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

San Francisco Lyric Chorus Spring 2017 Concerts:  Dvorák & Kodály

San Francisco Lyric Chorus Spring 2017 Concerts: Dvorák & Kodály

3321 16th Street at Dolores, San Francisco, CA 94114

Helene Whitson | Performance

This Spring 2017, we invite you join us as we share the joyous folk-inspired music of Antonin Dvorák, as well as Zoltán Kodály’s stunning Missa Brevis, a work of resilience and hope created in a time of terror.   Read more

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Symposium: Princeton Pro Musica and Carmina Burana

Symposium: Princeton Pro Musica and Carmina Burana

Princeton, NJ 08540

Princeton Pro Musica | Audiences, Education, Performance

Princeton Pro Musica will present a symposium on its upcoming performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.  Read more

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Honegger's King David

Honegger's King David

Philadelphia, PA

Amanda Schkeeper | Innovation, Performance

April 29, 2017  |  4 PM & 8 PMPhiladelphia Episcopal CathedralDan Kern, NarratorKiera Duffy, SopranoMaren Montalbano, Mezzo-SopranoSumner Thompson, TenorJillian Harris, ChoreographerChamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Arthur Honegger’s King David is the best oratorio you may never have heard. The young Honegger composed the score as incidental music to a play by René Morax, and quickly earned fame throughout Europe for his unique and captivating musical style blending French Impressionism, the German chorale tradition, and far-eastern influences. The oratorio follows the rise of David from shepherd to warrior to king of Israel, capturing his triumphs and losses, loves and rivalries. Its choruses rival history’s greatest oratorios for their power and beauty. Newly commissioned choreography by Jillian Harris provides a compelling dramatic element to help visualize this remarkable life story. Read more

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 ¡FIGARO! (90210)

¡FIGARO! (90210)

229 West 42nd Street. New York, NY 10036

GFPress | Performance

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MasterVoices 2017 Spring Benefit

MasterVoices 2017 Spring Benefit

New York, NY

emilymt | Audiences

MasterVoices 2017 Spring Benefit featuring Kelli O'Hara and Ted Sperling with special guest Danny Burstein honoring Karen and Kevin Kennedy, Elaine Petschek, and Daisy Soros,Martina Arroyo, Harolyn Blackwell and Lauren Flanigan   Thursday, March 30, 2017 Read more

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Music Academy’s Marilyn Horne Song Competition Winners Give Free Recital at National Opera Center, March 17

Music Academy’s Marilyn Horne Song Competition Winners Give Free Recital at National Opera Center, March 17

National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave, NYC

21C Media Group |

Since 1997, the Music Academy of the West has proudly hosted the Marilyn Horne Song Competition, the nation’s premier competition focusing on the art of the song recital. The winners of the 2016 competition -- baritone Ben Lowe and pianist Madeline Slettedahl -- embark on a four-city national recital tour this month, including New York City where they will sing at the National Opera Center on March 17. The program features music of Barber, Holst, Ireland, William Bolcom, Moses Hogan, and Matthew Aucoin. Admission is free. Read more

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J.S. Bach – The Reformer

J.S. Bach – The Reformer

Richmond, VA

RCSVPD | Adults/Seniors, Audiences, Community Outreach, Families, Performance, Singing

  Richmond Choral Society presents J.S. Bach -  The Reformer, a concert of Bach cantatas, including A Mighty Fortress and Now Thank We All Our God.       Read more

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J.S. Bach – The Reformer

J.S. Bach – The Reformer

Richmond, VA

RCSVPD | Adults/Seniors, Audiences, Community Outreach, Families, Performance, Singing

  Richmond Choral Society presents J.S. Bach -  The Reformer, a concert of Bach cantatas, including A Mighty Fortress and Now Thank We All Our God.       Read more

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The Dessoff Choirs Celebrates Spring in Harlem

The Dessoff Choirs Celebrates Spring in Harlem

3041 Broadway, New York, NY

Odyssey Opera | Singing

Hailed as “one of the great amateur choruses of our time (New York Today) for its “full-bodied sound and suppleness (The New York Times),” The Dessoff Choirs continues its 92nd season with a one-evening-only spring concert of repentance.  Read more

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Orange County Women's Chorus - Rocking the Boat

Orange County Women's Chorus - Rocking the Boat

Newport Beach, CA

Chardette | Audiences, CA News, Community Outreach, Composing/Commissioning, Singing

"We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now." – Martin Luther King, Jr.   Join us for some of the most touching, exhilarating music we've sung yet. 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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