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.
We asked the chorus leaders we interviewed for our 2018-19 Winter Voice article “Cause for Celebration” to pass along practical lessons learned from their experience planning anniversary seasons. The wisdom they shared ranges from knowing when to start to knowing when to stop.
Churches are the traditional performance venue of choice for many choral music organizations. But as rental costs rise and competition for event space becomes tighter, choruses are feeling the squeeze. Here are a few innovative, affordable solutions they’ve found.
North American choruses are anticipating a wave of major anniversaries in the coming years, and their leaders are hard at work preparing to mark the occasions. The most thoughtful celebrations honor a chorus’s past achievements, while laying the groundwork for an even stronger future.
Planned giving, also referred to as gift planning or legacy giving, is the act of making a commitment to give a charitable organization a gift, typically as part of a donor’s will or estate plan. It’s something that many choruses are interested in pursuing, but don’t know where to start or worry that the process will be complicated.
Asking your chorus members to re-audition may be the single greatest test of the notion that choruses can create outstanding art and at the same time create meaningful community. Artistic leaders, managers, and singers who have experienced re-auditioning in volunteer choruses large and small talk about its benefits and pitfalls, and explain how they have managed this delicate process.
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.
Looking for a group singing outlet, but unable to commit to a weekly rehearsal? Worried that you need to shake off some rust before joining a “serious” ensemble? Have no fear—relaxed opportunities with smaller time commitments are popping up across the country.
Now more than ever, it’s important for choruses to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the use of published music. New technologies are changing the way organizations purchase and use copyrighted materials. To complement a session at the 2018 Chorus America Conference, five music publishers talk about the key questions they are facing.
Nonprofit leader, humor blogger, and truth-teller. It’s a unique job description, but a perfect fit for Vu Le. Le is the executive director of Seattle-based social justice organization Rainier Valley Corps and the author of NonprofitAF.com, a blog that mixes pop culture and pictures of baby animals with candid insight into the current state of nonprofits.
Expanding its work around issues of equity and inclusion in classical music, the Sphinx Organization has launched EXIGENCE, a new professional vocal ensemble made up of singers of color. What were the impulses that led to the creation of EXIGENCE? Why is this development important to the choral field?
In early 20th-century Chicago, the intersection of classical and gospel church traditions gave birth to the modern gospel chorus movement. This history has made Chicago the gospel choir capital of the world—and continues to have an impact on ensemble singing today.