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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Music Education

First Advisor

Lois Harrison

First Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Second Committee Member

George Nemeth

Third Committee Member

Jonathon Pearce

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


The purpose of this study was to examine an exemplary choral program in detail, focusing on the non-musical aspects of the program. The study examined the school, the administration, the students, parents and community, director and accompanist. The study was undertaken in a school in western United States that recently appeared at the American Choral Directors Association national convention. Data were gathered by onsite visits, surveys, and interviews. These interviews were either video or audio taped and transcribed. The data were gathered and analyzed using grounded and emergent theory techniques. After data were coded, seven categories emerged: three categories of data generated by (and largely under the control of) the director, and four categories of data that were community driven. The director generated categories were: a charismatic choral director, clear goals, and recruiting procedures. The community controlled categories were: community expectations and awareness, the choir's privileged role in the community, administrative support, and money raising. This study found six non-musical factors present in this program that appear to explain its success: (1) A high level of community awareness and support. (2) A charismatic choral director who had both the ability and permission to raise large sums of money. (3) An adequate level of administrative support. (4) A support network that diffused some of the extraordinary pressures of running an exemplary choral program. (5) A unique way of providing the critical extra training that such a successful program needs. (6) A history of a strong feeder program that allowed the program to develop "critical mass" and become the class of choice for many of the student body. While this study focused on a single site, most of these six factors appear to be considerations leading to the success of any choral program. It is hoped that further research will lend support to the hypothesis that successful programs will exhibit the above six conditions.



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