2017 Alfred Nash Patterson Grant Recipients Named
Choral Arts New England has announced the funding of 11 grants, for a total $13,000, in the 2017 season. The funded projects were selected from 44 proposals that were received. The large number of proposals shows the continued vitality of choral music in New England and the great creativity with which choruses are advancing their art. Awards will be presented at the annual awards ceremony in the autumn of 2017.
The funded projects are listed below.
Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Center, Brewster, Massachusetts
Re-Memorable Mutigenerational Chorus of Cape Cod
The Alzheimer's Family Caregiver Support Center provides free services to families and individuals living with AD/dementia, including social and cultural programming to help address the common symptoms of stigma, isolation, and depression. In 2014, the Center established the Re-Memorable Multigenerational Chorus of Cape Cod, the only program of its kind in the country, which brings people with AD/dementia, caregivers, and schoolchildren together in song. The chorus includes members of the Gathering Place Adult Day Program, fourth and fifth grade students from Eastham Elementary School, and at-large community members. Students receive training before they start in the chorus that includes basic communication techniques and information about AD/dementia. Repertoire includes both songs from the past that the elders teach the children and contemporary songs that the children teach the elders. Children participate during the school year (September through May), and the chorus presents a public concert at the end of the season. The elders continue to sing together throughout the summer months. The success of the program has lead to its inclusion in Eastham Elementary School music curriculum.
Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Inc., Northborough, Massachusetts
40th Anniversary Commission: The Emperor’s New Clothes
To support a commission from Cynthia Wong based on the children's story "The Emperor's New Clothes", in celebration of the Assabet Valley Mastersingers 40th anniversary season. The work will be premiered on March 10, 2019, at the Jay Performing Arts Center in Shrewsbury. The program will also include Gerald Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality, with text from William Wordsworth’s Recollections of Early Childhood.
Back Bay Chorale, Boston, Massachusetts
To support the Bridges program, which is dedicated to bringing choral music to those who are unable to attend regular performances because of barriers such as disability, income, and institutional isolation. Performances prompt memories and participation for residents, including those with Alzheimer's and dementia and veterans recovering from injury and PTSD. The intention is to continue this work while exploring other audiences, such as those who are homeless as well as the immigrant community. Grant funding will help support additional staff time, including an assistant music director with skills in music therapy, outreach programming, and community engagement. Bridges singing venues and partnerships include Belmont Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, Mount Pleasant Home in Jamaica Plain, Woman’s Lunch Place of Greater Boston, among others.
Boston City Singers, Dorchester, Massachusetts
Children Sing for Peace
The grant supports the premiere in 2018 of a new “Peace Song” as part of the opening of a park in the Seaport District of Boston that will honor Martin Richard, who was killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The song will be composed over a nine-month period by members of Boston City Singers in grades 6-12, in collaboration with composer and conductor Jim Papoulis and with the support of the World Rhythm Ensemble, which is devoted to performing complex rhythms of Latin America and West African music. The performance will be documented in DVDs that will feature the new composition.
The Chorus of Westerly, Westerly, Rhode Island
Children’s Summer Music Camp at Ogontz
To support the annual week-long overnight music camp for children ages 8-18 at Ogontz in Lyman, New Hampshire. This program provides a curriculum of music literacy and skill classes, and will be conducted in partnership with Community Music Works of Providence, Rhode Island. Community Music Works has approximately 130 children and teens in its program that come from some of the most under-served and diverse neighborhoods of Providence, and who are developing their musical training through strings (violins, violas, cellos, and basses).
Community Chorus of South Berwick, South Berwick, Maine
Requiem for My Mother
For a performance of Requiem for My Mother by Stephen Edwards at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. The performance wil bring together an intergenerational chorus of up 400 singers, including children's choruses and middle and high school choirs. The Requiem was written for an integenerational chorus and is intended to be very accessible, technically and intellectually, to singers of all ages. (Requiem For My Mother is the subject of a documentary that has been shown on National Public Television.)
Coro Allegro, Boston, Massachusetts
To support performance and recording of a newly commissioned work by distinguished Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom, which Coro Allegro will premiere in March 11, 2018 at Harvard’s Sanders Theater. The work, a choral symphony scored for soprano, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra, will address the refugee crisis in Syria, setting texts from poets who have remained in that country and are actively giving voice to the life-affirming values of a badly broken society.
Counterpoint, Montpelier, Vermont
Lilies of the Field
To support performance of several works for chorus with piano and viola accompaniment, including new compositions by Matt LaRocca of South Burlington, Vermont, and a student musician he will choose. The program will also include Ralph Vaughan Williams's Flos Campi (“A Flower of the Field”) and Leos Janacek's Rikadia (“Nursery Rhymes”). Performances will be in Burlington and venues in lesser-served areas selected for diversity and the potential to combine performance with education.
Granite State Choral Society, Rochester, New Hampshire
Youth Outreach Initiative and Workshop
To support an educational workshop for singers age 13–22 based on the recently commissioned cantata, Rochester, about the history of Rochester, NH. The workshop, which could be presented from either a historical or musical viewpoint, will be primarily designed for youth but will be suitable/adaptable for older audiences as well. The chorus is one of the few non-profit arts organizations in the area working to promote choral singing among school aged children outside of the classroom and is the only chorus in the area that accepts young singers in a non-auditioned setting.
Greater Newburyport Children’s Chorus, Newburyport, Massachusetts
To support the premiere of I Could See the Sky by Kile Smith for chorus, children’s choir, organ, and string quartet on August 19 and 20, 2017 in Newburyport, Massachusetts and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The new work is based on local themes, and the goal of the project is to bring together as much of the community as possible. The performance will include musicians from the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, the Newburyport Choral Society, Greater Newburyport Children’s Chorus, and the Choir School at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The target audience will be both the Greater Newburyport region and the Portsmouth NH area, the Seacoast and Merrimack River Valley.
Sharing a New Song, Inc., Arlington, Massachusetts
To support a concert in the Boston area in late fall 2017 that features repertoire from Sharing a New Song's August 2017 trip to South Africa, as well as a selection of American music and musical styles and music from other countries where the chorus has traveled. Chorus members will offer reflections on their experiences in South Africa, and images from the South Africa trip will be projected before and during the concert. The South African concept of "Ubuntu" is embodied in Sharing a New Song's mission of sharing choral music to reach across social and political boundaries, promoting intercultural understanding and lasting relationships. The group has made six trips to South Africa between 1997 and summer 2017.