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

The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

Choral conductors share their professional responsibilities and work-life balance.

Matthew Sigman | Careers, Conducting, Health, Profile

In her memoirs, Alma Mahler narrates the meticulous schedule by which her husband Gustav balanced his daily priorities in order to preserve his energy and maximize the value of every minute. In the summertime, when he composed at their lake house, he took a mandatory afternoon swim, followed by a three-hour walk, rain or shine. In the wintertime, when he conducted in Vienna, the opera house called ahead at lunchtime to ensure that his apartment door was open so he would not have to wait. His soup, hot, was expected to be already placed on the table. Read more

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Meet A Member: Don Matlock, Montana A Cappella Society

Meet A Member: Don Matlock, Montana A Cappella Society

Mike Rowan | Adults/Seniors, Careers, Performance

“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.” Read more

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Going the Distance

Going the Distance

Taking Carmina Burana Across Continents and Cultures

Mike Rowan | Community Outreach, Conducting, Impact/Value, Repertoire

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. Read more

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Commissioning Journeys: A Collaborative Meditation on the Civil Rights Movement

Commissioning Journeys: A Collaborative Meditation on the Civil Rights Movement

Kelsey Menehan | Community Outreach, Composing/Commissioning, Diversity, Impact/Value

With the 2015 premiere of Rise, a cantata about race in America, Cantate Chamber Singers took a collaborative approach to an important issue. Read more

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Noteworthy: A Piece Loved By Audiences and Singers Alike

Noteworthy: A Piece Loved By Audiences and Singers Alike

Don Lee | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

With Donald Skirvin's Alchemy, Karen P. Thomas found a piece that makes a strong impression on audiences and is both challenging and rewarding for singers. Read more

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James MacMillan's St. John Passion

James MacMillan's St. John Passion

Donald Nally | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

In a commentary for Chorus America’s online feature Noteworthy, Donald Nally commends James MacMillan’s St. John Passion to choral music colleagues—despite its considerable challenges. Not only is its scale monumental, the oratorio may invite controversy. Read more

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Noteworthy: A Passion That Is Challenging, Controversial—and Worth It

Noteworthy: A Passion That Is Challenging, Controversial—and Worth It

Don Lee | Composing/Commissioning, Repertoire

Programming a modern St. John Passion invites controversy in a way that programming a historical setting such as Bach's does not. For Donald Nally, the musical and philosophical discussions raised by James MacMillan's St. John Passion made taking on the work an experience of growth for all involved. Read more

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The Magic of the Right Match

The Magic of the Right Match

Kelsey Menehan | Management/Leadership, Singing

How to navigate the process of finding, hiring, and working with soloists.  Read more

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Member Spotlight: Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus

Member Spotlight: Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus

Kelsey Menehan | Careers, Composing/Commissioning

“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.” Read more

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Member Spotlight: Lisa Bielawa, Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus

Member Spotlight: Lisa Bielawa, Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus

Kelsey Menehan | Careers, Children/Youth, Composing/Commissioning, Conducting, Performance

"I want to catalyze an international community around our organization and expand the repertoire that we do." Read more

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Resources

Singer Evaluation Form

Singer Evaluation Form

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

Use this form to evaluate your singers during auditions. Includes range, sight-reading, and vocal quality measures. Read more

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Orchestra Contract

Orchestra Contract

Chorus America Staff | General, Governance, Legal/Licensing, Management/Leadership, Operations, Performance, Sample/Template

This sample contract provides a template as you incorporate a partnership with 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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'Music Director Transition' Tool: Sample Search Timeline

'Music Director Transition' Tool: Sample Search Timeline

Chorus America Staff | Careers, Conducting, Governance, Operations, Sample/Template, Strategic Planning

A sample timeline to help with music director search planning. Read more

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Events

Fairfield County Chorale Spring Concert of Peace & Hope: Fauré and Vaughan Williams

Fairfield County Chorale Spring Concert of Peace & Hope: Fauré and Vaughan Williams

125 East Ave, Norwalk, CT

jromano | Audiences, Education, Families, General, Performance, Repertoire, Singing

Gabriel Fauré's Requiem and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem close out our 2016-2017 season. These two deeply expressive works welcome spring with a message of hope. Both Fauré and Vaughan Williams saw firsthand the destructive nature of war and believed music was a means to preserve civilization. Vaughan Williams composed Dona Nobis Pacem in 1936, when memories of the loss of a generation of young men were fresh in the minds of the British public amid fears of a new war. In his piece, Vaughan Williams used text from three poems by Walt Whitman, parts of the Catholic mass, a political speech, and sections of the Bible. Read more

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Boston Choral Ensemble presents Cosmos

Boston Choral Ensemble presents Cosmos

Boston, MA

BCE President | Performance

Boston Choral Ensemble returns to the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science for its fourth program of "Music You Can See." Contemporary choral compositions concerning stars, planets, and the universe are accompanied by an exclusive planetarium show! Read more

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 Hayden's Mass in Time of War and Lux Aeterna by Morton Lauridsen

Hayden's Mass in Time of War and Lux Aeterna by Morton Lauridsen

640 Main St., Shrewsburym MA 01545

Robert Eaton | Audiences

On Saturday, May 13th, at 8pm, Assabet Valley Mastersingers with orchestra will present a concert of uplifting and reassuring music, with vocal soloists soprano Jessica Cooper, mezzo Thea Lobo, tenor Charles Blandy and baritone John Salvi. Read more

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MasterVoices presents Babes in Toyland

MasterVoices presents Babes in Toyland

881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

emilymt |

MasterVoices presents Babes in Toyland With Music by Victor Herbert and Libretto by Glen MacDonough Featuring Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin, Christopher Fitzgerald, Lauren Worsham, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jonathan Freeman, Chris Sullivan, Jeffrey Schecter, Michael Kostroll, and Blair Brown with MasterVoices and Orchestra of St. Luke's Ted Sperling, Conductor and Director Musical Staging by Andrew Palermo Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 7pm Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall Read more

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"Lyrics & Music!" (part 1)  Herrick’s Lyricks (world premiere)

"Lyrics & Music!" (part 1) Herrick’s Lyricks (world premiere)

16510 Mt Oak Rd, Bowie, MD 20716

Jane Thessin | Composing/Commissioning, Fundraising, Performance, Repertoire, Singing

The Chamber Singers of the Chesapeake Chorale features the premiere a new cantata by American composer Bruce Trinkley, 'Herrick’s Lyricks', on April 23rd, 2017. Read more

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Meditations of the Soul

Meditations of the Soul

6 East Wright Street, Pensacola, FL

Choral Society ... | Performance

Immerse yourself in an hour of serenely beautiful music. Read more

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The Washington Chorus Presents Carmina Burana and Oedipus Rex

The Washington Chorus Presents Carmina Burana and Oedipus Rex

2700 F Street NW

TWC | Performance

Carl Orff: Carmina Burana Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex Read more

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Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944 at The Bushnell on May 4

Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944 at The Bushnell on May 4

Hartford, CT

Marcia Bliven | Performance

The Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944, will be presented on May 4, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at The Bushnell.  Read more

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Skylark Vocal Ensemble: Clear Voices in the Dark

Skylark Vocal Ensemble: Clear Voices in the Dark

55 East 59th Street

Jensen Artists | Performance

Skylark Vocal Ensemble performs songs from the American Civil War & Poulenc's Figure Humaine, co-presented by the French Institute Alliance Francaise. Read more

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Cantata Singers Presents Honegger, Wyner, and Weiner

Cantata Singers Presents Honegger, Wyner, and Weiner

30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115

cantatasingers |

Cantata Singers' season concludes with Arthur Honegger’s King David paired with music by Yehudi Wyner, and his father Lazar Weiner. 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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