I had an email this week from the Lead section leader of a ladies barbershop chorus, asking the following questions:
I wonder if you can help me. Our M.D. has asked me to get my Leads to sing with warm air. Can you tell me how to do this? Also, I have a Lead who has some vibrato in her voice. Do I put her in the middle of the section or is there some way I can help her to reduce this?
Now, these weren’t questions that could be answered in just a word or two, and besides my guess is that my correspondent is not the only person in the world who’ll ever want to know the answers to them. So, I’m answering them here – warm air today, and vibrato in a couple of days when I’ve worked up the courage to tackle it. (Is there any more contentious subject in the world of choral singing?!)
The idea of singing with ‘warm air’ is really a metaphor, rather than a direct instruction.