The effect of choral director succession as seen through ratings at the university interscholastic league concert and sight-reading festival

Date

2008-12

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Texas Tech University

Abstract

Each year music teachers across Texas leave their schools and change their leadership positions in the classroom. Grusky (1961) defines the change of leadership as succession, and regardless of when a teacher leaves, programs continue with a newly appointed director This study applies similar techniques as used in sporting league studies to evaluate choral director successions as measured by 20 years of the Texas UIL Festival. The specific purpose of this study is to determine if a change in choir director has an effect on UIL choral concert and sight-reading ratings.

Data collected represented a diverse cross-section of the UIL assigned regions. A sample of regions with varied geographical locations, urban and rural school settings, differing high school classifications, socioeconomics, and ethnic populations were taken into account when selecting six of the qualifying 22 regions. High schools that remained in their regions for the past 20 years, attended the UIL choral concert and sight-reading festival and experienced some form of succession within the 20- year time frame were chosen for this study. The resulting schools chosen (N=48) included 2,824 different choirs across 20 years. Choirs included varsity (n=1,939), non-varsity (n=821) and sub-non-varsity (n=64). The voicings of the choirs included mixed (n=1,268), treble (n=1,050) and tenor-bass (n=442).

Inside and outside successions were analyzed using the Chi Square “Goodness of Fit” Test to determine if the type of succession influenced the number of superior ratings. Of the superior concert ratings (N= 753), schools with only inside successions had significantly more superior ratings (511) than those with outside successions (X2 (2, 753) = 95.38 p < .0001). However, when choir voicings were considered as separate units of study, the varsity mixed choirs showed no significant differences (X2 (2, 247) = 1.32 p = .2506) between numbers of superior ratings regardless of type of succession. Sight-reading ratings were analyzed to determine if type of succession had any bearing on the number of superior ratings received. Similarly, choirs who only had inside successions had significantly more superior ratings than those with only outside successions (X2 (2, 577) = 99.82 p < .0001). When choir voicings were analyzed, as before, the varsity mixed choir was the only voicing to not show a significant difference in the number of superior ratings (X2 (2, 238) = 2.62 p = .1055).

Data were analyzed using a Chi-Square “Goodness of Fit” Test to determine if a significant change in the UIL ratings existed between the previous director and the new director. Total UIL ratings for concert and sight-reading results indicate that a significant number of UIL rating changes occurred between the last year of the former director and the first year for the new director (X2 (2, 269) = 38.68 p< .0001). Ratings that changed (n= 186) were analyzed to determine if ratings improved or declined between the year of the former director and the first year of the new director. Results indicate that a significant number (n= 117 vs. 69) of UIL concert ratings declined (X2 (2,95) 11.26 p= .0008) and that there was no significant difference in the rating change for sight-reading (X2 (2, 95) = 2.06 p= .1512).

A separate Chi-Square “Goodness of Fit” Test was administered to determine if there was a change in UIL ratings the year the new director arrived (year of succession). Results indicate that a significant number of rating changes occurred between the year of succession and the second year after succession (X2 (2, 196) = 58.42 p< .0001). Ratings that changed (n=152) were analyzed to determine if ratings improved or declined between the year of succession and the subsequent year. Data indicates that the number of UIL scores that increased (n=108) was significant (X2 (2, 152) = 26.12 p < .0001). Results suggest that a significant number of concert ratings (n=52) improved between the year of succession and the year following (X2 (2, 81) = 14.42 p= .0001). Results also indicated that a significant number of sight-reading ratings (n=56) improved between the year of succession and the following year (X2 (2, 81) = 11.12 p = .0009).

Results are discussed in terms of importance of this information for choral educators as well as implications for future research.

Description

Keywords

Concert ratings, Choir director, Succession, University Interscholastic League (UIL), Music

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