Choral Arts New England

The deadline for 2015/2016 grant applications has passed.

Choral Arts New England extends the mission of the Alfred Nash Patterson (ANP) Foundation, providing grants that support innovative programming, commissions, and improved management for choral organizations. Alfred Nash Patterson Grants have been awarded continuously since 1985. In 1994, Choral Arts New England initiated a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor significant contributions to choral singing and its culture within New England.

About Choral Arts New England

Choral Arts New England was formed in 1980 as a memorial to Alfred Nash “Bud” Patterson, the founder of Boston's Chorus pro Musica and the Master Singers of Worcester and leader, at various times, of the Cape Cod Chorale, the Worcester County Music Association, the Worcester Festival Chorus, and the Brandeis University Chorus. Bud Patterson loved the choral arts and all those who practiced them. In his teaching at Tanglewood and Brandeis and through his personal example, he inspired a whole generation of singers and choral directors throughout New England. He was a cultural leader, articulating ambitious goals for choral music performance, chorus development, and choral music composition. He was a mentor and model for singers, conductors and composers. Upon his death in 1979, many spontaneous gifts were received in his memory; from those seeds, the present organization has grown.

Today, Choral Arts New England conducts the following activities to support choral singing. Further information can be found by following the indicated links.

  1. Alfred Nash Patterson Foundation grants are given annually for outstanding projects that further the choral arts. The grants support adventurous programming and broaden repertory by encouraging performance of new compositions and long-neglected works, support music education and the training of young choral singers, encourage festivals and other cooperative choral projects, and otherwise enrich the quality of choral singing in all six New England states. Grants are carefully evaluated, including a review of applying choruses by a committee of distinguished artistic advisors. Grant application schedule: Applications are due by the end of February for projects that will begin on or after the following July. Decisions are made and applicants notified by the beginning of May, whether or not the application is granted.
  2. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually by Choral Arts New England to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to choral singing and its culture within New England.
  3. Awards and grants are presented at the annual fall awards ceremony, which is usually held in mid or late October. The ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to meet representatives of various choruses, choral directors, composers, members of the Choral Arts board of directors, and other supporters of our cause.
  4. An online newsletter continually publishes information of interest to New England choral singers, and accepts submissions of items of interest. It is supplemented by a biannual print newsletter, sent to our mailing list.
  5. An online choral calendar that aims to list all major choral events in New England (it can be customized to show only local events). Anyone can submit calendar events.
  6. A directory of choruses of New England, listing all choral societies throughout the region. Anyone can submit a new directory listing for consideration.

Choral Arts New England is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, run by a Board of Directors. We welcome your comments.

Thirtieth Annual Awards Ceremony

Choral Arts New England held its 30th annual awards ceremony on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at the First Unitarian Church in Worcester, Massachusetts. The ceremony honored the 2014 recipients of Alfred Nash Patterson Grants (see below). Special guest of honor was the recipient of the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Gerald R. Mack, former Conductor (for 28 years) of the Worcester Chorus, the Founder and Director (for 15 years) of the Great Waters Music Festival in New Hampshire, and former Director of Choral Activities at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut.

Further information about the event can be found in the Awards Ceremony Press Release, and in a brief biographical sketch of Dr. Mack.

2014 Grant Recipients Chosen

Choral Arts New England announces the recipients of 2014 Alfred Nash Patterson grants. The recipients were selected from 65 proposals that were received by the February 28 deadline.

  • Boston City Singers of Boston, Mass., to commission several new works from Jim Papoulis that will be performed at three or more community-based public concerts in spring 2015;
  • Cantata Singers of Boston, Mass., to commission Elena Ruehr’s Eve, a 14-minute work based on a text from the book of Genesis, which will be performed on November 8, 2014 at Jordan Hall in Boston;
  • Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine, for a program featuring the New England premiere of Robert S. Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories on May 9, 2015 in South Portland, Maine;
  • The Concord Chorus of Concord, Mass., to commission from Michael Schachter an “American Requiem,” incorporating English-language texts from a variety of faiths and cultures and aims to “relate to and hold a dialogue with the moods and texts of standard Requiems,” to be performed in May 2016;
  • Crescendo of Lakeville, Conn., for “Italian Baroque in the Jesuit Settlements of South America,” a program of works by Domenico Zipoli (1688–1726) to be performed with period instrument orchestra in churches in Lime Rock, Connecticut and Great Barrington, Massachusetts on November 15–16, 2014;
  • Greater Middletown Chorale of Middletown, Conn., to help fund the creation and production of a concert DVD of the 2013 world premiere of Sarah Meneely-Kyder's oratorio, Letter from Italy, 1944 (supported in part by an 2012 Alfred Nash Patterson grant);
  • Joyful Noise of Torrington, Conn., for a project to record the Brian Coughlin’s Requiem, a work that includes both traditional texts and music and contemporary texts with “indie rock”-style music played by amplified chamber ensemble;
  • MassACDA of Quincy, Mass., to support a performance on July 22, 2014 of James Whitbourn's oratorio Annelies at the MassACDA Summer Conference in Northampton, Massachusetts, with singers from Coro Allegro and Chorus pro Musica;
  • The Master Singers of Lexington of Lexington, Mass., for commissions of six new works by composers Benjamin Cohen, Sara Doncaster, Allen Feinstein, Adam Grossman, Grant Hicks, and Rodney Lister, to be performed during the four concerts of the 2014–2015 season;
  • Music Worcester of Worcester, Mass., to support the 2014–15 Festival Singers program, a joint effort with the Worcester Public Schools that enables talented students of Worcester’s South High School to learn, rehearse, and perform Handel’s Messiah in Mechanics Hall as part of the Worcester Chorus;
  • New Haven Oratorio Choir of Hamden, Conn., for a performance and recording in May 2015 of a selection of important but neglected works by historical and contemporary women composers;
  • RPM Voices of Rhode Island of Providence, RI, in support of the RPM Youth Voices choral program, an intensive 14-day workshop followed by performances of music from black American culture (particularly spirituals and gospel songs), held during the month of July in Providence city parks and at the RPM summer concert in Newport on July 20, 2014.

Choral Arts New England also continues support of Blue Heron Renaissance Choir of Auburndale, Mass., for recording the Peterhouse Partbooks (third year of a four-year grant).

Grants will be presented at the Awards Ceremony in October 2014. Further information about the ceremony will be given by September.

Choral Arts New England newsletter goes online

Choral Arts New England has published a newsletter since its inception in 1985. Now that journal has added an online edition, available at

The online publication is for news, announcements, and discussion of matters of interest to choruses and choral singers throughout New England. Look there for accounts of special choral events such as performances, workshops, classes, or community activities, and for stories about people and institutions in the New England choral community. We hope to soon add online discussion groups so people can share experiences and ideas.

There is an "announcements" section for posting such items as concert notices (see also our online choral calendar), auditions for new singers or soloists (see also our chorus directory), and other events, such as fundraising activities, special talks or seminars.

The site is still under development, and we look forward to rapidly making improvements in ease of use, but we hope you will take advantage of it right now. We welcome your ideas, announcements, and other contributions; send them to

Commissions supported by Choral Arts New England

A new list has been compiled of commissions supported by Choral Arts New England grants. The list may be found at:

Choral Arts New England • 781-721-SING (781-721-7464)
P.O. BOX 608 • Newton, MA 02456-0608