Strengthening choral community: The interaction of face-to-face and online activities amongst a college choir | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1752-6299
  • E-ISSN: 1752-6302



This article reports on a small-scale study investigating the interaction of face-to-face and online group activities by members of a Dublin-based college choir (where the researcher is also a lecturer and choral leader) over a period of twelve months in 2009–2010. Research data are gathered by way of participation–observation of – and sometimes participation in – the choir’s Facebook page and through an extended real-time interview with a group of student choir members subsequently carried out in 2011. The overall analytic framework is sociological in orientation, utilizing distinctions between ‘sound’ and ‘musical–social’ groups, as well as ‘bonding’, ‘bridging’ and ‘maintained’ types of ‘social capital’. The review of literature examines notions of choral communities, online communities and the affordances of computer-mediated communication. Data analysis is presented in two sections: the first comprises a narrative interpretation of how face-to-face and online activities interacted over the period under review; the second raises a number of issues that emerge from the interview with students. Overall findings suggest a strong symbiotic relationship between the collective identity of the face-to-face choir and that of the online choral group. Affordances of social media and ‘clip culture’ are realized through series of mutually influential initiatives and interventions on the part of students and the choral leader, thereby bridging perceptions of the choir as institution and the choir as community.


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