In less than a century, the choir concept has changed. It is far the old picture of a choir boy quietly immobile on the mezzanine in the back of the church to support the liturgical singing of the parishioners. Later, when the organs replaced the choir in this role, the choir changes his duties to become an integral part of religious ceremonies.
That main choice of “Black Gospel” is the home of holy pop music. It integrates different aspects: the solo singing, singing in group, “the little orchestra” and the physical expression. We now talk about a choir as a non-religious group with non-fixed number, ideally a minimum of fifteen or twenty people and more. In the world of Gospel, we can cross formations to several hundred voices called mass choirs or large choirs.
The skeleton of a choir, the categories of voice:
- Alto 1 (high-pitched) / Alto 2 (deep)
Tenor 1 (acute) / Tenor 2 (deep)
This distribution is indicative of course, a choir can quite properly speak in unison or polyphonic without the need for the classical distribution. It depends on the cultural context.
For its part, the modern gospel speaks with three or four voices (soprano, tenor, alto, bass)
Vocally, classically, the choir elements are driven by a choir singing master who establish the melodies. The choir is then led by the choirmaster following harmony, correct if necessary and anticipates for all singers attacks, dynamics and rhythm structure. In this regard, the choirs of GI have a special feature: the choirmaster plays the two roles of setting up the singing and directing the choir.
The new approach of Choir:
Unlike classical singers, the singers “Gospel” are not at all obliged to know music theory. Indeed, the harmonic melodic and rhythmic montages are provided by the choir director who vocalizes himself. During the learning phase he samples the voices according to different music stands as described above.
He can at will according to the qualities of the group transform the arrangements, and even review the phrasing. His constant concern is to improve well known standards in a more original way, harmonically and rhythmically.
Nevertheless, each choir director has his own originality. The singers will have to be receptive and show a great deal of concentration, listening, patience and tolerance. Only the rehearsal allows fast and efficient learning.
In the end the spirit of a choir is only led by the cohesion of the group which is not always easy to achieve. The most important is the charisma of the choir director and the goodwill of singers for a successful project. The pleasure and the place of the singer are relatively long to emerge, but the choir is the best way to progress vocally while living a group experience. It is during the time of exchange with a satisfied audience that things become meaningful. To do so the choir is a real school of life. It is an accessible and complete leisure for those who want to start or affirm themselves through singing. It’s a real human experience: we learn to leave room for the others but also to take some for us for the happiness of all.
Chorale Grenoble Gospel Singers with Franklin AKOA MVA
On Thursdays from 18:30 to 21:30 at Lycée du Grésivaudan Meylan
180€ per year
Messengers Gospel Choir with Emmanuel Djob
1 Saturday per month from 16:00 to 20:00 – ask for planning at the secretary office
30€ per lesson / 250€ per year