Choral festival sight reading is designed to evaluate the ability of students to sing music that they are viewing for the first time. MSVMA recommends that students and directors select a sight reading method and practice it as part of class/ensemble rehearsals.
Whether a group is singing for a final determination or comments only, all choirs - junior high/middle/high school - are required to sight read. Choirs singing for comments only may request a sight reading clinic.
Director of Sight Reading & Music Selection
High School: Choirs must sight read at the same voicing (unison, 2-part, SAB, etc.) and proficiency level (Primary, Intermediate, Advanced) as the required performance selection. A choir may sight read at a more complex division or higher proficiency level. If the voicing of the required selection is different than the printed sight reading example, the director and adjudicator will determine the appropriate voicing.
Junior High/Middle School: Choirs must sight read at the same voicing (Unison, 2-part,SAB, etc.) as the required selection. Directors may choose the sight reading proficiency level for their choir.
Rules and Procedures
The performance should be sung using an effective reading system. Ensembles will read three exercises.
Exercise 1 will sung with rhythm only.
Exercise 2 will be sung with rhythm only of the starred line.
Exercise 3 will be performed with both melody and rhythm.
The key may be established by having the students sing scales or chord patterns. Students may sing random intervals or patterns such as 1-3-5-3-1, 1-4-6-4-1, etc. Directors only may sing with the choir during the warm-up to establish keyality. Directors may not illustrate by singing intervals directly referenced from the exercise.
When discussing the exercise, the director may point out potentially problematic intervals. He/she may not rehearse these with the choir.
Singers of the same voice part are permitted to discuss and sing with their neighbors during the prep time. This practice of “neighboring” is limited to 2 or 3 students. The “neighboring” groups may not join together and prepare as a section. In addition, students may practice the example up to 4 in a group with only 1 on a voice part.
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