Ward Choir Directors, Unite!

16 January 2006 at 8:21 pm 27 comments

I was a ward choir director in Bloomington, Indiana. I am now a ward choir pianist in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I want to share knowledge with those who fill these interesting callings. Hopefully this blog will provide a place for people to find out what is happening in the world of ward choir.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

When are your rehearsals?

27 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennie  |  26 January 2006 at 10:09 pm

    I am a new (second time around) choir director looking for advice on practicing the mechanics of directing: how to bring a part in, carry over a break, etc. Any video teaching methods out there?
    Also looking for ideas on getting more youth involved in our choir.

    • 2. Anne  |  16 July 2011 at 4:27 pm

      There is an excellent dvd course recently released by BYU’s Ron Staheli and Rosalind Hall called Masterful Choral Conducting. I think it’s $50. It covers everything you mentioned and much more. If you type the title in, it shoud get you to the website.

  • 3. wardchoir  |  27 January 2006 at 12:27 am

    Great questions. I have also wondered if there are video methods for choir directing.
    Have you tried directing in front of a mirror? I can’t say that I have done this much, but I think it might be a good place to start. I have to admit that I often forget to practice conducting until I am in front of the group, and this doesn’t make for the most impressive leadership. 😉
    I was able to get some youth involved by inviting a couple that play instruments to participate on a piece or two. Then there is my eight year old daughter that enjoys singing and does well enough to sing with the group. I think I could do more to involve the youth though.
    Thanks for adding some great questions to this fledgling attempt to find some ward choir answers.

  • 4. C.B.  |  28 July 2006 at 1:05 pm

    With the choir taking a break for part of the summer, I have
    families with children sing special musical numbers… They
    usually choose a primary song that ties in with the topic. It is a
    great way to get people who don’t usually even come to choir to sing… Not to mention the kids love it!! Sometimes it’s the sweetest voices with no “training” that bring the spirit to our meetings.

  • 5. Rhea Schomaker  |  2 August 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Is it that time already? I’m starting to think about Christmas music and programs. Does anybody have a great Christmas program you’d like to share with the group? Would you be willing to email your Christmas program to me? Email is rhearachelle@yahoo.com

    Incidentally, to the host of this webpage, I attended IU and participated in the Bloomington 3rd branch choir under the excellent of Margaret Gingrich. I’m now choir director of the Park City, UT ward.

    • 6. makaria  |  7 October 2009 at 11:37 pm

      Yes! Last year I used the book “This is the Season”. The book uses the lines from the Primary song with the same title. With each line there is a scripture and a quote form a prophet or general authority. I had two adult narrators to read the scripture and quote and a child narrator to read the song line. We had 3 choir numbers, 1 primary number, and 3 congregational numbers (including closing) and the timing worked out perfectly. It really made for a beautiful program! Good Luck!

      • 7. Deanna  |  10 October 2009 at 9:13 pm

        I’m trying to figure out what primary song you’re talking about and where you got that book

  • 8. G.B.  |  12 November 2006 at 8:24 pm

    I’m new to this, any responses for a Christmas program??

  • 9. G.B.  |  12 November 2006 at 8:26 pm

    Email me please if anyone has access to a Christmas program Samueleyeam@yahoo.com

  • 10. wardchoir  |  13 November 2006 at 9:05 am

    Sally Deford has a free Christmas cantata that has been recommended to me:

    Silent Night Cantata

    If you try it, let us know how it goes.

  • 11. Richard  |  19 June 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Question for you… Do you happen to know where I can get choral music for my choir that are arrangements of the pieces the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings?

    Is there a website that keeps track of the songs they sing?

    I’ve only been able to find Jackman Music and Jackman Music Express that carries arrangements that they have sung. Do you know of any other sites?


    • 12. Deb  |  10 July 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Day Murray Music 801-266-3537

      This is the go-to place for everything choir. If they don’t have it, they bend over backward to get it for you. I live in CA and I love their service.

      They also make great recommendations. They also know a lot about the Tabernacle Choir music available to the public.

      I love Ward Choirs!!

  • 13. H  |  26 June 2007 at 5:28 pm

    You might find the information you’re looking for here:

  • 14. Humberto Meza Mendez  |  11 July 2007 at 6:51 pm

    What a way of lossing your time!

  • 15. Karla Freebairn  |  23 September 2007 at 10:13 am

    Some of the best hymn arrangements I have found for my choirs over the years are found in the “We’ll Sing and We’ll Shout” Books. They are simple but you need a good accompanist.
    Thanks for having this website available. I have been a choir director on and off for many years and am not the Stake Music Director. I am looking for a good Christmas program for my Stake because I have used everything I have.

  • 16. Katie  |  12 March 2008 at 9:29 am

    Hi, I just wanted to let everybody know that I found some really beautiful and exceptionally good choral music at http://www.musicforthechurch.com. I don’t think it’s well known but it’s really beautiful!

  • 17. Janet Smiley  |  31 March 2008 at 9:59 am

    We were very pleased to read ‘Katie’s’ recommendation (posted March 12) of our music. She is right-we are not well known, but we are trying!
    Would it be possible to list our website on your MUSICFINDER? We have been in business for 4 years and are an honest, reliable company.
    I would also be very happy to send you samples of our choral music.
    Thank you very much,
    Janet Smiley
    Music For The Church Publishing

  • 18. wardchoir  |  31 March 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Janet,

    I looked at the previews of your music on your website and was quite impressed. I would love to see more samples of your music (I’ll e-mail you my address!)

    I will also add you to my MusicFinder.

  • 19. Janet Smiley  |  2 April 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks so much!
    I’ll put the samples in the mail today.
    Music For The Church Publishing

  • 20. Karen  |  29 April 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I have a website with ideas for ward choir directors: what to sing, how to conduct rehearsals, recruit etc. It is wardchoirhelp.googlepages.com. Also, for the person who was looking for what the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings, if you go to http://www.daymurraymusic.com, they have a list of arrangements that the Tabernacle Choir has sung. You can also see what they sang in General Conference on the 1st or 2nd page of the conference issue of the Ensign.

  • 21. Karen  |  29 April 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Sorry, the link for the url for my ward choir help website is: http://wardchoirhelp.googlepages.com/

  • 22. wardchoir  |  29 April 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Wow Karen! What an incredibly useful website — and very well organized to boot. Thanks for sharing it. I love the advice you give – in fact, I think it would be a great church publication!

  • 23. Spencer  |  9 November 2008 at 11:15 pm

    If you’re looking for videos on how to conduct, check out composer Michelle Willis’ site at http://www.tetonmusic.com/conducting.htm

  • 24. wardchoir  |  10 November 2008 at 12:08 am

    Thanks Spencer! What a great resource!

  • 25. Dixie  |  23 October 2009 at 11:06 am

    Does anyone know which Christmas cantata it is that has the gorgeous solo for Mary? I remember in the chorus she sings, “my heart sings, my heart sings . . . ”
    I know that’s not much to go on but maybe it will sound familiar to someone. Thank you

  • 26. Asalyn  |  25 September 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Has anyone found the sheet music for a version of Silent Night that I sang back in the early 70s. You could have the choir use the version in the hymnal and then a Soprano descant was added.
    Lyrics were (I only remember one verse)

    ‘Neath the silent stars a town in sleeping
    Flocks are safe within the fold
    Secure from danger want or cold

    Silent, Silent night
    Holy, holy night
    Sleep in peace
    Sleep in heavenly peace, in peace

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