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Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth

Dec 12, 2017

Dan V brings the energy in this episode! Having been a student of the Choir Ninja podcast since the beginning, Dan V uses the things he’s learned combined with his experience as a high-production-quality church musician to transport his choir’s audiences to other world. Listen as he breaks down his formula piece by piece.


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Highlight to Tweet: “If you get caught up in the minutia of learning the notes, the creative process get postponed until the last minute.” - Dan Vukmirovich


Show Notes:


The Problem: Most Choir Concerts are BORING. When programming the peppy Spiritual or Gospel song at the end is seen as "innovative", we have a problem.

Creative Content Boxes:

  • Planning thematically for your concerts can help you begin to create "crockpots" of song ideas/elements- as you find ideas, you can categorize.
  • Helps to reduce the plethora of song possibilities
  • Builds a structure that helps "regular people" make sense of that they are hearing AND often improves concert behavior from your audiences
  • ALWAYS keep in mind that the goal is SUCCESS of your singers and you may need to adapt your music if it fits them but doesn't fit your group.
  • Give your choir INPUT but ultimately YOU must make the final calls. CHOIR BRAINSTORMS are KEY.
  • OVER-DELIVER - Goal is to have people walking out and saying "I was NOT expecting that!"
  • Think EXPERIENTIAL - This is a DISNEY SATURATED culture who often think of live entertainment with
  • EXTREMELY high standards for engagement. It's not enough just to have skills anymore.
  • This does amazing things for the morale of the choir. They feel PROUD to be part of something significant.
  • The extra 10% makes the 90% SHINE. Don't let all the hard work you do miss the mark by not ENGAGING your audience and choir members.
  • Talk about our Fall, H2O: Water Music! concert - explain some simple things we did to dress things up

Areas to consider:

- Welcome area - outside of venue
- Usher Team
- Programs - paper, virtual
- Room Ambience - visuals, lighting, pre-music
- Use of Video
- Concert Flow - take them on a journey with NO SEAMS
- Start with SONG - Grab their attention
- Simple Lighting Cues -
- Songs - movement, instruments, etc
- Audience Participation?
- Special Guests - dance, charities, drama, etc.
- Outside the box - at least 1 element that is the "NO WAY!" moment
- Post-Concert - KEEP THEM IN THE MOOD out the doors - playlist
- Reception after - cookies, ice cream, etc.
Talk about our Winter, "Let There Be LIGHTS!" Concert and what elements we are including.


- BRAINSTORM concert ideas for Spring - begin adding to your CROCKPOT.
- Share themes in the Choir Nation Group



Dan Vukmirovich is currently a choral music educator at LaSalle Intermediate Academy in South Bend, IN. He's just started back into teaching after taking a break for several years doing music ministry in a large, contemporary church setting. He had taught at Coldwater High School and Middle School for 7 years, where his groups would consistently receive superior ratings at choral festival. He is married to Lisa who is also a teacher/musician. Two teenaged daughters complete their family, with one studying music at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. In his spare time, he likes to inspire others as an online health/fitness coach.


Resources/links Mentioned:


Sponsored by:

Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!)



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