Choral Development

While the Cecilian Singers are deeply missing the opportunity to sing and perform together, we decided it made sense for us to take advantage of this break in rehearsals to develop our choral skills. Our Director, Colin Elliott, has graciously agreed to put together a set of four Choral Development sessions for the Fall of 2020. These are available as online real-time Zoom meetings scheduled for 7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings. The sessions are being recorded and can be reviewed after they are posted on Youtube. Links to the Youtube recordings will be included in the list of sessions below as they become available.

  • September 30: Music Reading
  • October 21: Practice techniques for at home (including stretching and breathing)
  • November 18: Diction 1: German
  • December 9: Diction 2: Italian, Spanish, French

The sessions reference a number of online resources to help with developing your choral music theory skills and to assist with your practicing. The following is a list of resources we encourage all our members to use to ensure we continue to grow as choral musicians.

  • Choralia – Choralia provides free training aids for choral singers. Audio files are provided, which allow singers to gradually learn their parts by listening to electronically-synthesized sound. There are currently well over 1,000 choral songs available to help choristers learn their parts.
  • – has a comprehensive set of online lessons explaining the mechanics and structure of music writing so one can begin understanding sheet music. The web version is free, but smartphone apps can be purchased relatively inexpensively.
  • Sight Reading Factory – Sight Reading Factory is an online application for practicing sight reading and sight singing. The link supplied takes you to the voice lessons. There is a free trial, but it requires a paid subscription to fully use. There are mobile phone and tablet apps available.
  • EarMaster – A common way to recognize intervals is to associate them with reference songs that you know well. For example, the song Amazing Grace begins with a perfect fourth. So when you hear an interval that sounds like the beginning of Amazing Grace, you can quickly conclude that it’s a perfect fourth. EarMaster allows you to create a custom list of songs you are familiar with so you can more easily identify note intervals.

If you are not currently a member of the Cecilian Singers, but would be interested in joining us, you are welcome to participate in our online Choral Development sessions. Send an email to the conductor to inquire about joining the Cecilian Singers. You will then be invited to the Zoom meetings and will have the chance to meet some of our current members and get a good sense of our expectations and repertoire.