A panel discussion at the 2019 Conference capped off Chorus America’s inaugural “Voices of Change” program—an effort to foster more collaboration and inclusiveness in the Philadelphia-area choral community and provide leaders with education on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now the time has come to identify insights from this cohort that are relevant to choruses elsewhere. What might choral leaders expect when venturing into DEI discussions and attempting to build new connections in their choral communities? Voices of Change participants, facilitator Nicole Robinson, and Chorus America staff reflect on what was gained over the course of the year, as well as seeds planted that will take continued work to nurture.
President and CEO Catherine Dehoney was invited the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) to present remarks on Chorus America's 2019 Chorus Impact Study: Singing For a Lifetime at NCCO's 8th National Conference (NCCO8), November 7-9 in College Park, Maryland.
The World Symposium on Choral Music is an eight-day festival held every three years, organized by the International Federation for Choral Music. The next symposium is scheduled for July 2020, to be hosted in Auckland, New Zealand. In anticipation of WSCM2020, symposium artistic director John Rosser, who also founded and directs the Auckland-based chamber choir Viva Voce, spoke with Chorus America about next year’s event and its theme, tangata whenua.
The Chorus Impact Study: Singing for a Lifetime sheds new light on the impact choral singing has on individuals and communities—especially singers ages 65 and up.
Choruses are increasingly programming choral music that addresses social justice issues. But are we connecting the music performed on stage with the very real social issues in our communities? As we move beyond the traditional concert stage, are our collaborations built with authentic partnership and goal sharing? Are we educating our choirs and audiences to authentically experience music outside of our familiar choral genres?
Through demonstration and case studies, this workshop explores steps for creating choral partnerships that are truly collaborative, that deepen your chorus' relationships in your community, and are transformational for your chorus as well as your community partners. Webinar participants will engage in hands-on learning exercises that introduce GALA Choruses' "A New Harmony" workbook, and tools for listening, envisioning, and designing authentic collaborations.
Last fall, Indiana University music professor, conductor, and composer Dominick DiOrio took a sabbatical to travel across the United States to observe a wide spectrum of professional vocal ensembles, from small to large and from nascent to established. After attending rehearsals and performances and meeting with artistic directors, executives, and singers, he was left with the sense that, at their core, these professional choruses have more in common with their community counterparts than he imagined.
Since last fall, a cohort of Philadelphia-area choruses has been coming together for a series of workshops and online learning activities exploring issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their choruses and choral community.
Chorus America has announced the recipients of its 2019 awards program, recognizing a broad range of achievements in choral music, including artistic excellence, adventurous programming, innovative education programs, and lifetime service to the choral art.
Said president and CEO Catherine Dehoney, “Chorus America is thrilled to honor these exceptional choruses and choral leaders who inspire our colleagues and enrich our communities through their outstanding work.”
More and more choruses are developing in-school programs in partnership with local schools and nurturing their own youth choruses. In doing this work, they are learning that successfully involving more young people and their communities in choral singing often involves meeting them where they are.
UPDATE: The Angel City Chorale was eliminated in the semifinal round of America's Got Talent. It sang Bruce Springsteen's 9/11 anthem "The Rising" in their final performance, which aired on Sept. 11.