Petite Voix: An Endeavor in the Conducting Process

Open Access
Cox, Margaret
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Music Education
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christopher A Kiver, Thesis Supervisor
  • Joanne Rutkowski, Honors Advisor
  • Sue Ellen Haug, Faculty Reader
  • Repertoire Selection
  • Score Preparation
  • Rehearsal Planning
  • Concert Performance
The conductor of a musical ensemble has many responsibilities to prepare a group for a performance. As undergraduate students, few music education majors have the opportunity to be fully responsible for all aspects of the concert preparation process until they are out of the guided learning environment. This project was designed to provide me with an opportunity to assume full responsibility for preparing a choir for a recital. For the project, a recital choir of ten women’s voices rehearsed for three weeks and performed a recital of repertoire that I selected for the ensemble. Decisions made during the process were based on methodologies taught in my formal education as a future music educator and a review of standard literature on topics pertaining to repertoire selection, rehearsal strategies, and concert performance. I documented and reflected on my experience within the four main areas of conductor responsibility: Repertoire Selection, Score Preparation, Rehearsal, and Performance. Based on the experience, I provided recommendations to other beginning conductors including that they be familiar with the nature of their singers, avoid over-programming, schedule shorter, more frequent rehearsals, use original sources for background research, and provide the ensemble with director’s notes prior to the first rehearsal. In addition, I discussed the impact of the experience on my musical and educational philosophies.