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Choosing Soloists/Speakers

Submitted by Stephanie Menefee, Tacoma, Washington

Idea posted 2004-04-19

Here are two methods that I have found helpful in choosing soloists or speakers in productions:

1. For both speaking parts and singing solos, I have all interested kids audition with an assigned ID number. During auditions, I privately mark on a numbered list how I thought each student did. This is done without saying anything to the students, and the students never see their numbers. Next, I put the numbers (already written on those colored plastic circles that can be used on the overhead) into a wire Bingo apple, and I draw the appropriate quantity of numbers from the apple. The kids don't know which numbers went into the apple. This method involves a little bit of skill and a little bit of luck. The kids all agree that this method is fair. You can fudge the numbers you pull if you make sure you pull the numbers assigned to the speakers or soloists that you want.

2. If you have a short time before a concert, you can just pick the soloists/speakers. Explain that you selected students you knew would be able to learn the parts well in the time allotted. I pick this option if I am taking soloists/speakers from the general masses. Make sure, however, that the kids auditioning want to do this. Sometimes the kids I think would do a good job don't want to do it, and I honor their decision.

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