Choral Arts New England Mission and History

Our mission

To provide resources to encourage choral excellence in New England, primarily through Alfred Nash Patterson Grants.

Our history

Choral Arts New England was formed in 1980 as a memorial to Alfred Nash "Bud" Patterson, who organized his first civic chorus in the mid-1940s and for the next thirty-five years exerted his talent, musical intelligence, charm and elan to the furtherance of the choral arts.
"Alfred Nash Patterson was a significant and healthy influence on standards of choral performance and repertoire in New England … His work surely deserves to be remembered, and all of us who knew him and worked with him will appreciate an opportunity to see that his influence is continued." -Robert Shaw
"As one of the many conductors who were privileged to work with choruses prepared by Bud Patterson, I can bear witness to the magnificence of his collaborations. We shall all miss him very much." -Leonard Bernstein

Bud Patterson loved the choral arts and all those who practiced them. On his death in 1979, many spontaneous gifts were received, and donors suggested the commissioning of new choral works, building a library of choral music, festivals, tours, and workshops as fitting projects for funding. The founders assembled a committee of distinguished music specialists to review project proposals and to recommend awards. An initial goal of $75,000 was nearly 100% pledged, and the funds were deposited with the Permanent Charity Fund of Boston (now known as the Boston Foundation) for prudent investment management. Between 1992 and 2000, three fundraising events together raised $35,000; further donor contributions as well as investment income have also helped to increase our fund balance. As of September 2019, the endowment fund stands at $301,741.

Choral Arts New England encourages grant applications from across the six New England states. Grants can be awarded to New England choruses, both volunteer and professional, parent organizations of New England choruses, and any New England organizations that provide support to choral music. A brief summary of grants since 1985:

  • 268 grants awarded to 140 recipients
  • $330,705 total in grants awarded