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SPONSORED STORY FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER

The first thing that most people might know about Berkshire Choral International is the immersive week-long experiences that BCI offers for adult singers and lifelong choral enthusiasts. Perhaps not as widely known is this choral institution's longstanding commitment to developing future generations of choral professionals. For more than 30 years, the BCI Apprentice Program has provided opportunities for young aspiring choral conductors, singers, and accompanists to gain valuable experience early in their careers. Chorus America spoke with staff members and recent apprentices from BCI to learn about what the Apprentice Program looks like in today's choral field.

Hiring an administrator is one of the most significant steps volunteer-run choruses can take to support their organization’s growth and development. During the height of the pandemic, most organizations were too busy staying afloat to make that kind of move, but recently a number of choruses have decided they are ready for the plunge. The five organizations represented in this story are facing today's hiring challenges by relying on strategies that evidence an increasing willingness to think big.

Conductor, administrative leader, and scholar Arreon Harley Emerson’s personal and professional development weaves together many different strands into a singular story. As an equity coach and nonprofit strategist, he consults with arts and cultural organizations to center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in their work. As the former director of music and operations at the Choir School of Delaware, Harley-Emerson led an organization with a legacy of serving Wilmington’s youth and families that dates back to 1883.

The digital edition of our Fall/Winter 2022 issue of the Voice is here! Read more for a letter from the president & CEO Catherine Dehoney on opportunities guiding the choral field toward being more inclusive, news from our members, insight from choruses on making a first administrative hire, and an interview with Arreon Harley-Emerson about his career trajectory and changing the choral landscape for emerging leaders of color.

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SPONSORED STORY FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER

Music education - and inspiring a new generation of singers - is central to the mission of Albany Pro Musica, which has been elevating choral music in New York's Capital Region since 1981. Now, the chorus is embarking on its largest educational project yet, launching the inaugural Pro Musica International Choral Festival to be held in the summer of 2023. In partnership with the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Ontario and the University at Albany, this new festival will bring students across the U.S. and Canada together to study and perform with distinguished faculty and world-class musicians. Thanks to a generous grant from Bader Philanthropies, Inc., the costs of tuition, room, and board are fully covered for every participating student.

With its longstanding commitment to working with young singers, Albany Pro Musica understands the value of bringing in a top-notch faculty to engage with the students, including one person with whom the Chorus America community is certainly familiar. We asked Rollo Dilworth, our current board member and past chair, a few questions about the inaugural festival, where he will serve as festival guest conductor and composer, and direct the closing performance including a new work commissioned from him for the festival.

 

The digital edition of our Summer 2022 issue of the Voice is here! Read more for a letter from the president & CEO Catherine Dehoney reflecting on the 2022 Chorus America Conference,  news from our members, the 2022 Chorus Operations Survey Report, and Singing All of Us: A New Article Series.  

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We know the potential of ensemble and choral singing to bring us together. When group singing builds trust, honors authentic relationships, and restores community connections, that potential is fully realized. Singing All of Us: Restoring Relationships in Choral Communities shares the first two articles in a four-article series focused on organizations and people using ensemble singing and choral music to address racism and repair racial harm. 

The story of a program developed by the Tucson Girls Chorus and the Native American Advancement Foundation to serve students in the GuVo District of the Tohono O’odham Nation shares lessons about centering relationship-building and community-centered collaboration.  

The story of the Salt Lake Chinese Choir, under the leadership of Yu-Feng Huang and board president Fan Kwan, offers a model of a community working together with a talented conductor to build a restorative space through choral music and a shared dedication to artistry and cultural pride.

SPONSORED STORY FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Steve Smith was five months into his new job as president of Berkshire Choral International (BCI) with a mandate to reset and re-energize the summer program for a new generation of choral singers. COVID-19 then forced cancellation of all BCI live events for both 2020 and 2021. After a two-year gap of in-person programs, the summer of 2022 has seen a much-anticipated reopening. Chorus America checked in with Steve to see how the return is going and what lessons he and the organization have learned.

The digital edition of our 2022 Spring issue of the Voice is here! Read more for feature articles, a letter from chair Brian Newhouse reflecting on the past three years and resilience shown by the choral field, news from our members, and 2022 Chorus America Conference content. 

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