Summer is a perfect time for getting out of old routines and devoting time to music. New England holds some special retreats that offer programs where choral singers can get away for a week or more to focus and learn; elsewhere, singers take advantage of summer freedom to rehearse and perform a special choral work. Many choruses open their doors to the public to host “summer sings,” where participants sing a masterwork in a single session under expert direction, and often with professional soloists— a perfect way to participate in great music with a minimum commitment.
Choral Arts New England newsletter
Choral Arts New England has announced the funding of 15 grants, for a total $13,650, in the 2019 season. The funded projects were selected from the 52 proposals received. This year's awards are the largest number of grants in the history of the organization, reflecting growing activity and innovation in the New England choral community. Both the number of applications and the amount requested have steadily risen over the past several years; last year, 51 applications were received and $14,150 was given in grants. Awards will be presented at the annual awards ceremony in the autumn of 2019.
The grant recipients are Burlington Choral Society (Burlington, Vt.), Cantilena (Arlington, Mass.), ChoralArt (Portland, Maine), Chorus Angelicus c/o Joyful Noise Inc. (Torrington, Conn.), Commonwealth Chorale (Newtonville, Mass.), Coro Allegro (Boston, Mass.), Fairfield County Children's Choir (Trumbull, Conn.), Greater Boston Choral Consortium (Boston, Mass.), Lorelei Ensemble (Cambridge, Mass.), Montpelier Community Gospel Choir (Montpelier, Vt.), New Hampshire Master Chorale (Plymouth, N.H.), Outer Cape Chorale (So. Wellfleet, Mass.), Somerville Community Chorus (Somerville, Mass.), South Shore Children's Chorus (Quincy, Mass.), and St Mary Schola (Falmouth, Maine)
Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7:30 pm, Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Rd., Newton. Free Admission (pre-registration suggested). Zamir Chorale of Boston and Hebrew College’s School of Jewish Music will present an informal round-table panel discussion exploring issues related to ethnic identity and choral singing. Visitors are welcome to listen in to the conversations and will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the participants.
The Boston Early Music Festival offers a free choral workshop on Monday, June 10, 2019 from 2:00–4:30 pm at Harvard University Memorial Church. This open reading session will focus on C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat (Wq 215). All are welcome to sing in the chorus, which will be joined by soloists Deborah Selig (soprano), Mary Gerbi (mezzo soprano), Gregory Zavracky (tenor), and Christopher Talbot (bass); accompanied by John Robinson and conducted by Edward Elwyn Jones.
South Coast Community Chorale is looking for high school and undergraduate college students who love to sing classical music! We are auditioning soprano, alto, tenor, and bass soloists for Mozart’s Solemn Vespers and to sing in our concerts this spring. Each student who auditions will automatically receive 2 free tickets to 1 of our concerts on either May 18 or May 19th, 2019. If you are selected as a soloist you will receive 4 free tickets as well as a $500 cash Scholarship.
The Portland, Maine chorus ChoralArt seeks new Christmas carols from composers with a New England connection (born in, current resident of, or composer currently studying at a college, university, or conservatory in one of the six New England states). The winning entry will be premiered during the 2019–2020 holiday season. Entries must be a cappella or keyboard accompaniment settings for SATB chorus (divisi up to SSATB) of an English text, with a duration of about three minutes. The winning composer will receive a $750 cash prize.
The Vermont professonal chorus Counterpoint is presenting a series of workshops throughout the state during the 2018–2019 season that are designed to educate and motivate young students on the dangers of human-caused climate change. The program is called "Six Degrees," a double reference both to the cataclysmic result of the warming of the planet by six degrees Celsius, and to the “six degrees of separation” that connect all of humanity.
The New Hamshire Master Chorale is hosting its second annual singer retreay, called "All of Us", on Saturday, March 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Concord Community Music School, 23 Wall St., in Concord, N.H. The event includes professionally-led breakout sessions on movement, creativity and expression, and vocal technique, as well as a full-group singing session led by Master Chorale Music Director Dan Perkins.
Participation fee is $100, and includes lunch.
Choral Arts New England held a forum on April 11, 2011 in Wellesley, Mass., to discuss recent developments and challenges in choral music.
Choral singing is an essential part of New England, and nationwide it is the most popular form of participation in the performing arts. New England choruses have greatly grown in number and quality in the past several decades, connecting more singers and their audiences with music of the highest quality, and creating vibrant communities through song.
But these are challenging times for choruses. Attendance is down for all the performing arts, the nature of community participation is being changed by new social media, print arts coverage is declining while music sharing opportunities are increasing (if legal and technological obstacles can be met), and the next generation of singers is growing up with American Idol and Glee.
How have choruses grown and adapted and what will be next? A distinguished panel—leaders of professional choruses, auditioned and community choruses, and children’s choruses—explores these questions, with opportunities for the audience to join in the discussion.
Sing and Learn While Working
Berkshire Choral International offers a competitive apprentice program for professional-track undergraduate and graduate students. It’s an opportunity for singers, accompanists, and choral conductors (all must sing) to intensively study and rehearse major orchestral works with eminent conductors. The program includes