"Out Performing" by Stephen Sieck


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Dr. Stephen Sieck surveys some of the best choral conductors of our time to uncover "What, Why, & How" nationally-respected choirs consistently reach the highest levels of performance. Through director dialogue, interviews with students, and observing live rehearsals, Dr. Sieck provides a comprehensive look at how these directors approach: recruitment, auditions, singer placement, rehearsal planning, vocal pedagogy, intonation, kinesthetic learning, and choral culture. Dr. Sieck reveals that it is not merely location or financial support that produces results; instead, well-intentioned practices and processes lead to rewarding performances and committed singers.

This course is of significant value to any director interested in creating long-term programmatic goals, prioritizing curricular objectives for the ensemble, and refining their own leadership strategy.

While you do not need to have read Dr. Sieck's book - Rehearsing the Choir - prior to taking the course, you may be inspired to do so after for a more in-depth look.

Purchase Rehearsing the Choir here


Session 1: "How Do We Define THE BEST?"

Session 2: "Iowa State University & St Olaf College"

Session 3: "University of Michigan & Michigan State University"

Session 4: "University of Kentucky & University of Louisville"

Session 5: "Penn State & University of Southern California"

Session 6: "Lessons to Learn"


Dr. Stephen Sieck serves as Co-Director of Choral Studies at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he directs the Concert Choir, which performed at the 2014 ACDA-North Central conference, and Viking Chorale, which performed at the 2015 WCDA conference.  In the classroom, Steve teaches the Choral Rehearsal Methods sequence. A native of Oak Park, IL, Steve received his B.A. in Music from the University of Chicago, and then sang professionally and taught 7th-12th grade music in Los Angeles.  He received his M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he had the pleasure to serve as sabbatical director for the Women’s Glee Club and Graduate Chamber Singers, and won the Schlanger Fellowship and Outstanding Graduate Conducting Student awards.  While at UIUC, Steve also sang the lead tenor roles in productions of The Fairy QueenDon Giovanni, and Candide, for which he won the Best Male Performance of the Year award. 

Steve’s present research focuses on effective pedagogy for choral teachers and includes his books Rehearsing the Choir, published by Meredith Music (2019), and Teaching with Respect: Inclusive Pedagogy for Choral Directors, published by Hal Leonard (2017).  He is also interested in how we develop effective teaching strategies from a vocalist’s perspective.  His research on diction pedagogy includes an October 2013 article on how ACDA-invited high school choirs learn foreign languages, a study on distinct methods for teaching Latin, and presentations on diction pedagogy at multiple NAfME state conferences, as well as ACDA presentations for the Southern (2010) and North-Central (2014) regions.  Steve also loves talking about tenors and the various ways we can help or harm their developing voices and has presented that at the ACDA National Convention (2015) and in multiple state conventions as well.  Steve also has published scholarly articles on Britten, Copland, and di Lasso. 

Steve served the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association as Treasurer from 2012-2015, and serves presently as Past-President; he also serves as ACDA Student chapter advisor at Lawrence.  He also serves as Director of Music at the Fox Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. Steve enjoys marathons and triathlons and freely admits to using way too many running metaphors in rehearsal.


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