The Choir and Choirmasters, The Choir: According to Elder Malachy Okokon, The position of Levites were expartiated to help the choristers in their Churches, to defined their outstanding purposes in the church. The two words Choir and choral are sometimes synonymous in both purpose and position. Out of ignorance, some choristers believe that the choir is a place for passing away time after much struggle at the end of the . Others also consider it as a social clubs especially when the group is generous in assisting their members in times of needs. Still, others see choir as a authentic grounds to meet the life partner or choral group as a dancing group to display Their steps of course, these do not comprehend the significant meaning of Choir. This book therefore aimed at giving the concise meaning of the choir, enhancing the successfulness of a good choral group performance.
Definition of choir
Therefore, Choir is defined as group or company of persons trained to sing together, especially to glorify God or other purposes. The performance of any choir and choral group is determined by its leader, ‘Choirmaster’ therefore, Choirmaster may not be any other person but competent and knowledge enough to assist the Choir to meet it’s require standard.
The Choirmaster or Choir director
The Choir that is worthy of emulation, hence becoming a member, ( standard Choir) depends on the Choirmaster. The water cannot rise above it level, like the Choirmaster like the choir. Therefore the Choirmaster affects the performance of his positively or negatively.
Who is a Choirmaster?
A Choirmaster, or Choir director or music director is usually a leader, who Master the Choir, teaches songs, conduct and control the Choir as well as bearing the burden of such Choirs and brings out the Joy of a composer during performance.
The Choirmaster is expected to have knowledge of music rudiments. He must have musical ear. He is the number one person in the choir to pilot the affairs of the Choir. A Choirmaster should be treated with all amount of respect and honour since his position is Paramount important and valuable.
Qualities of a good Choirmaster
A good Choirmaster must:
i. Be a Good musician : This does not necessarily means that he should play a instrument but a good Choirmaster should have a cultivated ear for music, having a musical ear to detect when any voice or instrument is singing out of keys and control.
ii. Posses a good knowledge of music: in this case a good Choirmaster has tendency of differentiating beats, say sulfa notes, staff or both effectively, can also interpret time signatures in music. He must be able to teach any kind of music at all time, according to the composer’s desire. This will help to convey the musical mood to the audience.
iii. Be of a good personality: The magnitudes of the Choirmaster personality affect discipline and coax from his performers, under his direction. He should be highly discipline but rate with his choristers in tactical and reasoning manner.
iv. Posses Sense of humility and co- operation: A Choirmaster should be humble by attitude, submissiveness should an outstanding attributes, shun pride and show characters Worthy of emulation. Similarly he should not isolate himself from the Choir and see himself as the only cock to crow but learn to accept corrections when mistakes arises. Dulliness is not part of humility, should be bright and agile. While cooperating, it does not mean having an extraordinary affair with opposite sex.
v. Posses Good sense of discipline: Choirmaster must be a disciplinarian. A Choirmaster becomes a laughing stock when discipline is rolled away from his leadership style. A Choirmaster should control his speeches, the way he plays, the way he dresses and all his relationship with choristers. He should ensure that his Choir obeys church rules and regulations alongside with that of the Choir.
vi. Trustworthy: A good Choirmaster should learn to be truthful in every dealings he must not too rigid in Issues but you to control your choristers. You have to keep your time of rehearsals so that they may follow your mode.
vii. Master the rudiments of music: Interpretations of musical terms, signs, symbols as well as teaching them effectively qualifies a good Choirmaster. Similarly, understanding the basic in pronunciation also make such a good Choirmaster. In summary, the major function of a Choirmaster are categorized in three fold: personal study, rehearsals and performance.
Similarly, the minor ones are to lead, directs and control the Choir.
Elder Malachy Okokon.