Travails in New Spaces

Rehearsing in a new space can be daunting.

New spaces come with new acoustics, new visuals, new interpersonal dynamics. It can affect personal space, intonation, balance, blend, and so much more. You can lose a whole rehearsal to overcoming challenges that aren’t due to any person in the room, but due to a change in the space itself.

It can be daunting, but also worthwhile, to change spaces. Ideally, we should balance the familiarity of a comfortable “home” rehearsal space with frequent excursions to other spaces. We should take advantage of the amazing “stairwell reverb” experiences – where we sound magically better thanks to the space, but also put ourselves and our singers into positions where they can’t hear what they expect to. Acoustically dry, acoustically distracting, or just plain ugly sounding spaces can help us to clarify what is the choir and what is the room.

Do this enough, too, and you’ll never get thrown for a loop when you walk into a new performance space.