Choral Arts New England held its annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 4 p.m. in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Due to public health-related space restrictions, attendance at the event is by invitation only. However, the ceremony will be available for streaming live and available for later viewing on YouTube (linked on the Choral Arts YouTube channel).
As it marks its 40th year of supporting New England choruses, Choral Arts New England is launching a two-year campaign to double its grant-making endowment. Founded in 1980 as the Alfred Nash Patterson Foundation, the organization has built an endowment of more than $300,000; to date, its annual grants program has given more than 260 grants, totaling over $330,000, to support choral singing in the six New England states. Grants have helped create new choruses, reinvigorated long-established choruses, and supported transformative experiences for choral singers, their audiences, and their communities. While funds available for grants have remained steady for over a decade, both the number of high-quality proposals and the amount requested have more than doubled in that time. The New England choral community has greatly expanded over the decades, and choruses in today’s world—our communities' voices—play a unique role in building community and giving inspiration.
New England choruses have been severely tested in the past 18 months, and they have responded with tenacity and ingenuity. This year, Choral Arts New England decided to highlight some of the choruses who have made notable accomplishments during the pandemic by instituting a special Phoenix Award. The award particularly recognized continuing to make music in some way; engaging membership and the community; being creative, visionary and resourceful; contributing to artistic well-being; keeping musicians and/or staff employed; and providing educational opportunities.
PBS released a short feature in November 2019 about choral music, focusing on composers Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli and Morten Lauridsen. Their stories placed against the backdrop of a broad view of choral music offers a bit history lesson and a bit modern perspective. The show may be viewed at https://www.pbs.org/video/american-voices-8ndxz5/
Choral Arts New England has announced the funding of 10 grants, for a total of $13,000, starting in 2021. The funded projects were selected from 46 proposals received. Last year, 51 applications were received and $13,500 was given in grants. The grant recipients, listed alphabetically, are Classical Uprising (Portland, Maine), Coro Allegro (Boston, Mass.), Ensemble Altera (Johnston, R.I.), The Keene Chorale (Keene, N.H.), The Main Street Children's Choir (New Britain, Conn.), Metropolitan Chorale (Brookline, Mass.), Renaissance Men (Westwood, Mass.), Schoodic Arts for All (Winter Harbor, Maine), Solaris Vocal Ensemble (Essex Junction, Vt.), and Worcester Children's Chorus (Worcester, Mass.).
In response to this year's devastating pandemic—which has eliminated live performance of choral music throughout New England—Choral Arts New England instituted a special round of emergency grants to provide some operational relief for choral organizations. Available funding allowed for 20 grants of $500 each; recipients were selected from nearly 60 applicants, with priority given to smaller organizations for whom the grant would have the most impact.
The grant recipients are:
The Choral Arts New England chorus calendar is now listing online events (webcasts, virtual concerts, webinars) that are of interest to the choral community. To list your event, use the online form and put the event link in the "Location/Address" box; you may leave the city/state/Zip fields blank. Events must take place at a certain date and time (since this is a calendar), but need not list a physical location.
Featured choral events
“I have an idea that people join choruses to experience self expression and also the oneness of a number of humans all and together looking for the highest expression of a big thought in music. Maybe we can never go all the way with a man like Bach, but we can go further with him than we could ever go on our own.” —Alfred Nash Patterson