I seem to long have thought that a choir rehearsal is instrumental in value. That is, its value can be measured by what was learned during its course. And subsequently, a rehearsal period is as good as is the resulting concert.
Of course, this is simplistic. But I would claim I am not the only one to think along these lines. And, I suspect, we give the philosophical side of rehearsals less thought than we probably should. I will lay out some of my thoughts on the subject.
Just as a reminder: the vast majority of a choir’s activities are rehearsals. Depending on the group this naturally varies, but even an excellent amateur choir will rehearse ten times more than it performs. In less excellent groups, we might be talking about 95% rehearsals and 5% performance. And even a professional group will be closer to the tenfold mark.
If most of our time is spent in rehearsals, is it not worth considering that rehearsals are actually the most important element of a choir’s activity? That the choir’s well-being is actually more dependent on rehearsals than on performances? I actually believe so. If the rehearsals are rewarding, everything else will work as well. If there is a feeling of going forward as a choir, going deeper into the music with each rehearsal, overcoming obstacles that initially seem unsurmountable, choristers are motivated to come to rehearsals. All this creates a surge of energy that carries the choir and attracts new singers. And it is difficult to see how this would not translate into good performances.
If these thoughts whetted your appetite, I am glad. Namely, I plan to write a short series of blogs on the subject. Stay tuned for the next installment. It is shortly forthcoming.