In this issue of the Research Memorandum Series, Dr. Sean Linfors provides a brief history of Stephen Paulus’ compositional career, discusses some of his most beloved pieces, and catalogs Paulus’ complete choral works.
Compiled by Dr. Jennifer Flory and Meagan W. Johnson, this issue highlights literature for treble choirs written by American composers in the last 30 years. The index is sorted by composer and will eventually be incorporated into a larger and more inclusive online database.
As this article is published, votes are still being counted in the 2020 United States general election - though for months now, the choral field has been using the power of our art to encourage the public to make their voices heard in this much-anticipated event. Our Chorus Impact Study has consistently found that choristers exhibit remarkably high levels of civic leadership, and the projects of these choruses and composers certainly live up to those research findings.
“Awake! Awake! Ye sisters all,” is the opening line to the “Suffrage Marching Song,” by Fanny Connable and Florence Livingston Lent, composed in 1914 to benefit the Equal Suffrage Cause. Like many political movements, the suffrage movement was inherently linked with music, making the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment’s ratification a natural programmatic theme. Choruses across the U.S. are honoring this anniversary with new events and commissions featuring women’s voices, including premieres happening this weekend.
SPONSORED CONTENT FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER
There can be serendipity in the most challenging change of plans. The Master Chorale of South Florida was scheduled for a prime performance at the 2020 Chorus America Conference in Miami -- an ideal setting to premiere a commission from composer Jake Runestad. With a global coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to choral events and most of everyday life as we know it, this performance obviously did not come to fruition.
Instead, the Master Chorale and artistic director Brett Karlin discovered they possesed a brand new work that spoke with uncanny eloquence to our new reality -- and the opportunity to premiere it with the involvement of a wider community of audience members, renowned conductors, and singers than they ever imagined. Karlin and Runestad shared their stories with Chorus America on the journey of this new commission, As Long As We Are Here, which enters a new chapter this fall.
In the Summer 2020 issue of Chorus America's magazine, the Voice, we published a number of special features that highlighted the choral community's response in the wake of COVID-19. Among countless affected performances during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic were eagerly anticipated world premieres—works such as Damien Geter’s African American Requiem with Portland, Oregon’s Resonance Ensemble (for more, see Secular Requiems) that explore timely and meaningful topics and involve collaborations, often spanning long periods, distances, or both. We asked several choruses about their premieres that were put on hold and their developing plans to find a way to share these new pieces of music with the world.
In the Summer 2020 issue of Chorus America's magazine, the Voice, we published a number of special features that highlighted the choral community's response in the wake of COVID-19. This section spotlights composers who have risen to the moment by creating new work in direct response to the pandemic, some in unique fashions.
Music’s prominence in the sacred sphere has shaped some of the most enduring genres of choral music in Western culture, such as the requiem mass. For more than a century, composers have found resonance in the requiem outside its traditional religious framework — a resonance that has acquired new intensity in recent years. Here is a look at four American composers of today who have adapted the idea of the sacred requiem to secular expressions that commemorate loss and encourage healing. Their music responds to a wide spectrum of inspirations—and perhaps has even more relevance in a world coping with suffering and loss in a new way.
Chorus America has announced the recipients of its 2020 awards program, recognizing a broad range of achievements in choral music, including artistic excellence, adventurous programming, innovative education programs, and lifetime service to the choral art.