An artist, arts educator, teaching artist, policymaker, and philanthropist, Alysia Lee has a broad perspective on the arts ecosystem. As the founder and artistic director of Sister Cities Girlchoir and as the inaugural president for the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (a position she began in early 2022), she works to advance access, equity, and decolonization—always with a focus on youth, anti-racism, creativity, and justice.
On April 7, 2022, at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York City, the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club will give the world premiere of To Repair, a multi-movement work reflecting on what is necessary to bring repair to Black communities in America written by composer and educator Tesfa Wondemagegnehu.
Members of the choral and vocal music communities have responded with an outpouring of compassion and support for the people of Ukraine, as the world witnesses heartbreaking violence and loss of life in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion.
Resources for Relief Efforts
Organizations and individuals in our field with particular knowledge of the region have been sharing their recommendations on ways that people can contribute to much-needed relief efforts to assist Ukrainians. We share the resources that we have seen thus far below.
On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the recipients of its first round of 2022 grants. Chorus America is honored to be a recipient of a $90,000 Grants for Art Projects award, among nearly $33.2 million awarded to individuals and arts organizations across the United States. We are thrilled to see many choral organizations and partners present in the list of awarded grants, including:
As early as May 2020, researchers identified COVID-19 to be highly transmissible through singing and choral musicians had to pivot quickly. Overnight, music educators and choral conductors became experts in planning asynchronous Zoom rehearsals and producing virtual choirs, allowing their ensembles to continue creating through the pandemic.
The closing plenary at the 2021 Chorus America Summer Conference, a panel discussion titled Personal Journeys, Collective Change, centered on Black voices in the choral community. The plenary served as a follow-up to a similar event at the 2020 gathering during which longtime African American choral leaders reflected on their careers and experiences. This year, representatives of a younger generation described the paths they have followed in choral music and where they find themselves today.
Last week, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the recipients of its second round of 2021 grants. We are excited to see many of our partners and members represented in the list of awarded grants, including:
Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Cantare Con Vivo
Giving Voice Initiative
Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble
Mendelssohn Club Of Philadelphia
BY KATHERINE CASTILLE
As it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic would wear on for months, many choruses launched digital initiatives to keep their music and their message in front of their audiences. Those with digital strategies already in place have stepped up their efforts. Others are just beginning to navigate this new frontier. All of them are learning valuable lessons about what digital content their audiences want and are willing to pay for.
With some help from Silicon Valley, we may be on our way to overcoming the choral field’s most persistent hurdle during the pandemic—latency from internet connections that prevents choruses from truly being able to hear each other and sing together synchronously online. Software entrepreneur Mike Dickey, a parent of the Ragazzi Boys Chorus of San Mateo, California, worked with Stanford University researchers to develop a technology platform called JackTrip Virtual Studio that makes real-time remote singing possible with common internet connections.