Conducting & Performing

Chorus America advances the artistry of choruses by providing masterclasses for choral conductors, sessions on repertoire and performance practice, convenings of artistic directors, research on conducting careers and transitions, information on performance trends and innovations, and forums for discussion of artistic issues.

Articles

Community Sings

Community Sings

How to Get the Whole Room Singing

Kelsey Menehan | Conducting, Impact/Value, Participation, Singing

Experienced song leaders share what they've learned about the special magic of bringing together a group of ordinary people in song. Read more

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Finding Freedom through Song

Finding Freedom through Song

Don Lee | Community Outreach, Impact/Value, Performance, Singing

Prison choirs help inmates reconnect with their self-worth and build a sense of community –both inside and outside prison walls. Read more

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Noteworthy: A Romantic Era Masterpiece by a Female Composer

Noteworthy: A Romantic Era Masterpiece by a Female Composer

Don Lee | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

While pursuing one of his favorite pastimes, conductor Mark Shapiro happened upon a groundbreaking piece from the Romantic era. Read more

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Noteworthy:  The Centennial of R. Nathaniel Dett's "Characteristic Anthem"

Noteworthy: The Centennial of R. Nathaniel Dett's "Characteristic Anthem"

Don Lee | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

The influence of R. Nathaniel Dett has shaped Roland Carter's career ever since Carter took his first piano lessons under the watchful gaze of Dett's picture. Now Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Carter calls our attention to the 2014 centennial of Dett's "Listen to the Lambs." Read more

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Carrying on a Family Tradition of Carol Writing

Carrying on a Family Tradition of Carol Writing

Kelsey Menehan | Composing/Commissioning, Conducting, Families, General, History, Impact/Value, Participation, Performance, Profile, Repertoire

As a young girl, Abbie Betinis noticed that singing “Caroling, Caroling” during the holidays always brought tears to her grandpa’s eyes. Later she would learn that the famous carol was one of many composed by her great uncle Alfred Burt, who was carrying on a family tradition of carol writing begun by his father, the Rev. Bates Burt. In 2001, Betinis, by then a composer herself, decided to pick up the family carol writing tradition. Read more

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Beneath the African Sky

Beneath the African Sky

A girl. A story. A song.

Kelsey Menehan | Children/Youth, Composing/Commissioning, Impact/Value, Singing

For the composing team of Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, inspiration usually comes in the form of a story that grabs them and won’t let go. Such was the case with “Beneath the African Sky”—a lullaby for a lost refugee girl that has become a cry for justice and a song of hope for children’s choruses around the world. Read more

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Noteworthy: A "Nonsense" Poem Becomes A Full-Length Choral Work

Noteworthy: A "Nonsense" Poem Becomes A Full-Length Choral Work

Don Lee | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

Using text from beloved author Lewis Carroll, composer Maurice Saylor adapted a well known "nonsense" poem into a full-length choral work for Cantate Chamber Singers (Washington DC). Gisele Becker, music director of the Singers and director of choral activities at George Washington University, explains the process of collaborating on a new composition derived from this unlikely source.  Read more

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Conducting Masterclass Alumni: The Beat Goes On

Conducting Masterclass Alumni: The Beat Goes On

Matthew Sigman | Careers, Conducting, Education

Over the years, many talented conductors have participated in Chorus America’s Masterclasses. The Voice asked past Fellows to share where they are now, and how their Masterclass experience has shaped their different professional paths. Read more

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Noteworthy: A Cantata from a Prolific Synagogue Composer

Noteworthy: A Cantata from a Prolific Synagogue Composer

Don Lee | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

Max Janowski's Jewish liturgical works have become standard repertoire for many congregations. Jonathan Miller, founder and artistic director of Chicago a cappella, introduces us to a little-known Janowski cantata with a compelling message of peace. Read more

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More Tips for Memorizing Music

More Tips for Memorizing Music

Kelsey Menehan | Adults/Seniors, Conducting, Impact/Value, Performance, Rehearsal, Singing, Technique/Tool

The article "Should Choruses Memorize Their Music?" shares memorization techniques that choruses have found helpful. In this followup piece, Gary Holt, artistic director of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, expands on how he gets his singers "off book" quickly and efficiently. Read more

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Resources

Kent Tritle on Monteverdi Vespers

Kent Tritle on Monteverdi Vespers

Kent Tritle | Conducting, Performance, Repertoire

Conductor Kent Tritle, who conducted Monteverdi's Vespers at the 2011 Berkshire Choral Festival, offers his insights on the challenges of singing this seminal choral work. Read more

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Arthur Farwell’s New York City “Song and Light Festival”

Arthur Farwell’s New York City “Song and Light Festival”

Chorus America Staff | Research/Data

American Choral Review 53.2 Read more

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Singer Audition Form

Singer Audition Form

Chorus America Staff | Evaluation, Operations, Recruitment, Sample/Template, Singing

A sample form for conductors to use when evaluating potential singers. Read more

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Orchestra Contract

Orchestra Contract

Chorus America Staff | Legal/Licensing, Operations, Performance, Sample/Template

Use this basic sample contract when your chorus is retained to perform by an orchestra. Read more

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Choral Conductors Today: A Study

Choral Conductors Today: A Study

Chorus America Staff | Careers, Conducting, Management/Leadership, Recruitment, Research/Data

Chorus America interviewed more than 700 conductors about their career paths, levels of education, salary, job satisfaction, and more in 2005. The resulting data provides a profile of the "typical" choral conductor that may be surprising. Read more

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Additional content: Ambassadors of Peace

Additional content: Ambassadors of Peace

Kelsey Menehan | Community Outreach, Impact/Value, Profile, Repertoire, Singing

Examples of concert programming that are designed on themes of peace or reconciliation. Partner piece to "How Choruses Have Become Ambassadors of Peace." Read more

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28 American Master Choral Composers

28 American Master Choral Composers

A Repertoire and Recording Listing to Support NEA's American Masterpieces

Chorus America Staff | Composing/Commissioning, Conducting, Government/Policy, Repertoire

Celebrating America's greatest choral composers, this publication provides repertoire and recording lists for 28 composers from Billings to Whitacre. Read more

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Commissioning Timeline

Commissioning Timeline

Chorus America Staff | Composing/Commissioning, Operations, Sample/Template

Commissioning a new work? Follow this two-year timeline to help plot out which steps you should take when. This timeline is appropriate for a work that does not involve complicated instrumental requirements or multiple movements. Read more

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Events

The Elderberries Band: Live Irish Song & Dance on March 9

The Elderberries Band: Live Irish Song & Dance on March 9

Albany, CA

The Elderberries | Performance

Gear up for St. Patrick’s Day with the Elderberries on Sunday, March 9th from 3-6 p.m. Come hear roving sets of jigs, reels, hornpipes, waltzes and more, songs both rowdy and reverent, and perhaps a hardshoe dance. No cover! Read more

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Conductor Preparation Program of the European American Musical Alliance

Conductor Preparation Program of the European American Musical Alliance

Paris, France

Mark Shapiro | Conducting

The European American Musical Alliance is an intensive, highly-regarded training program for composers and conductors in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger.  More at eamusic.org. Read more

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Cantori New York in Concert

Cantori New York in Concert

New York, New York

Mark Shapiro | Audiences

Artistic Director Mark Shapiro conducts Cantori New York in music by Jaako Mantyarvi, Thea Musgrave, Pascal Zavaro, as well as Dyson and Parry.  With Miranda Cuckson, violin.  More at cantorinewyork.com Read more

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The Cecilia Chorus of New York in Concert

The Cecilia Chorus of New York in Concert

New York, New York

Mark Shapiro | Audiences

Music Director Mark Shapiro conducts The Cecilia Chorus of New York in a quartet of works for chorus and orchestra: Toward the Unknown Region by Vaughan Williams; Nanie by Brahms; Te Deum by Bruckner; and the world premiere of a commissioned work, Credo for a Secular City by Tom Cipullo.  Soloists: Kristina Bachrach, soprano; Virginie Verrez, mezzo-soprano; Noah Baetge, tenor; Michael Anthony McGee, baritone.  More at ceciliachorusny.org. Read more

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Masterworks: Vivaldi's Gloria

Masterworks: Vivaldi's Gloria

1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Master Chorus E... | Performance

Explore the miniature masterworks of Mozart, Haydn, Schütz, Bach and Fauré, culminating in Vivaldi’s vibrant Gloria in D major, among the most beloved works of all time.     Read more

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Bonifantes Boys Choir Concert

Bonifantes Boys Choir Concert

1000 Elm St., Glenview IL 60025

Sheryl1017 | Adults/Seniors, Audiences, Children/Youth, Conducting, Families, Schools, Singing

The Simple Gifts Concert Series of the Glenview Community Church presents The Bonifantes Boys Choir on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:00pm.  Founded in 1999 in Pardubice, Czech Republic by its Artistic Director, Jan Míšek, the Bonifantes Boys Choir is part of a school known as Bonifantes School of Arts with an enrollment of 350 students.  The touring choir is comprised of 32 boys ages 10 – 18.  They will perform Czech and European sacred, secular and folk choral works as well as American works, spanning from the Renaissance to 20th century.  A free will offering will be taken. Read more

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Calmus Ensemble Leipzig

Calmus Ensemble Leipzig

228 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

classicalmovements | Adults/Seniors, Audiences, Children/Youth, Civic Engagement, Families, General, Professional

The Serenade! International Choral Series, produced by Classical Movements, Inc., is proud to present an encore performance of the award-winning German a cappella quintet, Calmus Ensemble Leipzig.  The quintet has become one of the most successful a cappella ensembles in Germany, and their concert in Old Town Alexandria will be an unforgettable experience. Read more

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Escolania de Montserrat

Escolania de Montserrat

classicalmovements | Adults/Seniors, Audiences, Children/Youth, Civic Engagement, Education, Families, General, History, Performance

Thousands travel to see them every day, but now the Escolania de Montserrat from Barcelona is coming to us!  On March 16 at Strathmore, one of the oldest choirs in the world will present the program, “Montserrat and Cataluña: A Thousand Years of Music,” featuring works by such notable composers as Pablo Casals.  The concert is part of the choir's first ever tour to the United States.    Read more

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Musica Sacra, Meredith Monk and Jocelyn Hagen Celebrate Women’s History Month | Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center | Monday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Musica Sacra, Meredith Monk and Jocelyn Hagen Celebrate Women’s History Month | Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center | Monday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.

New York, NY

Nancy Shear Art... | CA News

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LOL-Laugh Out Loud!

LOL-Laugh Out Loud!

Brookline, MA

Anita Kupriss | Performance

Labyrinth Choir's next concert series is called LOL--Laugh Out Loud! Read more

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Dialogue

Questions During Rehearsal?

Questions During Rehearsal?

Anonymous | Rehearsal, Singing

Conductors, do you let your singers ask questions during rehearsal? What are the pros and cons? Read more

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