In the last decade of the 20th century, the composer Morten Lauridsen wrote a series of pieces while serving a residency for the Los Angeles Master Chorale that have had a lasting and international impact. This year the choral world celebrates the 20th anniversary of the largest of these milestones, Lux Aeterna. What has given the Lauridsen aesthetic its power to connect and attract? And why does it continue to move performers, composers, and listeners?
Do you look forward to your board meetings? I didn’t think so. I go to board meetings several times a week, and most of them make me sad. The main reason? The typical meeting structure offers little opportunity for board members to LEAD.
Is this growing trend a gimmick? Or a glimpse of the future?
A first-of-its-kind convening highlights some promising ideas for helping the choral field thrive
When you stop to think about the ways people sing together, the diversity is breathtaking. Just a partial list includes community, school, collegiate, and church choruses, as well as gospel choirs, barbershop groups, contemporary a cappella ensembles, men’s choruses, and special mission groups like threshold choirs.
In the wake of terrible events, choruses and choral leaders have found ways to be part of the response and healing process.
Takeaways from the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project
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.
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.”
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.”
No other piece of music captivated iconic conductor Robert Shaw more than the Brahms Requiem. A symposium presented by Chorus America in honor of the Shaw centenary explored the conductor’s deep connection to this masterwork—and what it reveals about his approach to music and his legacy.
Three funders share their do’s and don’ts for successful grant applications.
Hiring your chorus’s first employee is an important step. Here’s how to make sure you get it right.