An expert in audience development and diversification, Donna Walker-Kuhne has devoted her professional career to increasing access to the arts. In advance of her keynote plenary on “Dynamic Community Engagement” at Chorus America’s Conference in Cincinnati, she spoke with president and CEO Catherine Dehoney about how the conversation around community engagement has changed—and the opportunities this creates for choruses to “roll up their sleeves and dig in.”
Faculty members and participants at Chorus America’s Robert Shaw Centenary Symposium reflect on the qualities that made Shaw a choral icon.
“There are so many commonalities between directing a community choir and the church music experience,” says Tom Dooling of First Presbyterian Church San Antonio.
As a graduate conducting student at Temple University in the 1980s, Diana V. Saez recalls being frustrated that there was no mention of Latin American composers—except for the famous composers Villalobos from Brazil and Ginastera from Argentina. When she moved to Washington DC, in 1990, she found a bustling choral music scene, with a wide variety of choruses. But Latin American music was not part of the standard repertoire.
L. Brett Scott has touched many sides of the choral world in his career so far, and it figures that plenty more is in store. “My association has gone from a symphonic chorus, to research, to a community choir, and now includes a larger choral-orchestral ensemble again,” he says.
How does a chorus's legacy continue after its visionary founder is no longer around? It takes the will of a community.
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.
Each month, Chorus America president and CEO Catherine Dehoney sits down to have a conversation over the phone with one of our members. This January, she spoke with Mary Henriques, executive director of the Pensacola Children's Chorus.
Each month, Chorus America has been profiling one of our members in our new Meet A Member series. For December, to mark the season of giving, we changed things up a little bit and interviewed one of Chorus America's long-time donors: Greg Funfgeld, artistic director of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem.
Lorenzo Martinez wasn’t expecting to become the executive director of the Houston Chamber Choir, but his new job is, in a sense, a homecoming. “I feel extremely fortunate to have landed here and work with incredible people,” says Martinez.