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Choral Sound 10 approaches to develop the sound of your choir

Put simply, the sound of a choir is the sum of its individual voices. Yet the way these voices are guided to sing makes a great difference in the resulting sound. In this lecture, Dr. Kari Turunen (Finland) gives ideas on how choral conductors can influence and develop the sound of their choirs. The ten approaches covered in the lecture are in the main practical by nature, such as developing legato, the use of ‘gadgets’ or how certain conducting gestures help the singing and the sound of the choir. Others are more philosophical or pedagogical in nature, such as the use of metaphors or creating awareness within the choir. The aim of the lecture is to provide conductors with more tools in their work.  

Kari Turunen was educated at the University of Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy where he studied choral conducting with Matti Hyökki. He holds a doctorate in early music performance practice from the University of the Arts, Helsinki.


He is the artistic director of five choirs and ensembles: the male chorus Akademiska Sångföreningen (2008–); Kampin Laulu chamber choir (2011–); the choir of the cantors of the Finnish Lutheran Church, Chorus Cantorum Finlandiae (2011–); the all-male Ensemble Petraloysio (2011–); and Spira Ensemble (2012–). He is also a member of Lumen Valo, a vocal ensemble that is one of the driving forces on the Finnish early music scene.


Dr. Turunen taught choral conducting at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of between 2001 and 2011 before concentrating on the roles of conductor and artist-scholar. He appears regularly as a teacher of choral courses, adjudicator and clinician. Mr. Turunen acts as chairman of the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association (FCDA). He was the Choral Conductor of the Year 2008 in Finland.  

Bio en CAT

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