It is built into the choir director’s job that you must disappoint some people. Solo auditions, choir placement, repertoire choices, concert scheduling. All of these have the potential to disappoint choir members. (I have even known a chorister or two who had very specific expectations about conductor daily attire – another chance to disappoint!)
It is built into the job to disappoint.
If you can’t avoid it, then the right thing to do is address it. Don’t apologize. Don’t question your decisions. Don’t quit your job!
Address it by leading with love. All students should know that their teacher loves them as human beings. But there is more. Your students should see evidence of all of these loves:
Love for your students.
Love for the music.
Love for your choral program.
Love for the process.
Love for all of your ensembles.
Lead with this love, and the disappointment can’t last terribly long. Your shining love will banish the shadows.