A study of the collegiate non-auditioned, mixed choral ensemble : its purpose, its peculiarities, and its potential

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Lamb, Christina G.
Ester, Don P.
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Thesis (D.A.)
School of Music
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This research project was a study of the non-auditioned, mixed collegiate choral ensemble. The investigation focused on successful ensembles of this type at five universities in the midwestern United States. The purpose of the study was to investigate the ensemble's need for existence and its function within the university's choral program, to research teaching strategies that work with such a unique ensemble, and to discover tactics which help this type of group reach its full potential. Information for the study was garnered through observations of the five choirs, through surveys of the group participants, and through interviews with the conductors.A total of 372 participants completed surveys. The surveys contained a variety of questions regarding group demographics, reasons for participating, rehearsal techniques, repertoire, and benefits of participating. Responses were compiled and then analyzed for similarities and differences. Three types of statistical tests were utilized to discover if significant differences existed. For those responses which were of a nominal nature, a chisquare test was used to determine if there was any significant interaction between the responses and the various ensembles. For those responses which were of a numerical nature, an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was performed to determine if there were any significant differences among the choirs. If significant differences were detected (p<.05), a Tukey HSD post hoc test was utilized to determine where the differences occurred. For those questions which were of a qualitative nature, responses were simply compiled and compared for similarities and differences.The five conductors were interviewed and questioned regarding the purpose of their ensemble, the type of teaching strategies they incorporate, the structure of their rehearsals, any methods of motivation and reinforcement they use, and what techniques they use to help the ensemble reach its full potential.Some similarities were discovered among the five choirs, with the most striking one being the high level of satisfaction among the participants. Significant differences were also discovered between the choirs in a variety of areas, including reasons for participating, group perception, evaluation of the conductor's rehearsal techniques, and productivity of the rehearsal.