I am not an expert at fundraising in the traditional sense. As a recovering choral conductor who became a recording engineer, I’ve never held a fundraising position for any arts nonprofit organization. I did, however, spend 10 years working for two symphonic choruses with budgets of over $1 million and administrative staffs of less than five people. Like many of us, I’ve gotten an on-the-job crash course in fundraising and patron cultivation.
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.
“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.
“The phenomenon of a gay men’s chorus is a vital part of the musical fabric of our society. It is not a gimmick to draw a crowd. We have always just wanted to put on great concerts – and make a difference while doing it.”
In 2014, the Chorus of Westerly won more than $1 million in Rhode Island state funds to support the renovation of its historic performance hall. Here’s how they did it.
This issue of the American Choral Review examines the life and legacy of little-known conductor Theodore Thomas, who in the mid 19th-century almost single-handedly built two of the premiere orchestras in the country and was one of the first conductors to treat the chorus as a serious ensemble, fostering performances of large choral-orchestral works.