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The shortest distance between the schooled choral director and teaching a jazz choir is the A Cappella Jazz Ballad. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina wrote some of my favorite choral music. My first “ah-ha” moment singing in a choir came while singing portions of his Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass) in my college choir.
In my teaching career I’ve had the opportunity to teach in three very distinct, very different school districts in the northwest. Oddly enough, my first school district was urban, my current school district is suburban, and the third district, in which I have spent the majority of my time, is rural. Each position has had certain advantages and challenges depending upon socio-economic status of the students, administrative support, and the content I was required to teach.
Overheard from some teachers … “I would like to start a jazz choir, but I just don’t know where to start!” Or… “I have a jazz choir, but I don’t always know what resources to use or where to find them.” Here are a few resources. Maybe this will help.
As a former (and still recovering) girl’s volleyball coach, I used to base my recruitment of singers on the same principles as my recruitment of athletes. After all, choir is like sport; a team activity, full of high performance drive, a dedication to excellence.