Impact/Value

Chorus America's 2018 Commission Consortium Composers

Each month, Chorus America profiles one of our members in our Meet A Member interview series. To mark the season of giving, we often change things up a little bit for December by speaking with Chorus America donors. This year, we spoke to Hussein Janmohamed and Joan Szymko, the two composers donating compositions for Chorus America’s 2018 Commission Consortiums.

In an effort to renew our understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and challenges choral conductors encounter and how they affect the choral ecosystem, Chorus America undertook a new study, updating survey findings from a decade ago. The results highlight both important challenges and reasons to feel confident about the health of the profession. 

In addition to enriching musical knowledge and enhancing vocal technique, singing in a chorus can also teach important lessons about life itself. We reached out to the growing network of choruses specifically for older adults, and asked longtime singers about the ways in which singing has informed other aspects of their lives.

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.

Vijay Gupta is both a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a dedicated advocate for the power of music to change lives and reconnect us to our shared humanity. In 2011, he founded Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging musicians in performance and dialogue with marginalized communities of people experiencing poverty, homelessness and incarceration. 

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