A show choir director's job isn't always as glamorous as it's portrayed on "Glee," "Smash" or "Fame," but it's a rewarding position that allows you to use your musical skills and leadership qualities to create artistic and inspirational musical productions. Being a show choir director is all about organization, musical creativity and teamwork, so you can help performers learn the art of entertaining through musical performances.
Develops Musical Productions
Show choir directors choose musical and vocal arrangements for live performances and recordings. You must find selections that fit particular occasions, holidays, themes, community interests and your talent pool. Selecting the right music requires evaluation and interpretation so you can find pieces that aren't too simplistic or too advanced for your performers. Show choir directors often incorporate dance, background sets and costumes into their productions, so an eye for creativity is a big plus. Most of your time is spent directing rehearsals and organizing logistics for performances. Show choir directors help with dance routines, costume designs, instrument selections, stage sets, lighting, sound and riser placements. It's also your job to create a balanced blend of voices, often ranging from bass to high soprano.
One of the most important, yet stressful, aspects of directing a show choir is selecting musicians and vocalists for your productions. You must carefully communicate your goals and objectives so you find performers who are passionate and committed to the task. Show choir directors organize and facilitate open auditions and often host final auditions to make their final selections. It's important to be unbiased and impartial in the selection process to avoid showing favoritism.
Not all of a show choir director's responsibilities require right-brained, artistic skills. You must also create and maintain a budget that fits within the school or organization's requirements. In some cases, productions are self-sustaining and ticket sales pay for production costs. In other situations, where productions are free or ticket sales aren't enough to cover expenses, directors rely on financial support authorized by managerial boards and administrators. You might also organize and host fundraisers to meet budget demands.
Ensures the Safety of Performers
Show choir directors must always keep the bigger picture in mind and ensure performers, stage crews, lighting crews, technicians and staff have safe working conditions. You might hire electricians or technicians to troubleshoot wiring problems, make repairs and ensure production equipment is functioning properly. You don't want stage lights falling on to your set or unstable risers making it treacherous for performers. You must also create and relay safety policies so performers and staff follow those regulations.
2016 Salary Information for Music Directors and Composers
Music directors and composers earned a median annual salary of $50,110 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, music directors and composers earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,020, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $70,510, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 74,800 people were employed in the U.S. as music directors and composers.
- Coldwater Exempted Village School District: Show Choir Director
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Music Directors and Composers
- Central City School Citians: Show Choir Handbook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Music Directors and Composers
- Career Trend: Music Directors and Composers
- Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images