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Speech Choir

Speech choir or choral speaking has a hallowed

and proud tradition.
The first plays put on by Greeks featured choruses
of speakers.
Today, speech choir is a popular teaching tool, as
well as a performing art in itself.
Speech choir operates like a music choir minus the
music. Instead of singing, speech choirs perform
spoken-word pieces.
A speech choir is a powerful art that is experiencing
a revival. There is tremendous satisfaction that comes from
learning to speak well, and even a greater enjoyment that
comes from speaking elegantly and powerfully as a group.
The abilities and techniques you will learn as a member of a
speech choir will become an asset in your social life. Your
words become better understood, richer, and more significant
than daily speech.
In the book, Choral Speaking and the Verse Choir,
Kingsley Povenmire offers this definition of the choir itself: "A
verse choir is a group of people experiencing together,
expressing thoughts and feelings largely and freely for the
purpose of communicating with each other and an audience,
being led by a director and adapting themselves to the
disciplines of the art of group oral interpretation."
Conventional Speech choir
-it is also called the traditional
-has no use of costumes, nor props, nor choreography
-the choir simply speaks or read
-it is also called the theatrical


1. Members
A speech choir is typically the same size as a
singing choir having anywhere from 12-100
members or more.
More schools and competitions feature choirs of 25
to 40 members.
2. Pieces
Selections are typically poems or poetic passage
such as from Greek dramas or Shakespeare's plays.
3. Choreography
It is not a necessary component for a speech choir.
However, in the Greek tradition, speech choirs
marched from side to side in alternating patterns
called strophe and aristrophe.
4. Costuming




As with any performance art, thought should be put

into how the speech choir will dress.
Costumes can be as simple as matching outfits or
Plain uniforms allow the audience to concentrate on
facial expressions and allow the choir to recite
several very different pieces in one performance.
However, a theme costume for a single piece can
highlight its meaning or help to differentiate between
voice groups.
Voice quality
The ability to combine successfully the light,
medium, and dark voices in the choir.
The ability to communicate, through voice, reactions
to thoughts or emotions.
It refers to the variations of the voice on the musical
scale is generally referred to as infection.
Ability to use volume, force or loudness as emphasis
in appropriate places to better express feeling and
It refers to the rate of speed at which a reading
progresses. The ability to balance the rhythm
The ability to successfully organized and position the
choir on stage or risers for performance effect.
The ability to stage entrances and exits which
enhance the mood of the poem and performance.


noting where it makes sense to take breath, so you
dont interrupt the word flow but have enough breath to
make it through the line.
Breathing in performance links you with your whole
group, calms your nerves, and gives your performance

Articulation and Diction

By practicing your articulation and diction, your words
will be clear and vibrant.
Diction is a learned skill; articulate strongly in rehearsal
and in your everyday life.

Connection to the group

onstage, the choir is your family.
Listen to those around you. Connecting with them will
eliminate any stage fright. If anything unexpected
happens, the group must respond and correct

The Text
the text is your guide, its what the audience came to
see and hear you perform.

Let your audience see what you are saying. Let your personal
reaction to the words sprinkle meaning on the performance.