In this study, I sought to learn how members of college women’s choirs feel about
their choir and women’s choirs in general. Singers from 19 institutions in the American
Choral Directors Association Southern division participated. From the potential survey
population (n=986), 302 respondents participated (response rate = 28%).
These research questions guided this study:
1. How do current members of college women’s choirs feel their choir is
perceived compared to other types of choirs at their college or university and
in their community?
2. How do current members of college women’s choirs feel about singing in this
group? About women’s choirs in general?
A researcher-developed survey instrument was used to gather demographic
information and other data related to the research questions. After a pilot study, the
survey was edited for clarity. The director of choral activities and the director of the
women’s choir at each institution was contacted via email. The schools that agreed to
participate received the link to the survey and an email script to send to students. Two
weeks later, a follow-up email was sent with the same materials. Two weeks after that,
the survey window closed. The data were collected and analyzed for frequency and
percentage. While analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests found no significant differences,
the analysis of some of the independent variables, especially those having to do with the
age and experience of the singers, were highly suggestive.
In this study, women’s choir members responded positively to statements about
the value of their choir within their institutions and communities. While respondents
often indicate that women’s choirs are seen as inferior to mixed choirs, they nevertheless
enjoy the repertoire they sing and like being challenged. Respondents answered
affirmatively in Likert-scale questions about their women’s choirs and women’s choirs in
general, but answered more critically in open-ended response questions about the same
topics. The survey results echo the findings of earlier studies, amplified by the choir
members’ own opinions. The data in this study offer clear means to ensure that all
students in all choirs are proud of their work and feel equally valued.