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The legacy of Choral Director Robert Shaw: Beyond technique to music in communities

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The article examines Choral Director Robert Shaw’s approach and explores whether these innovations constitute a lasting legacy for amateurs and community singers beyond the world of professional choral directors. After a brief biographical overview of Shaw’s contributions and achievements, the author outlines four specific innovations attributed to Shaw and his work with choruses all over the world. The author sang with Shaw for ten years and introduces her own personal notes from musical scores, as well as videos and Shaw’s Dear People letters to describe his preparation and warm up approaches, attention to the spiritual in music, use of metaphorical and imagistic language to teach choirs, and his explicit belief in the power of community in choral singing.

Keywords: amateur chorus; choral director; choral music; choral technique; community; music education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Florida Atlantic University

Publication date: August 30, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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