A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting

1st Edition

By Harold Rosenbaum


236 pages

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Paperback: 9781138058446
pub: 2017-10-16
Hardback: 9781138058422
pub: 2017-10-19
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315164281
pub: 2017-10-17
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Rooted in the experience of a professional choral conductor, this book provides a guide to practical issues facing conductors of choral ensembles at all levels, from youth choruses to university ensembles, church and community choirs, and professional vocal groups. Paired with the discussion of practical challenges is a discussion of over fifty key works from the choral literature, with performance suggestions to aid the choral conductor in directing each piece.

Dealing with often-overlooked yet vital considerations such as how to work with composers, recording, concert halls, and choral tours, A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting offers a valuable resource for both emerging choral conductors and students of choral conducting at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


"There can be no one better qualified to write a practical guide to conducting than Harold Rosenbaum…. This is an invaluable guide to conducting by a musician whose interpretations seem always on the mark and whose reverence for music is both keen and infectious."

—Clara Longstreth, New Music Connoisseur, Volume 23, No. 2

"Maestro Rosenbaum has produced an aptly named and very useful addition to the conducting bibliography … it is a compendium of accumulated wisdom from an accomplished and deeply experienced practitioner of the art. … A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting is an excellent textbook for choral techniques or choral conducting classes. It would also be a valuable asset for orchestral conductors developing competence with choirs. For experienced choral conductors, this is a rewarding read as a valedictory filled with many thoughtful nuggets and a sincere celebration of how lucky we are to do this work."

—Jonathan D. Green, for the Conductors Guild

"Harold Rosenbaum has a wealth of experience with professional choral ensembles, teaching at the collegiate level, and presenting choral conducting master classes. One of the standout topics in this book is working with other musicians, accompanists, solo singers, and orchestral players. A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting sheds light on lesser-discussed subjects and topics relevant to and useful for all choral musicians, and provides vital insight into all aspects of the choral art, and would be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of any choral conductor."

—Alan Davis, Choral Journal

Table of Contents

Part 1: Leadership, Logistics, and Decision Making

1. Responsibilities and Opportunities

2. Recruiting, Auditioning, and Assessing 

3. Choosing and Learning Repertoire 

4. Common Conductor Problems and How to Avoid or Fix Them 

5. The Importance of Acquiring a Solid Conducting Technique

6. Logistics: Arranging your Singers and Placing your Choir 

7. Running Rehearsals

8. Achieving a Better Choral Sound 

9. Special Choral Concepts and Techniques 

10. Collaborating with Other Performers 

11. Collaborating With, and Supporting Composers 

12. Concerts and Venues 

13. The Concert Experience - Directing and Savoring

14. Choral Tours 

15. Making a Recording 

16. Breaking Rules: When and Why It Is Acceptable

17. The World of Professional Choristers – An Inside Look at The New York Virtuoso Singers

18. Performing Modern Music

19. Final Thoughts

Part 2: Anthology

Appendix 1: Interpreting Johann Sebastian Bach’s: Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion) (Bärenreiter edition)

Appendix 2: Interpreting Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem

Appendix 3: Executing Fermatas in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung (The Creation) (Oxford University Press edition)

Appendix 4: Interpreting Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (Edition Peters Nr. 4250 or Dover Publications).


About the Author

Harold Rosenbaum is a critically acclaimed choral conductor who has led numerous choral ensembles over the course of a decades-long career. The founder of The New York Virtuoso Singers and The Canticum Novum Singers, he has collaborated with ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and has conducted 540 world premieres. Having taught at SUNY Buffalo, the Juilliard School, Queens College, and Adelphi University, he is now active as a guest conductor, clinician, and lecturer, and runs the Harold Rosenbaum Choral Conducting Institute, an annual program of conducting workshops. Visit his website at www.haroldrosenbaum.com to learn more.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Instruction & Study / Conducting