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Middle and Junior High School Choral Repertoire: Directors' Criteria for Selection, Quality, and Appropriateness




Canfield, Jennifer

Type of Degree





The purpose of this study was to determine criteria used by middle school and junior high school choral directors when selecting choral repertoire. A 72-item questionnaire was designed to collect middle school and junior high school choral directors’ criteria of quality choral repertoire and appropriate choral repertoire. The population for the study included 301 middle and junior high school choral directors from Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana whose schools offered a choral music program. Demographic information on the school, choral program, and director as well as information about genres, historical periods, languages, and voicings of choral repertoire purchased and programmed during the 2007–2008 school year was obtained through the questionnaire. Responses to 20 criteria used in the selection of choral literature were recorded using a four-point Likert-type scale. In addition, participants categorized criteria as applicable to either appropriate choral literature, quality choral literature, both appropriate and quality choral literature, or neither appropriate nor quality choral literature. Seventy-eight questionnaires were completed for a 26% return rate. Results found middle school directors programmed and purchased Holiday music most frequently, followed by spiritual or gospel, and patriotic music. Two-part music was purchased and programmed on concert more than other voicings. The vocal ability and maturity of the singers was considered very important by 67% of directors, an indication that most participants were aware of the challenges associated with the adolescent voice and choose choral literature to address those challenges. Directors labeled all criteria as both appropriate and quality choral literature with the exception of one criterion. Popular music was considered appropriate choral literature (44%) only. No statistically significant difference in choral repertoire selection was found among Novice, Experienced, and Master Teachers.