-speech choir or choral speaking has a hallowed and proud tradition. -The first plays put on by Greeks featured choruses of speakers. -Today, speech choir is a popular teaching tool, as well as a performing art in itself. -Speech choir operates like a music choir minus the music. Instead of singing, speech choirs perform spoken-word pieces.
A speech choir is a powerful art that is experiencing a revival. There is tremendous satisfaction that comes from learning to speak well, and even a greater enjoyment that comes from speaking elegantly and powerfully as a group. The abilities and techniques you will learn as a member of a speech choir will become an asset in your social life. Your words become better understood, richer, and more significant than daily speech.
In the book, Choral Speaking and the Verse Choir, Kingsley Povenmire offers this definition of the choir itself: "A verse choir is a group of people experiencing together, expressing thoughts and feelings largely and freely for the purpose of communicating with each other and an audience, being led by a director and adapting themselves to the disciplines of the art of group oral interpretation."
2 Types of Speech Choir • Conventional Speech choir -it is also called the traditional -has no use of costumes, nor props, nor choreography -the choir simply speaks or read • Dynamic -it is also called the theatrical
Elements of a Speech Choir • Members A speech choir is typically the same size as a singing choir having anywhere from 12-100 members or more. More schools and competitions feature choirs of 25 to 40 members.
Pieces Selections are typically poems or poetic passage such as from Greek dramas or Shakespeare's plays. • Choreography it is not a necessary component for a speech choir. However, in the Greek tradition, speech choirs marched from side to side in alternating patterns called “strophe” and “aristrophe”.
I’ll Never Fall in Love AgainBurt Bacharach What do you get when you fall in love?A girl with a pin to burst your bubbleThat’s what you get for all your troubleI’ll never fall in love againI’ll never fall in love again What do you get when you kiss a girl?You get enough germs to catch pneumoniaAfter you do, shell never phone yaI’ll never fall in love againI’ll never fall in love again Don’t tell me what it’s all aboutCause I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m notOut of those chains those chains that bind youThat is why I’m here to remind you What do you get when you fall in love?You only get lies and pain and sorrowSo far at least until tomorrowI’ll never fall in love a- gainI’ll never fall in love a- gain
Costuming As with any performance art, thought should be put into how the speech choir will dress. Costumes can be as simple as matching outfits or robes. Plain uniforms allow the audience to concentrate on facial expressions and allow the choir to recite several very different pieces in one performance. However, a theme costume for a single piece can highlight its meaning or help to differentiate between voice groups.
Voice quality The ability to combine successfully the light, medium, and dark voices in the choir. The ability to communicate, through voice, reactions to thoughts or emotions. • Pitch It refers to the variations of the voice on the musical scale is generally referred to as infection.
Power Ability to use volume, force or loudness as emphasis in appropriate places to better express feeling and meaning. • Tempo It refers to the rate of speed at which a reading progresses. The ability to balance the rhythm
Staging The ability to successfully organized and position the choir on stage or risers for performance effect. The ability to stage entrances and exits which enhance the mood of the poem and performance.
Things to remember in doing Speech Choir • Breathing -noting where it makes sense to take breath, so you don’t interrupt the word flow but have enough breath to make it through the line. -Breathing in performance links you with your whole group, calms your nerves, and gives your performance life.
Articulation and Diction -By practicing your articulation and diction, your words will be clear and vibrant. -Diction is a learned skill; articulate strongly in rehearsal and in your everyday life. • Connection to the group -onstage, the choir is your family.
-Listen to those around you. Connecting with them will eliminate any stage fright. If anything unexpected happens, the group must respond and correct together. • The Text -the text is your guide, it’s what the audience came to see and hear you perform.
- let your audience “see’ what you are saying. - let your personal reaction to the words sprinkle meaning on the performance.
Thank you! God Bless You!