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One of the most important roles of an Artistic Director is to design concert programming. Every conductor has their own method for choosing repertoire but here are some questions to ask yourself in the process:

  • Am I programming a single concert or creating a series of concerts that connect over a season?
  • Will my singers be excited about this concert topic?
  • Is the concert theme marketable?
  • Does my chorus have the capacity to pull it if off?
  • Is the theme compelling artistically: enjoyable to hear, technically engaging?

These questions (from a Strategy Screen) and more are included the programming resources below. Also check out the Resource section on Repertoire.

Programming Tips

GALA conductors offer their wisdom and philosophy on programming concerts.

Programming Tips from Bob Mensel , Portland Gay Men’s Chorus

Programming and conducting resources from GALA veteran, Tim Seelig

Guidelines for programming a GALA Festival set from conductors Sue Coffee and Jane Ramseyer Miller. Many of these ideas are relevant in programming any concert.

Programming Tools

One Voice Strategy Screen – to help weigh decisions about programming

Concert Timing Tool – download this spreadsheet to track and plan your concert set length.

Guest Artists

Guest Artist Contract (template) – Word Doc
Adapt this contract for use within your own chorus.

In selecting a guest artist it is wise to think about what kind of artist will boost your ticket sales and at the same time not overshadow your chorus. Consider artists that are able to integrate their performance with your programming theme/style and perform with your chorus as well as on their own.

Here are a few guest artists who have performed with GALA choruses:


GALA 411 Advisor, Kathleen en offers vocal warm-ups to keep your chorus singing during quarantine. Check out Kathleen’s series of vocal tools.