This article is part of a series highlighting new choral repertoire that can be used by a wide range of choirs to address different community issues.
Singers are the lifeblood of the choral field. Ensembles from coast to coast are anchored by veterans of school and youth choral programs who found the experience rewarding enough that they continued through adulthood. But as choral leaders know all too well, many choristers can’t or don’t stick with it; they drop out of choral singing when they hit significant life transitions.
Jean Davidson does not have the background of a typical choral administrator. The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) president and CEO took the job—her first in the choral community—after working in theater, contemporary dance, and instrumental music, where she served as the founding managing director of the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma.
There's a groundbreaking musical powered entirely by the human voice. In Transit is Broadway’s first a cappella musical, boasting a creative team that includes Frozen songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez and contemporary a cappella guru Deke Sharon. The show’s run is an exciting development for proponents of vocal music, and a prime showcase for actors with unique a cappella singing talents like James Snyder.
Music is an emotional medium, yet we often spend rehearsal time in our choirs focused on notes, rhythms, and precision, rarely addressing the meaning of the music, says arranger and producer Deke Sharon. In the new book The Heart of Vocal Harmony: Emotional Expression in Group Singing, Sharon puts the process of delivering an emotionally compelling performance front and center.
Podcasts: They seem to be sprouting up everywhere these days. Similar to social media and the smartphone, the rise of podcasts—audio programs released as a series of episodes that you can subscribe to and download onto your device—has brought significant changes to the way we consume our media today. In 2013, Apple’s podcasts hit the one billion subscriber mark.
This August, Chorus America released the results of the first-ever systematic look at what moves and motivates the people who attend choral music concerts. In partnership with leading research and consulting firm WolfBrown, the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project worked with 23 choruses across North America to survey their audiences.
When Shira Cion hunted down Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble in 1988, it was a different era. There were no websites with which small niche arts organizations could make themselves visible to the world.
I am not an expert at fundraising in the traditional sense. As a recovering choral conductor who became a recording engineer, I’ve never held a fundraising position for any arts nonprofit organization. I did, however, spend 10 years working for two symphonic choruses with budgets of over $1 million and administrative staffs of less than five people. Like many of us, I’ve gotten an on-the-job crash course in fundraising and patron cultivation.
In the chorus-crazy land of Minnesota, there’s a charismatic new face in town putting a unique stamp on the area’s choral scene.