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SPONSORED CONTENT FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER

There can be serendipity in the most challenging change of plans. The Master Chorale of South Florida was scheduled for a prime performance at the 2020 Chorus America Conference in Miami -- an ideal setting to premiere a commission from composer Jake Runestad. With a global coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to choral events and most of everyday life as we know it, this performance obviously did not come to fruition.

Instead, the Master Chorale and artistic director Brett Karlin discovered they possesed a brand new work that spoke with uncanny eloquence to our new reality -- and the opportunity to premiere it with the involvement of a wider community of audience members, renowned conductors, and singers than they ever imagined. Karlin and Runestad shared their stories with Chorus America on the journey of this new commission, As Long As We Are Here, which enters a new chapter this fall.

 

To complement our article on Advocacy 101, we've developed a handy list of resources to help you to stay on top of current issues and carry out your advocacy efforts.

Are you interested in getting more involved in advocacy work around the issues that matter to you, your chorus, or the choral field at large? Here’s where to start.

(See also: Advocacy Resources)

In the Summer 2020 issue of Chorus America's magazine, the Voice, we published a number of special features that highlighted the choral community's response in the wake of COVID-19. Among countless affected performances during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic were eagerly anticipated world premieres—works such as Damien Geter’s African American Requiem with Portland, Oregon’s Resonance Ensemble (for more, see Secular Requiems) that explore timely and meaningful topics and involve collaborations, often spanning long periods, distances, or both. We asked several choruses about their premieres that were put on hold and their developing plans to find a way to share these new pieces of music with the world.

SPONSORED CONTENT FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER

In the upcoming season, The Washington Chorus (TWC) looks not only to meet the challenge of planning in a world dealing with COVID-19, but to do so while welcoming a new incoming artistic director. Eugene Rogers, who takes the artistic helm of TWC while continuing in his role as director of choral activities at the University of Michigan, shared his thoughts with Chorus America on the unique challenges and opportunities ahead for him, his new ensemble, and the choral community.

In the Summer 2020 issue of Chorus America's magazine, the Voice, we published a number of special features that highlighted the choral community's response in the wake of COVID-19. This section spotlights composers who have risen to the moment by creating new work in direct response to the pandemic, some in unique fashions.

This special Virtual Conference issue of the Voice features a Chorus Connections section focused on creative responses to COVID, articles on artistic director transitions and secular requiems, and an interview with Virtual Conference plenary speaker Nina Simon.

 

Music’s prominence in the sacred sphere has shaped some of the most enduring genres of choral music in Western culture, such as the requiem mass. For more than a century, composers have found resonance in the requiem outside its traditional religious framework — a resonance that has acquired new intensity in recent years. Here is a look at four American composers of today who have adapted the idea of the sacred requiem to secular expressions that commemorate loss and encourage healing. Their music responds to a wide spectrum of inspirations—and perhaps has even more relevance in a world coping with suffering and loss in a new way.

Nina Simon’s work as an author, change leader, and activist is all about creating more open, generous, community-focused organizations. She is the founder and CEO of OF/BY/FOR ALL, a nonprofit organization that provides tools to help civic and cultural organizations matter more to more people. Today, over 50 organizations are using the OF/BY/FOR ALL framework to build relationships, relevance, and impact in their communities.

Several choral music organizations find themselves seeking or transitioning to new artistic leaders at a time when shifting circumstances call on them to consider challenging new directions, not the least of which is the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of these challenges, what are choruses in transition thinking about the kind of leadership they need? How do they manage to find it? How will they and their new artistic directors define and achieve success next season, not to mention seasons beyond?

These days, news from the U.S.-Mexico border is fraught with tension. Increased U.S. restrictions on asylum-seekers have left hundreds of migrants from Central America and elsewhere stranded on the Mexican side of the border, and relations between the two countries have been strained. In response, various cultural and human rights groups are reaching across the border to help stranded migrants and to reinforce the historic bonds between the two countries. Among them are a handful of choral music organizations, including two choral initiatives centered on the San Diego-Tijuana border region.

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