As diversity, equity, and inclusion have increasingly come to the forefront for so many classical music organizations today, there’s a forum that has become a leading space in DEI conversations for the past five years: SphinxConnect.
(NANM board members in 1941, Foster Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh. Pictured are Blanche K. Thompson, Josephine Inness, Henry L. Grant, Mary Cardwell Dawson, Clarence Hayden Wilson, and Florence B. Price. Photo credit: Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive)
The National Endowment for the Arts announced the recipients of its first round of 2020 grants, and Chorus America is honored to be the recipient of a $90,000 award. We are also excited to see many of our partners and choral organizations represented in the list of awarded grants, including:
American Composers Forum
Barbershop Harmony Society
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Cathedral Choral Society
Chicago A Cappella
A panel discussion at the 2019 Conference capped off Chorus America’s inaugural “Voices of Change” program—an effort to foster more collaboration and inclusiveness in the Philadelphia-area choral community and provide leaders with education on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now the time has come to identify insights from this cohort that are relevant to choruses elsewhere. What might choral leaders expect when venturing into DEI discussions and attempting to build new connections in their choral communities? Voices of Change participants, facilitator Nicole Robinson, and Chorus America staff reflect on what was gained over the course of the year, as well as seeds planted that will take continued work to nurture.
President and CEO Catherine Dehoney was invited the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) to present remarks on Chorus America's 2019 Chorus Impact Study: Singing For a Lifetime at NCCO's 8th National Conference (NCCO8), November 7-9 in College Park, Maryland.
The World Symposium on Choral Music is an eight-day festival held every three years, organized by the International Federation for Choral Music. The next symposium is scheduled for July 2020, to be hosted in Auckland, New Zealand. In anticipation of WSCM2020, symposium artistic director John Rosser, who also founded and directs the Auckland-based chamber choir Viva Voce, spoke with Chorus America about next year’s event and its theme, tangata whenua.
The Chorus Impact Study: Singing for a Lifetime sheds new light on the impact choral singing has on individuals and communities—especially singers ages 65 and up.
Last fall, Indiana University music professor, conductor, and composer Dominick DiOrio took a sabbatical to travel across the United States to observe a wide spectrum of professional vocal ensembles, from small to large and from nascent to established. After attending rehearsals and performances and meeting with artistic directors, executives, and singers, he was left with the sense that, at their core, these professional choruses have more in common with their community counterparts than he imagined.
Since last fall, a cohort of Philadelphia-area choruses has been coming together for a series of workshops and online learning activities exploring issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their choruses and choral community.