//Head to Head Audio: Choral Tracks vs Kinnision Choral Co.

Head to Head Audio: Choral Tracks vs Kinnision Choral Co.

Head to Head: Choral Tracks vs Kinnision Choral Co.

If your choir is interested in finding a permanent solution to choral rehearsal tracks, this blog post is for you!

 

There are two companies that I have worked with extensively as a composer and as a choral director. I believe they are the two leaders in the industry. Both companies are similar in providing a solid choral demo, and individualized parts that are taken directly from the demo. This makes the rehearsal tracks perfect practicing at home, running sectionals, and for laying the foundation for a virtual choir recordings.

 

I believe the choral rehearsal tracks from both companies can be a tremendous aid for any choir who has already created a culture of developed ear-training, sight-singing, and music literacy. While I do value both companies, I want to compare and contrast what each company offers.

 

We will compare the two companies. First, we will compare their intended approach, cost and packages. Second, we will compare the quality of their audio.

Comparing Choral Rehearsal Tracks

Part 1:  Choral Tracks vs. Kinnison Choral Company:

The Approach and the Deal

 

Choral Tracks

Matt Curtis, a professional classical/choral singer, and his company, Choral Tracks, describe their rehearsal tracks as “having a strong, confident singer next to you”. As a result, their recordings sound like one singer on a part. When listening to individual parts, you hear one strong singer singing the part in one ear, along with the other parts sung in the other ear by individual voices.

 

Most songs in their library includes separate tracks the allow for the singer to:

  1. Listen to their part in one ear while hearing the other parts blended together in the other ear
  2. Listen to the balanced recording (all parts blended together) while singing their part
  3. Listen to all parts EXCEPT their own part

Choral Tracks currently sells choral rehearsal tracks individually beginning at $50 a song if it’s already in their vast library. Their library is huge so it is likely that many of your selections will be there, especially if most of your selections come from major publishers. The $50 price increases based on the number of singers in your ensemble.

Choral Tracks offers several annual subscription options for you and your choral program. At $1199, Choral Tracks offers unlimited access to their vast library of choral part recordings. They have a more limited, but certainly viable option for $999 annually and one for smaller schools at $799 annually. They are constantly adding new pieces and if they don’t have a selection in their catalog, they will gladly added it if you have an annual subscription; the downside is their turn-around time for new requests can take a while. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are the type of choral director who plans for your Winter concert in May of the previous year. But if you are a choral director who decides on last minute selections throughout the year, it may be best to only choose music that is already in their catalog.

It’s also important to note that while one-time purchases are available for instant download, customers who have a subscription will have their tracks sent via Dropbox or Google Drive after sending an email request. In other words, subscription customers who want a piece of music from their catalog for the same-day rehearsal wouldn’t just be able to go to their site and download it; they would have to wait for their email to be read before Choral Tracks adds the requested tracks to their shared dropbox/google drive.

 

Kinnison Choral Co.

Charlie & Carrie Kinnison are a husband and wife team of former music educators who create part tapes that they describe as “full sections singing”; they want the singer who is practicing at home to feel like they are singing along with their entire section, rather than singing along with one singer. The full demos sound like a decently-sized choir and their individual parts have the section in one ear and all other sections in the other ear.

Every song in their library includes separate tracks the allow for the singer to:

  1. Listen to their part alone (alone with accompaniment if there is accompaniment)
  2. Listen to their part in one ear while hearing the other parts blended together in the other ear
  3. Listen to the balanced recording (all parts blended together) while singing their part
  4. Listen to all parts EXCEPT their own part

 

In terms of individual songs they offer two options: you can order any song in their small but growing catalog for just under $95 flat (regardless of size of choir). For $180, they will record rehearsal tracks for any song, regardless of length or complexity, and guarantee two week turnaround time.

Kinnison Choral Company also offers different packages that include a certain number of new tracks and library tracks; with their packages, they are not limited to the current year. So, if you purchase 10 new tracks to be made, you can use them over the next 2-3 years, whenever needed. Their library is accessible for instant download on their website.

 

Comparing Choral Rehearsal Tracks

 

Part 2: Choral Tracks vs. Kinnison Choral Company:

The Sound

 

As described in their approach, Choral Tracks’s demos sound like one singer per part. When listening to full demo or the individual parts, Matt Curtis and his team sound like the strong section leader who is singing each part. When listening to Kinnison Choral Co.’s full demo or individual parts, Charlie & Carrie Kinnison sound like a full choir and their individual parts sound like a full section.

 

 

1. Peace (SATB) – Adam Paltrowitz, composer (Sara Teasdale, poet)

 

Kinnison Choral Co. 

 

Choral Tracks 

 

2. Star Spangled Banner (SAB) – Adam Paltrowitz, arranger

Kinnison Choral Co. 

 

Choral Tracks

 

3. Answer Me When I Call (SATB) – Adam Paltrowitz, composer

 

Kinnison Choral Co. 

 

Choral Tracks


 Try SIGHT READING FACTORY and save 10% using code: choralclarity


Aural Observations

For me, I find more nuances in Kinnison Choral Co.’s recordings; one main reason is because a full section of singers allows for more color than one singer. I also find that Kinnison captures the style of the pieces both in their style of singing and their overall production (their mix and acoustical choices). Choral Tracks are consistent and well-sung, but there is little differentiation in style or production between pieces, regardless of genre.

If your sole goal of using choral rehearsal tracks is to teach your singers the notes and rhythms, both companies do an exceptional job. But if these rehearsal tracks are intended to inspire your singers while demonstrating more intricate aspects of the music, I believe Kinnison has a consistently strong edge.

In addition to my three selections, I welcome you to listen to the demo on both websites. I’ve attached links below.

Choral Tracks – click any piece on their homepage and you will be able to hear a demo.

Kinnison Choral Co. – click the audio file on their homepage to hear a long demo that demonstrates their ability to produce consistent quality of varying genres.

 

Final Words

 

I am currently a customer of both companies. Choral Tracks created this industry and has a major head start with a huge catalog. Kinnison Choral Co. is newer, more agile, and is innovating the industry with it’s lifetime subscription, additional ways to practice, and a more authentic recording.

 

Moving forward, Choral Clarity is partnering with Kinnison Choral Co.; on our website, Kinnison Choral Co. will be providing all future demos and choral rehearsal tracks for all of our sheet music and pdf products. Similar to our relationship with Sight Reading Factory (offering 10% off all purchases with code: ChoralClarity), Kinnison Choral Co. is now offering Choral Clarity a 10% discount on all individual purchases with code: choralclarity21 at checkout.

 

Regardless of which company you choose, I believe choral rehearsal tracks are part of the future of choral music making. Aural training, sight-singing, and choral rehearsal tracks combined will pave the way for engaged, literate, and musical singers!

 

By | 2021-10-11T08:06:11-04:00 April 21st, 2021|Choral Rehearsal Tracks|

About the Author:

Adam Paltrowitz is a master educator, composer, conductor, and clinician. During his 23-year tenure as the Director of Choral Activities at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in New York, his groups have toured throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. He also has pioneered a philosophy that every student is a soloist. Adam's choral program has also gained great acclaim for the cultivation of eight student-run a-cappella ensembles; some of these ensembles have performed on national and local television programs. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by choirs around the world. Adam earned his B.S. in music education from New York University, M.A. in vocal pedagogy from Columbia University - Teacher's College, and Ed.M. choral conducting from Columbia University - Teacher's College. ​Adam resides in Manhattan with his wife, Blair Goldberg, a professional Broadway actress, and their daughter, Lyla, and son, Nolan.

Leave A Comment