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What Does a Choir Director Do?

Choir directors are responsible for conducting a choral singing group.
Church choirs might perform as part of Sunday services, weddings and funerals.
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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2014
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A choir director, sometimes called a choral director, is the leader of a choir. He or she is the foreman or forewoman generally responsible for everything the choir does. From choosing which songs to sing, selecting the locations to perform, to picking the attire, all major decisions of a choir are typically made by the director. As the director has so many responsibilities in a choir, the choir's achievements as well as its shortcomings may rest solely on his or her shoulders. To become a choir director, an individual will need to have a great deal of musical training, be organized and possess strong leadership skills.

Generally, the duties of a choir director can be numerous, and he or she may carry out more than one duty at a time. The first thing a director may do is assemble a choir. To do this, he or she may hold auditions where different singers can come in to showcase their skills. Once the choir is assembled the director is typically responsible for holding rehearsals. The date, time and duration of the rehearsals are usually left to the discretion of the director.

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Choirs perform for all kinds of occasions. They perform concerts, as part of church services, in weddings and at funerals. A choir can play a very important part in any of these types of events. For this reason, performing appropriate music selections can be vital for a choir to be successful. It is typically the duty of the choir director to make these music selections, which will generally depend on the occasion and the type of music the environment calls for.

One of the greatest jobs of a choir director is to direct the choir through songs. He or she will typically stand before the choir and lead them through various selections. The choir will generally look to the director for signals to perform certain acts during a song, such as adding emphasis to certain parts or holding notes. Additionally, a director may double as a performer as well. Often, directors are very gifted musicians and they may join in and become part of the choir at times.

Traveling is another common duty of choir directors. They may accompany the choir to perform at competitions, showcases, and public and private events. The director will generally act as a supervisor while the group is on the road. He or she may check to make sure the members are where they are supposed to be and doing what he or she has called them to do. This type of supervision may more generally be applied to a school choir director, who may be chaperoning young students, although choir members of any age will generally be required to report to the director at some point while traveling together.

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