2023 Alfred Nash Patterson Grant Recipients
Choral Arts New England is delighted to announce the funding of 13 project grants totaling $25,000, which exceeds our previous highest award total of $23,500 in the 2022 cycle. Award recipients represent choral organizations across New England, including from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, and were chosen out of 42 applications.
Award recipients will be honored at our grant ceremony in the fall of 2023, and the projects are described below from excerpts of the applications. In addition, the name of the grant, if applicable, is listed next to the recipient’s name.
Congratulations to all our awardees, and please stay tuned for our next application cycle to open for 2024!
VOICES 21C – MA (Richard Coffey grant)
Reflecting on Music of the Muslim World
In support of the group’s participation in the first Sama International Choral Festival (SIFC) in Colombo, Sri Lanka – a one-week festival for multidisciplinary musicians across the globe to facilitate cultural exchange and celebrate the diversity of choral traditions. Voices 21C will bring back what they have learned from the experience to present a return performance in Boston, publish free educational materials, and present for music educators.
Boston Choral Ensemble – MA (CANE Board Chairs grant)
For supporting an initiative to expand on a 2022 one-day free concert series performed in spaces that provide access to a greater community, and that are traditionally not seen as concert venues in the greater Boston area. This set of concerts will also promote one of Melissa Dunphy’s recently-composed works "Song for the People" (2022), which specifically speaks to the power of music to energize, heal, and bring communities together.
Friends of the Music Hall – NH
Commissioning new music at The Music Hall in celebration of Portsmouth’s 400th anniversary
In commemoration of Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s 400th anniversary, Friends of the Music Hall, in partnership with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (PSO), has commissioned composer Gregory W. Brown to write a composition honoring our home place. Brown will compose a 40-minute cantata for orchestra, chorus, narrator, and soprano soloist using texts written by author, musician, and poet Todd Hearon. Hearon’s text is inspired by historical research, conversations with local historians, and the Seacoast community’s environment and community. An educational component will connect the creators of this new work with local students.
Ensemble Altera – RI
Sing Out In Schools!
To support an ongoing initiative to support approximately 200 students in underserved communities in Rhode Island whose schools have not enjoyed the level of access to high-quality music education that every child deserves.
South Shore Children’s Chorus – MA
A World to Belong To
In support of the South Shore Children’s Chorus summer program for singers in grades 4-12, taking place in the gateway city of Brockton, MA at Massasoit Community College. This program serves over 100 singers each year, and brings in professional section leaders to sing alongside the students, teach them sectionals, voice class, sight singing class, and more.
New Hampshire Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association – NH
Workshop with the American Spiritual Ensemble for NH Music Educators
To provide funds for The American Spiritual Ensemble to attend a workshop as part of the New Hampshire American Choral Director’s Association conference, and to support both NHACDA and NHMEA’s mission of hiring and contracting BIPOC musicians for sessions and performances.
Kent Singers – CT (Hammond Family grant)
The Gift to Sing
For the commission of a new work by Joel Thompson to be performed and added to choral repertoire. Thel financial support not only helps make this commission possible, but also allows for the possibility to record the piece and/or provide the composer with the flexibility to add a solo instrument to the accompaniment.
Commonwealth Chorale – MA (Lorna Cooke deVaron grant)
Ethel Smyth Mass in D
To support the New England premiere of Amelia LeClair’s edition of this work in March of 2024. The performance will be given at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury, a location at the junction of major roads and convenient both to city and suburban concertgoers.
Nightingale Vocal Ensemble – MA (Irving Forbes Centennial grant)
To help fund a series of concerts in February 2024 at the Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Museum of Science. The series will feature twelve singers from Nightingale Vocal Ensemble's roster of professional singers, accompaniment from Juventas New Music Ensemble, and work by projection artist Chad Dorsey who will create unique projections that superimpose artwork depicting mythologies of the constellations onto the planetarium’s projection of the night sky.
Worcester County Mechanics Association – MA (Saxton Family grant)
Many Voices: Mechanics Hall Youth Singers
To support the exceptional demand and subsequent need to expand Many Voices: Mechanics Hall Youth Singers in the city of Worcester. With no auditions, no cost, and transportation provided, it is one of the most accessible music programs in the city for youth, breaking down barriers to access and inclusion.
New England Classical Singers – MA
Collaboration with Methuen High School Chorus
To support a collaboration between The New England Classical Singers (NECS) and the Methuen High School Chorus (MHS) to present Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339. This collaboration will provide singers from both groups with opportunities for cross-generational and cross-cultural collaboration, and will offer the Methuen audience access to a high-quality musical performance seldom available in their own community at no cost.
Providence Singers – RI
Considering Matthew Shepard
In support of a performance of "Considering Matthew Shepard" in 2024, the 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's tragic death. The work is written for choir, chamber orchestra, guitar, and percussion, and the performance will be accompanied by evocative video.
Metropolitan Chorale – MA (CANE Board grant)
Building Fundraising Capacity: Creating a Framework for Goals and Strategies
In support of fundraising assistance from Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director of the UMass Arts Extension Service, for fundraising focused consulting services to inform long-term fundraising efforts as the organization seeks to reconnect with patrons and the greater-Boston community after the disruption to in-person performances due to the pandemic.
List of Choral Arts New England's Named Grants
The Hammond Family grant, instituted by Carrie and Jonathan Hammond, is intended to support a collaborative effort or to celebrate a milestone, preferably in Connecticut.
The Saxton Family grant, instituted by Jonathan Saxton and Barbara Fox, is intended to support a unique, engaging effort in an underserved area or by a non-auditioned choir.
The Irving Forbes Centennial grant is intended to support projects involving community choruses performing large works with orchestra, and/or music that celebrates nature and the outdoors.
The Richard Coffey grant, instituted by friends of the visionary conductor and organist Richard Coffey, seeks to support projects of any kind that are transformative for the funded institution, whether musical, organizational, or experiential. In the event that no worthy project matches these criteria, the grant will be given at the discretion of the Board.
The Lorna Cooke deVaron grant, named in memory of one of the leading women choral conductors of the 20th century, instituted by Joseph & Fiona Horning, is intended to support new music or adventurous programming.
The Choral Arts New England Board grant, sponsored by contributions from the Board members of Choral Arts New England, is intended to advance the priorities of the Board in any given year. For 2023: “Capacity-building projects, as organizations continue to find ways forward amid an unpredictable pandemic environment”
The Choral Arts New England Board Chairs grant is sponsored by contributions from the former Chairs and Vice Chairs of Choral Arts New England. For 2023: “Projects directed at the future of choral music”