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Additional Activities

Coaching Apprentice & Observer Program

The coaching apprentice program is designed to give participants the opportunity to learn practical coaching skills while observing an experienced coach. Some participants will be interested in simply observing and taking notes for future reference as potential coaches. Others will be eager to observe and have some hands-on experience under the guidance of an experienced faculty coach. Those interested in eventually applying to be a certified judge may find the Coaching Apprentice Program (CAP) to be a good step to developing the types of coaching skills that will be required as a judge. There’s something for everyone as a CAP. Please note that in order to allow participation by as many HU attendees as possible, CAP participants should not expect to be admitted to the program on an on-going basis, year after year.

This year there will be two (2) options for participating in the Coaching Apprentice Program:

  • Observer
  • Apprentice

Those accepted into the Coaching Apprentice Program are also expected to make themselves available to serve as backstage crew and backstage guides for the on-stage performers appearing on the Friday and Saturday evening shows.


Observers do just that…they observe with no expectation of having any opportunity to work hands-on with one of the ensembles as an active coach. Observers watch the coach, take notes on what the coaches do, note new things they have learned while observing, etc. Observers may ask the coach(es) questions after the coaching session, but they are to be a fly on the wall during the coaching sessions unless the coach asks them for input. Observers will meet with the CAP Leader each day for a one (1) hour class covering what they’ve observed, giving them things to look for during the coaching sessions, discussing things that have come up during coaching sessions, coaching techniques observed, how the coach handled challenges, etc. Observers are encouraged to attend Elements of Coaching and/or Coaching Under Glass, with assignments to gather data, find answers to coaching questions, etc.


Apprentices will have the opportunity to work hands-on with one of the coaches at some level of frequency. The coach and CAP Leader will decide at what level s/he is comfortable and willing to let the apprentice work, based on the apprentice’s experience, demeanor, the chemistry between the coach and apprentice, between the apprentice and the ensemble, etc. Apprentices should not expect to actively participate in the coaching sessions until at least Wednesday or Thursday of the HU week; although, based on the apprentice’s experience, demeanor, etc. the coach may decide to invite the apprentice’s participation sooner. Apprentices are encouraged to take Elements of Coaching, Coaching Under Glass, and category-specific Coaching (MUS, PERF, SNG, SHOW). Apprentices will meet with the CAP Leader for one (1) hour each day to work on development of a specific skill (interpersonal communication, interpersonal conflict, coaching styles, etc.) and/or to just check in about their progress and share with the other apprentices and the CAP Leader what they are learning through their observations.

eXtreme Quartetting Harmony Brigade

Not for the faint of heart, this is for experienced quartetters who will arrive solidly prepared on 8 outstanding medalist-level arrangements, which will be provided along with stellar learning tracks. Your application must be approved, as there is a limit of 15 on each voice part. This is not a chorus activity; it is for experienced quartetters who are used to holding their own in a quartet.

If you are participating in one of the main XQ Brigades in 2019, you'll already have the music package. Otherwise, there is a $35 fee to cover the licensing cost of the music package. The arrangements used are written for male vocal ranges. Women are welcome to apply if they have the voice range for one of the parts.

The arrangements used are written for male vocal ranges. While most participants are men, women are also welcome to apply if they have the voice range for one of the parts. Please do not “just show up” for the eXtreme Harmony Brigade at HU; you must apply for it in advance.