In contrast, singing the DESCANT part in context with the rest of the choral parts and the accompaniment can feel like putting the icing on top of the cake. It is the part that really adds the sparkle and shine to a piece. When all the parts are put together, the descant can really be fun to sing!
Many DESCANT parts are not exactly melodic. Unlike the recognizable tune that people follow along with the lyrics, the descant can use very random notes and sometimes doesn't even use words. Yet, by virtue of the fact that it is the highest part, it gets noticed, unlike many of the inner parts. Lucky are the times when a descant actually has a lovely countermelody of its very own that can stand alone.
As a section yesterday, we collectively agreed that we preferred practicing our DESCANT part while the other sections sang their parts (which happened to be the melody in unison). That felt much better! Having SUPPORT allowed us the freedom to sing out, unafraid.
So, to you choir directors: Be considerate of your DESCANT singers. They love having SUPPORT for their high notes!
"How Firm a Foundation" SATB has a DESCANT part on the last verse. It is very fun to sing above the Organ, Choir and Congregation. It is certainly the icing on the cake! (So great to have a firm foundation!)