Choral singing by amateur musicians forms a significant part of the Western Art Music tradition in the United Kingdom. Professional singers conventionally inhabit a different performance sphere to their amateur counterparts, with substantially different motivations for making music. There is a hierarchical relationship between amateur and professional musicians based on perceived differences in musical ability, training, and competence. If they are called upon to rehearse and perform side-by-side, the effects on the musical identity of the amateurs in particular may be disruptive. I conducted a case study of a choir established to combine amateur and professional singers and promote a collaborative ethos in which I distributed online questionnaires to 66 amateur choir members, and interviewed seven members of the amateur group and three of the professional ensemble members. Thematic analysis of the data revealed findings that fell into four main categories: enjoyment, sense of belonging, musical competence, and musical life stories. The study indicated that the impact on the amateur singer identity of the arrival of an ensemble of professionals at a late stage in the rehearsal process contradicts the inclusive intentions behind the choir’s founding.
Keene, Hermione Ruck
"“Swooping in to save the day?”: Investigating the effects on musical identity
of a choral collaboration between amateur and professional singers,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 26, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol26/iss1/4