship.
    • Repertoire should allow for cultural diversity.
  2. Presentation
    • Repertoire should be presented using authentic period performance practices.
    • To memorize or not? That is the question.
  3. Instrumental accompaniment
    • Repertoire should be drawn from both a cappella and accompanied literature.
    • Performance should include instrumentation when possible to heighten the artistic experience.
    • Accompaniment should utilize authentic performance practices.
    • Major works should utilize full orchestral accompaniment if possible.

Choral Vocal Production

  1. Vocal Health
    • Director must be aware of voice needs by gender.
    • Director must be aware of voice needs by age.
      1. changing voice
      2. aging voice
    • Director must be aware of and model good vocal health habits.
    • Director must incorporate good pedagogical practices into rehearsal.
  2. Intonation and tuning
    • Director must be aware of and employ philosophies of vowel formation, modification, correct breathing, etc.
    • Director must teach singers how to listen to and analyze their sound in relationship to other singers.
    • Director must be aware of and employ philosophies of blend and balance (i.e. seating/standing arrangements, acoustic standing and blend, etc.).
    • Director should challenge choir members to grow as musicians. Set the bar high and singers will rise to the occasion.
  3. Style
    • Director must guide singers to produce different tone colors, as required by the literature, in a healthy manner.
    • Director must be knowledgeable of stylistic and historical performance practices and convey them to the singers.

Rehearsal Techniques and Instruction

  1. Director should employ various rehearsal techniques to keep rehearsals artistically fresh.
    • Visualization
    • Imagery
    • Conducting gestures
    • Textual interpretation
    • Use of movement
    • Use of technology
      • rehearsal CD's
      • SmartMusic
      • iPod recordings for reference
      • Post-rehearsal directors notes sent via email/Facebook/Twitter
  2. Director should keep rehearsals artistically stimulating.

Professional Growth & Development

  1. Copyright literacy
    • Directors will support and promote the copyright laws of the United States.
      • ACDA and its affiliates prohibit the use of photocopies or duplication's of copyrighted material at all conventions and events. Likewise, ACDA will not support such practices in any setting.
      • Directors of community choirs will know and understand the copyright laws pertaining to audio and video performance licensing and educate their choirs in support of those laws.
  2. Networking
    • Choir directors
      • It is important to the growth of the choral director to stay current in their field.
      • Build bridges with other choral directors by attending workshops, conventions, reading sessions, etc.
    • Choir members
      • It is important to the growth of the choir to know they are not the only choir out there.
      • Build bridges with other choral directors by attending workshops, conventions, reading sessions, etc.
      • Participate in ACDA sponsored festivals and performances.
    • Continuing education for directors
      • Attend performances. Learn through observation and evaluation.
      • Attend state, divisional and national ACDA conventions.
      • Attend reading sessions.
      • Read journals and books on the profession.

Recruitment and Retention

  • Perform. The best marketing tool for your choir is your choir.
  • Partner with educational institutions (colleges, high schools).
  • Open your rehearsals to the community.
  • Travel whenever possible. Trips represent the choir and your community to the world at large.
  • Produce recordings of performances.
  • Celebrate your successes and achievements.

Audience Development and Education

  1. Educational outreach
    • Network with civic, social and philanthropic organizations.
    • Network with local schools. Make education part of the choir's mission.
      • Classroom outreach
      • Ethnic outreach
      • Sponsor scholarships, competitions and festivals
      • Provide recording opportunities
      • Give "combined" performances with school choirs.
    • Network with other choirs and arts organizations.
  2. Audience development
    • Network with civic, social and philanthropic organizations.
    • Educate the audience through the use of program notes and professional programs.
    • Create collaborative partnerships with other choirs and arts organizations.
    • Create press/media lists to disseminate concert information.
    • Write op-ed articles for local newspapers.
    • Use themed concerts to draw in new concert-goers.


  • Promote community choirs within ACDA and other organizations.
  • Be a spokesperson for the benefits of singing as a life-long avocation.
  • Maintain active membership in ACDA and your state affiliate.
  • Commission compositions for choir.
  • Sponsor composition contests.
  • Promote the value of ACDA membership to non-members.


  1. Governance boards
    • Be an active participant in the governance of your choir.
    • Understand the roles and responsibilities of board members.
    • Recruit, train and retain new members of the governance boards.
    • Assist with budgets and funding of the choir.
  2. Artistic director
    • Understand your role in relationship to the choir and governance board.
      • contracts
      • compensation
      • other duties
      • evaluation
    • Sharing creative artistry. Avail yourself of the talents of your choir members. Don't be afraid to delegate or ask for help.
    • Audition procedures. Tailor them to meet your choirs' needs.
  3. Technology
    • Keep abreast of the latest technology developments.
    • Incorporate technology into the rehearsal and governance of the choir.
    • Develop choir websites to get your message out there.