Versions of this have been bouncing around the interweb for quite some time; I’ve taken the liberty of massaging it a little. Enjoy.

The following rules are intended as a guide to the development of habits which will promote the proper type of relationship between singers in the tenor section and the conductor.

  1. Complain about the temperature of the rehearsal room, the lighting, crowded space, and of a draft. It’s best to do this when the conductor is under pressure or has just raised her arms to start a piece of music.
  2. Bury your head in the music just before the first downbeat of each song. Keep it there.
  3. Loudly clear your throat during pauses.
  4. Quiet instrumental interludes are a good chance to blow your nose.
  5. Wait until well into a rehearsal before letting the conductor know that you don’t have the music.
  6. Look at your watch frequently. Shake it in disbelief occasionally.
  7. When possible, sing your part either an octave above or below what is written. This is excellent ear-training for the conductor. If she hears the pitch, deny it vehemently and claim that it must have been someone else, probably in the bass section.
  8. When working on a piece in a new language, interrupt the rehearsal to ensure you’re getting a new word correctly. Say the word twice and ask her preference, making sure to say it exactly the same both times. If she remarks on their similarity, give her a look of utter disdain and mumble under your breath about the “subtleties of inflection”.
  9. Make every effort to take the attention away from the conductor and put it on you, where it belongs. You are, after all, a tenor and there is nothing more important in the world of choral singing.