In addition to celebrating the history of male choirs in the United States, Conducting Men’s Choirs provides a thorough and practical guide for working with TTBB choruses of any age or experience. The chapters by Jerry Blackstone, Jefferson Johnson, and J. Reese Norris display knowledge gained from over seventy years of collective experience. Additionally, Trott has designed the book to be an outstanding repertoire resource and a window to future possibilities through the inclusion of Marques Garrett’s chapter ‘Composing and Arranging for Male Choirs’ and Gary Packwood’s chapter ‘From Entertainment to Social Justice: Examining Men’s Community Choruses in America.’ The content in Conducting Men’s Choirs represents theory and practice that will benefit all conductors of TTBB choruses.
Florida State University
Inspired by Debra Spurgeon’s pioneering book Conducting Women’s Choirs, this companion resource, compiled and edited by Donald Trott, brings together the expertise of eighteen acknowledged authorities on men’s choirs. Conducting Men’s Choirs addresses the unique challenges, considerations, and joys of making music with male singers.
The book is organized into three major sections, the first of which contains historical essays on male choirs in the United States. The chapters in this section span a range of relevant topics, including glee clubs in colleges and universities, an examination of some of the nation’s most esteemed and accomplished male choirs, and the role of male community choruses in America.
The second section explores key aspects of working with male singers that are vital to the success of any conductor of male choirs. Topics addressed include:
- How to start a male choir and recruit male singers.
- Working with middle school boys and the developing adolescent voice.
- Pedagogical considerations for male voices.
- Procedures for improving intonation.
- Standing formations.
- Women conductors of male choirs.
- How to arrange and compose for men’s choirs.
A thorough discussion of repertoire for men’s choirs rounds out this resource in the book’s third and final section. Chapter authors explore men’s choir repertoire from a variety of angles: Renaissance music, works by Schumann, Canadian repertoire, and the music of Veljo Tormis. Extensive repertoire listings with hundreds of titles for men’s chorus are also provided for quick and easy reference.
Conducting Men’s Choirs is essential for anyone working with male choirs in any capacity. Equally suited for novice teachers and seasoned professionals, this collaborative resource is the culmination of decades of experience and wisdom by leaders in the profession.
Donald Trott is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Mississippi (Oxford), where he conducts the Concert Singers, Men’s Glee, and University Chorus. He is also the director of the graduate program in choral conducting and is past president of the Southern Division of ACDA.