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What's the Difference Between an A-level Chorus and a C-level Chorus?

May 13, 2010

This question comes from a younger Society member who belongs to 52Eighty, 2010 Youth Chorus Festival Champions and Sound of the Rockies, 2009 international bronze medalist. He was a barbershopper elsewhere before moving to Colorado. We'll keep him anonymous so he can be blunt. Here's his question:

Having come from choruses that post scores no higher than a 55% [high C-level], and now singing with a chorus that can sing in the 90s, I can't put my finger on what exactly makes a chorus strive to do well enough to reach the A-level category [81 or higher].  I know that one of the chorus I sang with in [prior residence] can certainly produce the types of sounds you hear from the Vocal Majority or the Ambassadors of Harmony, but the discipline isn't there.  Obviously, not all choruses start out like Westminster, in fact most choruses don't start off as an A-level chorus.  What is needed in order to get the average and below-average choruses to obtain the discipline and work ethic needed to become A level?