Are you a member of Chorus America? We encourage you to engage in our exciting online learning programs free of charge. If you are not yet a member, join today and receive access to these online professional development sessions. At Chorus America, we are committed to expanding distance education and professional development opportunities for members that are not always able to travel to meetings and presentations.
Chorus America webinars are 60-to-90-minute online seminars covering an array of topics from fundraising to research to governance. To participate in a Chorus America webinar, all you need is a computer and access to the internet. Webinars are free to members and $25 to non-members. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have an idea for a future online learning topic or speaker? Submit your idea to email@example.com. Topics, dates, and speakers are subject to change.
On-Demand Webinars and Online Learning Programs
This pre-recorded 4-session web seminar responds to survey data that revealed that 33% of responding conductors were founding directors that anticipated retiring from their ensembles within 5-10 years, Chorus America created this online seminar, Navigating a Music Director Transition. Packed full of video interviews with leaders in the field who have addressed this transition from all different roles (departing music director, incoming music director, board president, executive director, search committee member, etc.), as well as practical worksheets and tools, the 4-part seminar is a vital resource for any choruses anticipating an artistic change. This on demand resource is only available to members.
In the age of Instagram and viral videos, the ability to connect with students, colleagues, and audiences online has changed from a convenience to a necessity. In many cases, the most efficient way for a choral organization to reach its full potential is through a well-crafted digital presence. This webinar will give you a step-by-step guide on how to build your program's reputation and reach through the Internet. From audio/visual recording basics to managing your social media presence, this session will give you everything you need to connect with your audience right in the palm of their hand and take your program to the next level. Presenter:
- Kyle Nielsen, director of choral studies, Southern Virginia University
Email has the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel. Are you maximizing your campaigns to drive open rates and conversions? Learn how to get more engagement and click-throughs, as well as best practices for email design, subject lines, segmenting lists, behavior-based sending, and the basics of email automation. You will walk away with actionable knowledge to implement at your organization right away. Presenter:
- Ceci Dadisman, digital marketing manager, FORM
Does soliciting donors create stress, invoke fear, or cause anxiety? Learn some easy steps as well as "do's and don'ts" to ensure your fundraising campaign is a huge success! You will be armed with tried-and-true techniques and a fundraising philosophy that will make you comfortable with masking the ask. This session is for people of all roles and will be particularly helpful for staff and Board members who want to transform your chorus and realize your organization's artistic and educational goals. Presenter:
- Kelly Lucera, executive director, Long Beach Symphony
With dozens of options for database software, features and pricing plans to sort through, how do you choose the right system for your organization? Learn how to select your software with confidence using a proven process. Idealware will cover how to evaluate your organization's needs, assemble a software selection team, sort through your options, review and test the software, and manage a smooth implementation. Whether you are considering your very first donor management system, or you hope to switch in the next year, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches by following these best practices. Presenter:
- Eric Leland, Idealware Expert Trainer
Educational partnerships that serve school-age children are a focus for teachers and community choir leaders alike. In this webinar, our panel of experts will explore the different types of partnerships, talk about potential program models, and discuss how to create the ideal program for your community. Participants will walk away with a range of program styles to use in the future and a first-hand account of how programs work in different settings. Presenters:
- Alysia Lee, Artistic and Executive Director, Sister Cities Girlchoir
- G. Phillip Shoultz, III, Associate Conductor and Director of Education/Engagement, VocalEssence
- Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Director of Choral Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Founder of ChoirBuzz
A strong development plan can help map out your chorus’s fundraising strategy for the whole year. Development specialists Shayla Hines from Chorus America and Emma Moores from The Washington Chorus will walk you through the fundamentals of creating a plan that sets your organization up for success. In this hands-on webinar, you’ll work through a template in real-time, walking away with a first draft that can help you build a year-long plan. If this is your first time building a plan, or you just need a refresher of the basics, this is a session you won’t want to miss! Presenters:
- Emma Moores, Director of Development, The Washington Chorus
- Shayla Hines, Associate Director of Development, Chorus America
Are you looking for the right social media mix for your chorus? Perhaps you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. account set up, but need some help using these platforms to effectively engage your audiences and support your chorus' mission. Join Anne Longmore, director of marketing at the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and a public relations professor at Humber College to discuss strategies and goals so that you can reach the people you need to reach without falling down the social media rabbit hole. Presenters:
- Anne Longmore, director of marketing, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
This webinar will provide participants with an overview of specific anatomic, physiologic, and technical issues for singers of all ages. Voice pathologist and singing voice specialist Wendy LeBorgne will explore health and wellness practices and vocal exercises. Participants will come away from this session with increased knowledge related to vocal health and wellness, along with tips for voice maximization for all singers. Presenter:
- Wendy LeBorgne, Clinical Director, The Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation & The Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati
Securing the rights to perform, commission, record or distribute music is an enduring and evolving landscape for choruses. Composer Abbie Betinis will explain each of the different types of rights relevant to choruses, how to secure those rights, their importance to composers, and how evolving technology plays a role. Presenter:
- Abbie Betinis, composer
To achieve patron engagement and loyalty, you need a core strategy by which to evaluate, understand, and serve your audiences. In this webinar, Matt Lehrman of Audience Avenue, LLC presents a framework that empowers a “whole-organization approach” to building, sorting, and targeting the different audiences your chorus wants to reach. He’ll focus on how to drive deep loyalty, how to inspire return attendance, how to pursue awareness and participation from entirely new population segments, and how to deliver extraordinary experiences that really matter. These insights were a hit when Matt presented an Audiences Everywhere™ in-depth seminar at Chorus America’s Boston Conference. Presenter:
- Matt Lehrman, Audience Avenue LLC
More than ever, choruses need a deeper understanding of what moves and motivates their audiences. Be among the first to hear the results of Chorus America's Intrinsic Impact Audience Project, a two-year study of choral music audiences done in partnership with WolfBrown. Join Alan Brown has he discusses this special project that worked with choruses across North America to examine factors like buyer behavior, loyalty, demographics, perception of artistic quality, and intrinsic impacts such as emotional resonance and social bonding. The study's findings will help choruses create even more meaningful and engaging experiences for their communities. Presenter:
- Alan Brown, principal, WolfBrown
Only the luckiest among us have been able to sing under Anton Armstrong, but now we all have a chance to have him as a teacher! Join Anton for our webinar as he shares practical rehearsal goals, strategies, and repertoire to nurture singers of all ages. Anton appears through a web cam, so the session has a more conversational feel than the typical webinar. Presenter:
- Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music, St. Olaf College; conductor, St. Olaf Choir
Broadcast Your Voice Promoting Your Chorus Through Local Media Partnership
Gain an industry insider’s perspective on working with your local radio station to broaden awareness of your chorus. This unique session will teach you the keys to building a strong and lasting relationship, including how to approach the station, how to craft an agreement that benefits both parties, and what’s most important to the station personnel you’ll contact. Make sure to come with questions for an interactive Q & A to be held at the end of the webinar. Presenter:
- Brian Newhouse, managing director, Classical Minnesota Public Radio; founder, MPR Choral Stream
Back by popular demand from our 2015 Boston Conference: Over the last several years, new crowdfunding platforms have appeared and created an entirely new generation of arts patrons. In this session, you'll learn how to use these tools effectively and explore what today's audience expects from artists in terms of video, digital downloads, and access. Presenter:
- Danny Ozment, Fund What You Love
Transitioning from a Working to Governing Board
Every chorus goes through a number of transitions. The musical ones often delight the ear and make our music exciting and inspirational. The transition from a working to governing board can be just the same - eventually. This webinar will discuss all the growing pains and celebrations of transitioning from a Board that does all the behind the scenes activities of the chorus to a Board that oversees the big picture. The roles of staff, singers, and the Board, finding Board members, the Board Chair's role, and more will be discussed. Plus, submit your questions in advance to make this webinar your own. If your organization is going through changes, this is for you! Presenters:
- Sherburne Laughlin, Senior Professional Lecturer in Arts Management, American University
- Christi Esterly Schwarten, Executive Director, Fairfax Choral Society
Are you prepared to meet annual grant deadlines without having to re-submit the same materials from the previous year? Do you know how to take advantage of sudden opportunities when they arise? Join Mitch Menchaca, Chorus America's former vice-president & COO (and past grantmaker) for a guide to grants. Learn how your chorus can research opportunities, prepare strong applications, and take advantage of grantmakers’ post-review feedback.
- Mitch Menchaca, executive director, Association of California Symphony Orchestras
Whether you are a chorus manager who wants to get the most out of your board or a board member who wants to better understand your responsibilities, this webinar is for you. Join Mary Ann de Barbieri, lead faculty for Chorus America’s Chorus Management Institute (CMI) as she covers basic expectations for board members, characteristics of an effective board, and next steps for building your board structure. If you’re interested in our popular CMI program, which was offered as part of our 2015 Conference, this webinar provides a great preview.
- Mary Ann de Barbieri, de Barbieri and Associates
Do your board members mean well but struggle with fundraising? You may be asking them to do the wrong things. If we want our leaders to engage joyfully and effectively in generating larger audiences, more sponsors, and higher level donors, we must focus them on the best prospects and the most strategic activities. You will leave this interactive session with four simple no-cost strategies you can initiate immediately – without adding more to your full plate! And your board will raise more money with less effort.
- Susan Howlett, consultant and author
Couldn't participate in the new e-Chorus Managment Institute? View this wrap up session from the fall session on markeitng and communications. The beta online program, launched in October 2014 and focused on the fundamentals of marketing and communications. Presenter Nancy Roberts, a member of our CMI faculty since 2002, has over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications for choruses and other arts groups. Click here to learn more about the full program. Presenter:
- Nancy Roberts, consultant
This webinar presented on January 29, 2014 focused on strengthening fundraising from individuals in the current financial climate and improving overall fundraising success for the long term. The majority of the presentation centers on techniques for individual fundraising for choruses who do not have paid development staff.
- Catherine Dehoney, President & CEO, Chorus America
This webinar presented on November 20, 2013 launched the release of the latest Chorus Operations Survey. In addition, get the details on critical arts research and how you can apply findings to your everyday work, including engaging stakeholders and better communicating the value and impact of the arts.
- Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy, Americans for the Arts
- Mitch Menchaca, executive director, Association of California Symphony Orchestras