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How Nick Chooses Soloists
People ask me what are my criteria for choosing soloists. Here they are:
Do they sing with heart? They should be able to convey huge emotions to the audience.
Will the audience enjoy listening to the soloists? (in tune, beautiful vowels, volume)
Is the soloist confident and can they fix mistakes quickly? Will their difficulty in fixing their mistakes eat up precious rehearsal time?
Can the soloist, particularly a first-time soloist, bring something new, fresh, and original to the mix?
Will the audience be able to understand the soloists’ words? How is their diction?
If needed, can the soloist improvise and ad lib?
Sometimes amazing singers don’t get solos. Sometimes none of the songs were a good match.
A separate question that is asked is why have soloists in the first place?
There is a limit to how much we can memorize. Featuring soloists allows us to present full length concerts.
I like to challenge everyone to be better singers. When each individual singer is better, the chorus is better.
When I coach a soloist on diction, tone, singing with heart and all the other details of great singing, I am also coaching the chorus. The chorus learns from the soloists’ mistakes, challenges and successes.
I believe that every member of the chorus could do a solo. Sometimes, when singers audition and don’t get a solo, it is because they are not ready. They still have skills to learn and master with the biggest being confidence. But I always see the potential in everyone who auditions.