Musical Theatre | Choir Player

Songs from musical theatre suitable for choirs

In my experience musicals translate perfectly to a choir setting. Chorus numbers are brilliant for community choirs, giving them familiar and wonderful material to work with.

If you run more than one choir that perform together, you can split parts and characters across the choirs for a most dramatic effect. Musical numbers often feature male sections as character roles and this can lead to fun rehearsals and happy choir members.

Things to work on when teaching songs from musicals:

  • Timing
    There are often a lot of words in musical numbers, particular fast songs that require a lot of practice on timing and delivery – but again, this can be enormous fun if you turn it into a game
  • Memory
    Learning long passages of lyrics can be tricky for some choir members. I don’t insist everyone learns the lyrics off-book as I prefer that they perform than not and it can dissuade members from staying at choir if they are worried about it. We recently performed How Do You Know from the movie Enchanted using a Choir Player arrangement and most of the members managed most of the words from memory.
  • Gusto
    You really have to put your heart and soul into group numbers. Luckily they usually have a theme and often amusing lyrics. Little Shop of Horrors (available on Choir Player) demonstrates all of the above and choir members just love it
  • Sensitivity
    One of the wonderful things about musicals (and indeed, opera) is that the sense of the tragic is theatrically heightened allowing for a huge range of emotion when performing.
    Take Somewhere from West Side Story which we have arranged for Choir Player. The beginning is slow and full of emotion building to the most beautiful climax. This song challenges you to dig deep and draw on personal experiences to deliver the right feeling.

I always try to include a song from Musical Theatre in my seasons, and it’s always received brilliantly.

Jane

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