Chorus Director Workshop Intensive

A program for front line directors to make real, measurable differences in your rehearsal planing and directing gestures… in a day!  Let our CDWI trainers listen and give feedback on the area’s YOU have requested assistance, then use a small chorus to practice what we have been talking about!  Over the past fifteen years, this program is rated by participants as one of THE BEST programs offered by the society!  Help your chapter by investing a Saturday in YOU!

  • Well over 230 such workshops have been conducted
  • Post workshop evaluation scores average 95% or better.  This is the highest rated program in the history of the society!
  • Make a director a little better, and the make chorus a lot better
  • A forum where you can discuss the philosophies of directing Barbershop choruses 

What’s in it for you?

  • Discover for yourself why you direct a chorus
  • Discover how you can improve your own directing skills and thus improve the level of singing and performing in your chorus
  • Discuss concerns that are not unique to just your chorus
  • Opportunities to meet and get to know other chorus directors in your area
  • Opportunities to learn from certified CDWI trainers – some of the most passionate barbershoppers around
  • Choose your own directing skills that you wish to hone

All of the above and likely more can be achieved at one venue and at minimal cost!!

Here’s how a typical CDWI unfolds:


Five directors are chosen to participate with two certified CDWI trainers. A host chapter and chapter contact are appointed and a conference call is held with the trainers and directors during which time the objectives of the workshop are discussed.

Workshop AM

The directors and the trainers meet for about three hours on the morning of the workshop. Much discussion takes place regarding such topics as: Why direct? What do I want to accomplish during a chorus rehearsal? What gets in the way of that accomplishment? What can I do to improve my skills? etc. At the end of the morning, each director chooses two skills to be coached on in the afternoon.

Workshop PM

A rehearsal chorus is available for the afternoon and each director gets to lead the chorus and be coached on the two chosen skills. The trainers will coach the directors on these two skills in front of a video camera and then viewing the video will provide more opportunity for coaching. Each director gets a directing / coaching session with each of the trainers. At the end of the day, the directors and the chorus members all fill out evaluation sheets.

CDWI Testimonial

Submitted by John Burri, Director of the Portland Metro Chapter (Bridge Town Sound)
CDWI … Chorus Director Workshop Intensive … the finest director training program in the Society, probably the finest educational program in the Society.

A CDWI II was held in Puyallup Saturday, 5/31, and it again proved to be a highlight of my barbershop career. The CDWI program is without a doubt the most worthwhile barbershop educational experience I’ve ever had.

I wish to extend thanks to my brother and sister directors, Bob Hart of both the Centralia and Chehalis Chapters, Glenn Smith of the Federal Way Chapter, and Marci Elefritz of the Pierce County Chapter. Fine directors, all of you. I learn as much or more watching you get put through your paces than through my own, and get the most from just communing and commiserating with you through the day.

Mac Dallman and Paul Hunter were excellent clinicians who perfectly balanced criticism and compliment, and maintained and supported the fragile and vulnerable egos of those being trained.

Thank you to Bruce Foreman and your helpers for taking care of all the logistical needs. Thank you to Bob Robson for sweating through getting these programs off the ground and running. Lastly, my biggest thanks go to the singers who volunteered their time on a Saturday to sing Polecats for directors they don’t even know. We can’t learn a thing without a guinea pig chorus for us directors to flail in front of. Our chorus was made up of singers form Pierce County, Federal Way, and perhaps others. Thank you, SO MUCH, for your giving and patient nature with us. May the skills your directors continue to develop enrich your barbershop experience. Bring it and ring it,

John Burri

Director – Portland Metro Chapter, Bridge Town Sound

How To Plan A CDWI

1) Choose an area, ideally one where there are several chapters in close proximity

2) Confirm a host chapter and send details of the duties of a host chapter to the host contact

3) Choose a weekend that will work for the workshop and the host chapter, keeping in mind the dates of nearby chapter shows and District events.

4) Contact the directors of the nearby chapters.
Note: CDWI is designed for front line directors. Much of the morning session is discussing the experience, successes, frustrations, etc. of running weekly rehearsal. If there are not enough Front-line directors to fill a workshop, it is acceptable to include one assistant director, but it really needs to be someone who has at least occasional rehearsal time in front of a chorus.

5) Once you have 4-5 directors to participate, request the trainers through the CDWI Coordinator. Ideally this step is 3 months prior to workshop date. With 3 months notice we can almost always find available trainers. The shorter the timeframe the more risk of not having trainers available.

6) Once your two trainers are assigned, make their travel and lodging arrangements. It is preferred for the district to pay for the flights and lodging directly. In most cases, if both trainers are male, they can share a hotel room.

7) Maintain regular contact with the directors, trainers and host chapter contact to ensure details are being taken care of.