This is a rotating role – each song or rehearsal segment may have a different advocate.
The Congregational Advocate acts as if he or she were sitting in the congregation, and asks the single question:
“What single change would I like the choir to make next
to enhance my Jewish experience?”
The Congregational Advocate watches and listens very closely, without singing or mouthing the words, in order to most authentically imagine what the congregation wants. Only the next top priority is needed.
The answer may involve any of the following:
- Getting the notes & words right
- Clarity of diction – can I tell what they’re saying?
- Tuning – with each other and with any instrumental accompaniment
- Rhythmic synchronization – starting the piece together, starting each musical entrance together, staying together on consonants throughout the phrase, stopping together
- Tone – beautiful to listen to, changing tone to convey the musical content (brighter for happier sections, darker for more dramatic sections…)
- Blend – making sure no individual voices “stick out”, achieving a “unit sound” so that the whole choir sounds like one voice
- Presentation – faces and body language are pleasant, engaged, and evoke the musical content
- Confidence – leading the congregation through the prayer or piece
- Musicality – an artistic and pleasing telling of the musical “story”. Emotional content and flow is appropriate to the musical or liturgical “story”.
- Spirituality – a “felt” connection with the meaning of the prayer or piece