Impact/Value

“The phenomenon of a gay men’s chorus is a vital part of the musical fabric of our society. It is not a gimmick to draw a crowd. We have always just wanted to put on great concerts – and make a difference while doing it.”

This issue of the American Choral Review examines the life and legacy of little-known conductor Theodore Thomas, who in the mid 19th-century almost single-handedly built two of the premiere orchestras in the country and was one of the first conductors to treat the chorus as a serious ensemble, fostering performances of large choral-orchestral works.

Midcoast Community Chorus of Rockport, Maine was founded on the belief that everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard and that powerful things happen when we sing together in community. The group’s founder and artistic director Mimi Bornstein talks about the impact of that vision in the community.

For nearly half a century, Voices of Omaha has presented annual performances of Handel's Messiah without admission charge. In 2010, artistic director Edward B. Hurd laid out a challenge and a path forward: “We can do even more for our community.” Part II of this two-part series explores how the chorus exponentially increased its development efforts and shares "words to the wise" learned through experience.

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