Impact/Value

As a young girl, Abbie Betinis noticed that singing “Caroling, Caroling” during the holidays always brought tears to her grandpa’s eyes. Later she would learn that the famous carol was one of many composed by her great uncle Alfred Burt, who was carrying on a family tradition of carol writing begun by his father, the Rev. Bates Burt. In 2001, Betinis, by then a composer herself, decided to pick up the family carol writing tradition.

In celebration of the Britten centennial in 2013, this issue of American Choral Review features two articles on the music of Benjamin Britten: distinguished scholar Alfred Whittall offers reflections on the composer’s choral writing, and co-authors Thomas Folan and Nancy S. Niemi explore issues of identity in Britten’s Cantata Academica.

A girl. A story. A song.

For the composing team of Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, inspiration usually comes in the form of a story that grabs them and won’t let go. Such was the case with “Beneath the African Sky”—a lullaby for a lost refugee girl that has become a cry for justice and a song of hope for children’s choruses around the world.

Bringing the Diversity of Choral Music to Young Professionals

A shared passion for singing led Ben Olinsky and his friends to create the 18th Street Singers, a Washington DC-based volunteer ensemble. Over the past nine years, the group has changed in size and membership, but the goal has remained the same: to make choral music more accessible to a new generation of audiences. 

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