I believe that much inspiration can be gained by listening to and watching the performances of excellent musicians, whether they perform Classical or pop, are instrumentalists or singers. One of my favorites to listen to and watch is the acapella group Pentatonix.
Especially at this time of year, I find listening to Pentatonix, and watching their videos to be very inspiring. Their arrangements of Christmas classics combine the familiar beauty of old-fashioned carols with fresh, modern interpretations. Performance-wise they display such perfection of intonation and attention to detail that I think of them as excellent inspiration for what can be achieved by conscientious musicians playing in an ensemble.
From watching them in the videos it is evident that they listen to each other closely, ALL THE TIME, EVERY SINGLE SECOND, so they can interact and adjust accordingly. I feel like I can almost see how intensely they are listening to each other, blending their individual voices into the overal sound and texture.
They also put the maximum amount of effort and attention into every syllable. It doesn’t matter whether they are singing lead or backup, each singer performs each and every note as if it were the most important note in the song. And their use of different syllables and mouth shapes to create specific sounds (also applicable to wind players, especially flutists!) demonstrates how much thought and pre-planning they put into making each piece of music special. They are fully invested in making every moment great, because they know that every note counts.
For emphasis on intonation in a simple carol, check out Pentonix singing First Noel.
To hear how they approach tunes without lyrics, this link takes you to Pentatonix singing Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker Suite, a fun listen and entertaining video!
And if you want just a little more, this arrangement of Carol of the Bells is fantastic! I hope that as you listen and you sill be inspired to continue developing your musical skills!