Achieving a Better Choral Sound
This chapter focuses on both the individual and the choral "voice." Warm-ups and vocal exercises can be essential tools for achieving an overall better sound. Some conductors spend a large part of each rehearsal doing them. Others choose to bypass the warm-up process, and instead monitor and improve the choir's sound throughout the rehearsal. Singers should focus on the contribution of their individual sounds and musicality to the performance. Forcing the tone and singing too loudly can lead to vowel distortion, pitch distortion, and excessive vibrato. Singers in general should be encouraged, when singing the "ah" vowel, to open their mouths wide to achieve a pure "ah". If a conductor of a school or community choir wishes to perform a selection of opera choruses, vibrato and blend will temporarily cease to be a major concern. If a choir is singing in its native language, make sure that the words are projected clearly and that the diction is not sloppy.