Articles

Writing a successful foundation proposal is not rocket science, but it does require vision, research, planning, cultivation, and careful implementation.

Arts education is a civic investment with a tangible return. Dana Gioia emphasizes the need for arts education in all schools and for all children, and cautions against trading off the challenging pleasures of art for the easy comforts of entertainment.

A mission statement that articulates not just who you are but why you matter will help your chorus stand out in the eyes of potential singers, audiences, and donors.

As chorus leaders you make important decisions annually, monthly, even daily, that affect the future of your organization. In doing so, be sure to consider context, both internal and external, as you make your choices. What are other choruses doing? What are others in the broader nonprofit community doing? What have we ourselves been doing and how might we do it better? We discuss how others have used the Chorus America Chorus Operations Survey Report to inform their decisionmaking.

Are more composers increasingly looking to the choral genre as a means for expression? We explore the issue in this roundtable discussion featuring Heather Hitchens of Meet The Composer, John Nuechterlein of the American Composers Forum, and Joanne Hubbard Cossa of the American Music Center.

Choristers make beautiful music together—sometimes as couples! Some 58 percent of choristers we polled said they socialize with fellow choristers outside of rehearsals and performances, and 37 percent said they had dated members of the chorus in which they sing. Choruses can be a great place to meet friends, and even a potential mate.

Many types of organizations are tackling issues of diversity. Patricia Moore Harbour, who has facilitated a number of these discussions in a process that she describes as the Transformative Learning Experience, believes arts organizations, especially choruses, may start out ahead of the game.

When choruses take the time to really sing the text—be it biblical or poetic, somber or silly—we demonstrate the moral consequence of lives that are animated by beauty, passion, and love.

Artistic leadership of a chorus is both an individual balancing act and a highly collaborative endeavor.

The concept of ubuntu: "A person is a person through other people." Throughout black South African history—from ancient times when societies were migratory to the more recent struggle against apartheid—the people have relied on each other for their very survival. One conductor brought the lessons of ubuntu back home to his chorus.

Cellists hang out with the other cellists, singers hang out with other singers, but conductors—who do they hang out with? Stephen Czarkowski and 31 other conductors hung out together for four days in May 2006 to share with each other, explore some of the great works in the choral-orchestral repertoire, and learn from some of the nation's finest choral conductors.

Every summer, countless choruses hit the road, offering up their musical gifts in venues across the globe and conferring many benefits to the chorus and its singers. Here are questions to ask before planning your first—or next—tour.

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