SATB pieces do not always make for equally successful SSAA versions, notes Portland Symphonic Girlchoir founding artistic and executive director Roberta Q. Jackson, but she has found a gem in this David C. Dickau adaptation for women's voices.
This summer marks one year since Jane Chu began her tenure as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. In advance of her keynote conversation at Chorus America’s Boston Conference, she spoke with president and CEO Catherine Dehoney about her career and the important role the arts play in our lives and communities.
Being the only person managing the day-to-day operations of a chorus is not for the faint of heart, but the pay-off can be sweet. Here’s how a number of solo administrators pull it off.
In her memoirs, Alma Mahler narrates the meticulous schedule by which her husband Gustav balanced his daily priorities in order to preserve his energy and maximize the value of every minute. In the summertime, when he composed at their lake house, he took a mandatory afternoon swim, followed by a three-hour walk, rain or shine. In the wintertime, when he conducted in Vienna, the opera house called ahead at lunchtime to ensure that his apartment door was open so he would not have to wait. His soup, hot, was expected to be already placed on the table.
“Our philosophy is no one should be denied the joy of music because of money. There’s no membership dues, there’s no fee for music. That carries over to the audience. All of our concerts are free to the public.”
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.
In May, the Choral Arts Society of Washington (CASW) embarked on a two-week tour of China. The symphonic chorus teamed up with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra on its own domestic tour, giving performances of Carmina Burana in the cities of Qingdao, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
With the 2015 premiere of Rise, a cantata about race in America, Cantate Chamber Singers took a collaborative approach to an important issue.
Committed to the expansion of repertoire for women's voice, Beth Willer was particulary struck by one flexible and enticing piece.
With Donald Skirvin's Alchemy, Karen P. Thomas found a piece that makes a strong impression on audiences and is both challenging and rewarding for singers.
In a commentary for Chorus America’s online feature Noteworthy, Donald Nally commends James MacMillan’s St. John Passion to choral music colleagues—despite its considerable challenges. Not only is its scale monumental, the oratorio may invite controversy.
Programming a modern St. John Passion invites controversy in a way that programming a historical setting such as Bach's does not. For Donald Nally, the musical and philosophical discussions raised by James MacMillan's St. John Passion made taking on the work an experience of growth for all involved.