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.
Every conductor, singer or voice teacher needs a few good vocal hacks. No, we’re not talking mediocre singers; we’re borrowing from the tech world where Merriam-Webster defines a hack as a “creative solution to a computer hardware or programming problem or limitation.”
One choral leader described setting a concert attire policy as “somewhere near getting a root canal.” Ouch! We asked choruses—and the choral apparel companies that clothe them—to give us their best advice for making the process as pain-free as possible.
Whether your chorus has 10 singers or 110, what those singers wear matters. The overall look should complement, not distract from, the music and communicate a certain level of seriousness, or as one choral conductor quipped, “not like you just walked in off the street.”
What does it take to get to Carnegie Hall? Or to a memorable choral performance? Everyone knows the answer. But many are the music scores that sit unattended in car trunks between rehearsals. And many are the frustrated choral conductors who wish their singers would put in the time that the music deserves.
Humans have a special ability to learn songs and change them over time—a skill that is useful in treating neurological problems and may help support overall brain health. Researcher Aniruddh D. Patel explains.
On the first leg of Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States, an elite choir of 90 singers assembled from across the region will lift their voices to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
Composer, conductor, and teacher Alice Parker is a living musical legend and a true champion of the power of the human voice. In a plenary conversation at the 2015 Chorus America Conference, Parker reflected on conducting and composing, her work with Robert Shaw, her involvement with Chorus America and the value of coming together to sing.