NYCC Fall Workshop on Choral Karma – Getting Our Shared Community to Show Up and the Commissioning Process

New York Choral Consortium
Cathedral House - Second Floor The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
Event date: 
18 Oct 2014
Start Time: 
9 AM Continental Breakfast
Conductor / Keynote Speaker: 
Nicole Belmont, marketing strategist; with Michael Kerschner, artistic director of the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, Martha Sullivan, composer and founding member of C4, Fahad Siadat, composer, publisher, and member of C4, Philip Lasser, composer and professor of music at The Juilliard School, and moderator Vince Peterson, founder of Choral Chameleon

Choral Karma - Getting Our Shared Community to Show Up!

Is the marketing process or the idea of social media weighing you down? Don't know where to start or why those things you've tried aren't working? Need to expand your audience past the friends and family market, but don't know how? We all need some NYC "Choral Karma." Our expert clinician will lead a rousing discussion using a unique crowd-sourcing technique for revealing ideas and share expert tips and planning strategies for effective marketing of our choral music concerts here in NYC. Let's figure out how to get our music in the ears and hearts of every New Yorker! 

The Commissioning Process
Have you always wanted to commission a new work for your choir, but worried that the process would be daunting or difficult for you or your singers? Let your friends at NYCC set your mind at ease. Hear the stories, the do's and don'ts, and get expert inside tips for successful collaborations between composers and choral conductors. A panel of distinguished artists from all sides of the spectrum will pave the way for your next (or first!) exciting project bringing new music to life for the first time! We'll even include a comprehensive info packet to help you get started!

For the morning session (from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM), Choral Karma - Getting Our Shared Community to Show Up!   Nicole Belmont, marketing strategist and NYC-based choral singer, will lead a rousing discussion to ensure that every chorus expands its audience using effective strategic marketing and crowd-sourcing techniques.

For the afternoon session (from 1:30 to 4:30 PM), The Commissioning Process, Michael Kerschner, artistic director of the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, Martha Sullivan, composer and founding member of C4, Fahad Siadat, composer, publisher, and member of C4, Philip Lasser, composer and professor of music at The Juilliard School, and moderator Vince Peterson, founder of Choral Chameleon, will discuss the do's and don'ts of commissioning and share their inside tips for successful collaborations.
 For additional information, or to register, go to:
About the Clinician: Nicole Belmont
Nicole Belmont is a marketing strategist who has worked for media owners such as MTV and AOL in the UK and on the agency-side in New York on behalf of multinational advertisers, including P&G, Diageo and JM Smucker.  Her specialty lies in the area of consumer & audience receptivity – helping organizations large and small to find the place where the needs and motivations of people can intersect with the way a product or service can benefit them.  Many companies and organizations are essentially talking to themselves when they present themselves to the outside world, focusing on what they are most proud or highlighting aspects of their product that appeal to their superior knowledge of their field.  Nicole works with decision-makers to help them think about the other demands on a consumer’s time, money and attention and move them towards a more audience-centric way of thinking: touching upon product, message, media and competitive framing. From a choral music perspective: Nicole grew up in the UK, where beyond the rich exposure to choral music received in all the schools she attended, she was exposed from the earliest age to cathedral and Oxbridge choirs and sat in packed houses for choral music at the Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican Centre as a matter of course. After 10 years in New York, and being a singer with two avocational choruses and now Board President of a professional ensemble, she has come to understand the cultural challenges the choral community faces here to build audiences beyond friends & family who are never autonomously on the look-out for choral music concerts.
Panel Members:
Michael Kershner, Founder of the Young New Yorkers Chorus
Michael Kerschner (Artistic Director/Conductor) is a respected educator who is dedicated to uniting the roles of teacher and working artist. This is his 6th season with YNYC, and for three years he served as conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Chorale, which performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Michael received a degree in Music Education from Duquesne University, where he studied conducting with Brady Allred, and he received his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of North Texas where he was a student of Jerry McCoy. He has taught at the NYSSSA choral studies program and at the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University as choral director and Music Education specialist. Choirs under his direction have performed the National Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association, the Command Performance at the Nevada All-State Conference, the Western Division ACDA Student Symposium, and with the New Amsterdam Orchestra, Ensemble 212, Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Long Island Pops Orchestra. He has recently been invited to represent the Eastern Division of ACDA for the International Conductor’s Exchange program to take place in South Africa in 2014. Michael was previously the Director of Choirs at Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where his choirs consistently received the highest possible ratings at local and national festivals. He currently is Director of the Choral Department at North Shore High School on Long Island, where his ensembles have received gold with distinction honors at NYSSMA festivals, and completed performance tours through Italy, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada, and will travel to Spain this February. As a choral singer he has performed in 9 European countries and at regional and national conferences. Michael is also a visual artist and teacher of the AP Art History course.
Vince Peterson, Moderator; Founder of Choral Chameleon
Vince Peterson is a Brooklyn-based composer, conductor, and keyboardist.  He is the founder of Choral Chameleon, a ground-breaking vocal ensemble in New York City, which has made significant strides in modern choral music and concert programming.  The New York Times called Peterson "authoritative beyond his… years," and The Brooklyn Eagle praised his work as "a stunning symphony of the spiritual and secular", while hailing him as a solo performer "with depth and vigor" who "provided a universal context which resonated with his audience." Commissioners and distinguished performers of his compositions include Ars Musica, Cantori New York, The Monmouth Civic Chorus, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, The San Francisco Arts Education Project, and the multi-Grammy® award winning ensemble, Chanticleer, among others.  His works have been performed in major concert halls including Chicago Symphony Hall, San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, Bela Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, and New York's own Metropolitan Museum of Art.  His arrangement of Tom Waits' "Temptation" was called "hard to top" by the San Francisco Chronicle and was recently performed live on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion".  A champion of new music, he is responsible for commissioning and premiering over 100 choral and musical theater works to date. While maintaining an active career in choral music, he also serves as Organist and Choirmaster of St. Paul’s Carroll Street in Brooklyn, as Artistic Director of The Empire City Men’s Chorus, and Director of Children’s Choirs at The Lycée Français de New York.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of The New York Choral Consortium, where he works to develop the choral art and cultivate new program offerings for NYC choruses, their directors, and their administrators. His music is published exclusively by Personage Press.

Martha Sullivan, Composer; Founding Member of C4
Martha Sullivan’s music has been praised as "vibrant" and "a singer’s favorite." She has earned commissions from such leading voices in American choral music as the Dale Warland Singers and the Gregg Smith Singers (with whom she was a resident composer, 2002–2008), as well as the Esoterics (Seattle, WA), Bella Voce (Reno, NV), Chicago A Cappella, the New York Treble Singers, the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, and Vocativ (Zürich, Switzerland). Numerous ensembles have performed her work, including such New York fixtures as Voices of Ascension, Cerddorion, and Equal Voices, as well as ensembles countrywide, such as San Francisco’s Volti, Minneapolis’ The Singers, and the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. Her work has been championed by Stephen Tharp, the international organ recitalist, and recorded by The Esoterics, Chicago A Cappella, and mezzo-soprano Virginia Dupuy. Her work appears in the book Singing for Dummies. She has received several Meet the Composer grants for her work with Gregg Smith, as well as recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts for her work with the Esoterics; she was the 2009 Bronze Medalist in the Sorel Medallion competition for women composers, and she won the Dale Warland Singers’ Choral Ventures competition in its final year (2003). 

Fahad Siadat, Composer and Publisher; Member of C4
As a freelance performer Fahad specializes in contemporary and experimental music, particularly improvisation and the use of extended vocal techniques. As a composer, he focuses on music for the voice, but has written for just about everything from Brazilian hand-percussion to works for the symphony. He is co-artistic director of The Resonance Collective in New York, an interdisciplinary music/dance ensemble with collaborator Andre Megerdichian and is a co-conductor of C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, for which he also serves on the executive committee. He also conducts the Columbia University Glee Club and is voice faculty at the Capezio Dance Center. In 2012, he founded See-A-Dot Music Publishing, Inc., a company devoted to the advocacy of new choral works and emerging composers.  Fahad holds a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in Music Performance and Composition with a focus on Vocal Music, and a Bachelor's of Music in Theory and Composition from Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.  He has written music for: C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, Smitten Kitten Film Productions, the California EAR Unit, New Century Players, CalArts Singer's Collective, TOCCATA Orchestra, and Warrior Poet Theater Group, as well as public schools along the west coast. He has also worked and performed with artists such as Toby Twining, Frank Denyer, David Childs, Don Moye, John Lindberg, Amina Claudine Myers, and Meredith Monk.  

Philip Lasser, Composer and Professor of Music - The Juilliard School; Founder of The European American Musical Alliance
Composer Philip Lasser’s music is a unique sound world that blends the subtle colors of French Impressionist sonorities with the crisp, direct sounds and rhythms of America’s musical palette. Standing apart from modernist trends and experiments, Lasser has devoted himself to the refinement of personal expression through economy of gesture and colorful harmony. “I seek content over form, expression over style.” Standing apart from the modernist trends and experiments, Philip Lasser has devoted himself to the refinement of personal expression through an economy of gesture and a blossoming of color. In recognition of his distinct musical voice, Lasser was named 2012 -2013 Composer of the Year by the Classical Recording Foundation and is a recent recipient of the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters for the publication of a work by a gifted composer. This award was established by the C. F. Peters Corporation, music publishers, in 1984. Philip Lasser was born in New York City, August 4, 1963. At the age of five, Lasser began piano lessons and composing songs for his mother’s voice. At sixteen he entered Nadia Boulanger’s famed Ecole d’Arts Americaines in Fontainebleau, France and his musical ear was forever changed. There he also met the legendary pianist Gaby Casadesus with whom he formed a long musical relationship, first as her student and then as co-author of “Ma Technique Quotidienne,” published by Editions Max Eschig. Following studies at Harvard College where he graduated summa cum laude, Lasser lived in Paris from 1985 – 1988, a pivotal period for his musical development, working with Boulanger’s closest colleague and disciple, Narcis Bonet. In 1988 Lasser entered Columbia University’s masters program in Composition, and undertook intensive studies in counterpoint with René Leibowitz’s disciple, Jacques-Louis Monod, thus forging a seamless link between the French world of musical color and the great German tradition of linear contrapuntal development. Two years later Lasser entered the DMA program at The Juilliard School where he studied with David Diamond. Philip Lasser’s music has been performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz and The New York Chamber Symphony and by such artists as Elizabeth Futral, Simone Dinnerstein, Margo Garrett, Lucy Shelton, Cho-Liang Lin, Zuill Bailey, Brian Zeger, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger and Sasha Cooke. Philip Lasser’ s works have been broadcast on network television as well as featured on the classical radio station of the New York Times, WQXR Reflections From the Keyboard with host David Dubal and Robert Sherman’s The Listening Room. Dr. Lasser’ s works have also been broadcast on NPR, and XFM Hong Kong radio RTHK. Philip Lasser’s works are published in New York by Rassel Editions and by C.F. Peters Corp as well as in Paris by Editions Max Eschig (BMG International). Lasser’s works can be heard on the New World Records, Crystal Records and BMG RCA/Red Seal labels and on the Telarc label with performer Simone Dinnerstein. Lasser’s recent book, The Spiraling Tapestry: An Inquiry into the Contrapuntal Fabric of Music offers a pioneering view on Bach’s compositional world. Philip Lasser directs the European American Musical Alliance Summer Music Programs. A school dedicated to training young composers, chamber musicians and conductors in the tradition of legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger. The programs are held annually at the historic Schola Cantorum in Paris, France. Philip Lasser is a distinguished member of the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1994.

The New York Choral Consortium is a membership organization composed of NYC choruses representing a diverse community of singers and choral organizations. The NYCC fosters a spirit of mutual support and collaboration amongst its members and strives to contribute to the cultural appreciation of choral music throughout New York City.  Member organizations have access to strategy seminars, networking events, and social events that promote healthier choruses and a more vibrant choral community. The NYCC also supports a cooperative approach to promoting programming diversity in the city by publishing an internal programming calendar for future seasons. The NYCC publishes a choral calendar and distributes information on upcoming concerts of member organizations through an opt-in email list. 


Get News