Chevron Formation:

How effective rehearsal planning can get your choir to peak at the right time

Dr. Michael Hanawalt

In homage to a V-shaped chevron formation, this course presents principles of rehearsal planning, beginning with the early stages at the top of the funnel, and the precision of polish at the bottom.  

Dr. Michael Hanawalt, Director of Graduate Choral Studies at Florida State University, thoughtfully presents a compelling case for the need to plan, both for the well being of the conductor, and the well being of an ensemble at its best.  The rehearsal process is presented on both a larger, macro-scale of three stages, and increasing detail in micro-planning, with students invited to share in the process.  The discussion here includes how to determine the length of warm-ups, the number of pieces to consider in a single rehearsal, and their order in the rehearsal.  Also included are comments about the uniquenesses of planning and performance with an orchestra in preparation for masterworks.

General Course Outline

Session One: Introduction

  • Planning assures your best chance for success

Session Two: Macro Rehearsal Planning

  • The concept of "wedge"
  • The three stages

Session Three: Micro Rehearsal Planning

  • Vocalization
  • Music literacy
  • Evaluating the needs of YOUR ensemble
  • Number of pieces and level of difficulty
  • Rehearsal order
  • Sharing plans with your students

Session Four: Planning for Choral/Orchestral Rehearsals

  • Allocating precious time

Session Five: Final thoughts



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