Training/Professional Development

Education, training, and continuing education for conductors, chorus managers, and singers

The Choral Commons: A New Project and A New Partnership

Chorus America is excited to be a community partner of a newly-launched initiative, The Choral Commons, founded by University of San Diego director of choral studies Emilie Amrein and Boston University professor of music André de Quadros.

Leadership and Diversity in the Arts: My Experience at SphinxConnect 2020

As diversity, equity, and inclusion have increasingly come to the forefront for so many classical music organizations today, there’s a forum that has become a leading space in DEI conversations for the past five years: SphinxConnect.

Want Your Professional Chorus to Thrive? Be a Fiercely Introspective Leader

Spoiler Alert: If your only takeaway from this blog post is the title, you will have all you need to transform your organization radically and sustainably.

I get to spend all of my days speaking with leaders and members of arts organizations about their successes and struggles. As a result, I have seen an overwhelming pattern in small and midsize professional arts organizations that is plaguing the industry. I call that plague conventional success.

Voices of Change: Building a More Inclusive Choral Community

A panel discussion at the 2019 Conference capped off Chorus America’s inaugural “Voices of Change” program—an effort to foster more collaboration and inclusiveness in the Philadelphia-area choral community and provide leaders with education on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now the time has come to identify insights from this cohort that are relevant to choruses elsewhere. What might choral leaders expect when venturing into DEI discussions and attempting to build new connections in their choral communities? Voices of Change participants, facilitator Nicole Robinson, and Chorus America staff reflect on what was gained over the course of the year, as well as seeds planted that will take continued work to nurture.

Overcoming Self-Doubt within a Creative Life

With her new book, Staying Composed: Overcoming Self-Doubt and Anxiety within a Creative Life, composer Dale Trumbore has written the book that she always wanted to read. As a young composer, she found several inspiring biographies and memoirs from composers that she looked up to, but, she says, “there was really not that much information out there at all about making a living as a creative person or overcoming hurdles in the creative process from the perspective of a musician.”

What Does Arts Advocacy Look Like in Washington?

Chorus America communications manager Mike Rowan represented our organization and the choral field at Arts Advocacy Day 2018, and came back with some insider tips on how the process works in our nation’s capital.

Meet A Member: Alexander Lloyd Blake, Tonality

Alexander Lloyd Blake has plenty of jobs to keep himself busy.

Blake is the choir director for the LA County High School for the Arts, and principal assistant conductor of the National Children's Chorus’ Los Angeles ensemble. But that’s not all. “I'm an assistant conductor at First Congregational Church LA—that's a new one,” Blake recounts. “And I'm studying for my qualifying exams for my doctorate in choral conducting at USC.”

Choral Conductors Today: Responding to a Shifting Career Model

In an effort to renew our understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and challenges choral conductors encounter and how they affect the choral ecosystem, Chorus America undertook a new study, updating survey findings from a decade ago. The results highlight both important challenges and reasons to feel confident about the health of the profession. 

Keeping the Choral Singer Pipeline Flowing

Singers are the lifeblood of the choral field. Ensembles from coast to coast are anchored by veterans of school and youth choral programs who found the experience rewarding enough that they continued through adulthood. But as choral leaders know all too well, many choristers can’t or don’t stick with it; they drop out of choral singing when they hit significant life transitions.

Finding the Right Teacher: An Interview with Deborah Simpkin King

Choosing the right primary teacher at college or conservatory is one of the most important decisions a music student will make in their musical career, according to Deborah Simpkin King. A conductor and educator, King is artistic director and founder of Schola Cantorum on Hudson and its Conducting and Choral Scholar programs. Her tips on finding the perfect fit with a teacher for undergraduate or graduate studies are a great resource to share with young conductors and singers.

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