Annual Conference

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The Annual Conference is the centerpiece of Chorus America's professional development and training opportunities for chorus leaders. Each year in June the Conference is presented in a different city, in partnership with a host chorus, and brings together more than 500 choral conductors, administrators, singers, board members, and business members.

"One of the best professional development experiences I've ever encountered...and I've been working in the field for over 20 years." —Conference attendee

Highlights include high-quality plenary and breakout sessions with nationally renowned speakers and practitioners, concerts featuring leading choruses from the area, and festive networking events.

2018 Chorus America Conference
Chicago, IL
June 20-23

Hosted by Chicago Children's Choir and Grant Park Music Festival.

Visit our Conference website for more information. Registration will open in early February.

2017 Conference: Engaging the Choral Community

Chorus America’s 40th anniversary Conference, held in Los Angeles on June 21-24, was not just a chance to celebrate the past – it was also a chance to look ahead to the choral field’s bright future. As President and CEO Catherine Dehoney noted at the annual meeting, the entrepreneurial spirit that has defined Chorus America from the beginning is all about “actively seeking out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change.”

The 2017 Conference opening plenary panel. From left: Gail Eichenthal, Grant Gershon, James Newton, and Francisco Núñez. Credit: Jamie Pham.

Conference programming focused on new ways for choral leaders to engage with their art and their communities. The opening plenary explored the rewards of creative risk-taking as a panel made up of arts journalist Gail Eichenthal, conductors Grant Gershon and Francisco Núñez, and jazz flutist James Newton discussed their own experiences with pushing the envelope.

LA Phil violinist and TED speaker Vijay Gupta’s Friday presentation was a powerful testament to the transformative power of music. Gupta spoke about his work with Street Symphony, an initiative that uses music to engage with people experiencing homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County. Singers from the Urban Voices Project, a Skid-Row based community choir, joined Gupta and the Street Symphony Chamber Singers to perform a new piece that choruses can use in their own engagement work.

Plenary speaker Vijay Gupta and members of the Urban Voices Project. Credit: Jamie Pham.

On Saturday, speaker Terrence McNally challenged attendees to harness the power of storytelling to build credibility, deepen relationships, and help people feel a connection to the work choruses do. And throughout the Conference, breakout sessions featured new ideas for programming, audience and board development, navigating transitions, and much more.

Meeting and learning from colleagues is always a highlight for attendees. The year’s Conference featured facilitated Peer Forums for various types of choruses, Roundtables for small group discussions, Buttonholes for making one-on-one connections, and more Dine-Around opportunities.

Conference performances highlighted the vibrant, diverse Los Angeles choral community, including performances by VOX Femina Los Angeles, Angel City Chorale, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles, and the Los Robles Master Chorale.

Francisco Núñez leads Conference attendees and the LA community in song during Big Sing L.A. Credit: Jamie Pham.

The concert by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, host of the Conference, culminated in a stunning 20th anniversary performance of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, performed for the first time with full orchestra. LAMC also closed out the Conference with the Saturday afternoon Big Sing L.A., a community sing in downtown Grand Park.

This year’s Conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors—especially lead Conference sponsor Distinguished Concerts International, New York (DCINY)—which underwrote many of the sessions and events. We are so grateful to all the speakers, performers, donors, exhibitors, and volunteers, and to our host and partner organizations for making the 2017 Conference a success.

Recent Conference Locations and Hosts

  • 2017: Los Angeles, CA, June 21-24, hosted by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Find more information and Conference resources here.
  • 2016: Cincinnati, OH, June 15-18, hosted by the Cincinnati May Festival.
  • 2015: Boston, MA, June 17-20, hosted by the Handel and Haydn Society.
  • 2014: Washington DC, June 11-14, hosted by The Choral Arts Society of Washington and The Washington Chorus.
  • 2013: Seattle, WA, June 12-15, 2013, hosted by Seattle Pro Musica and the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Symphony Chorale.