The Walter and Elise Haas Fund has been very supportive of Chanticleer's education programs as they have developed over the years. Long ago when we wanted to start an education program, they funded Singing in the Schools, and later helped us create the Middle School Choral Festival. This year they helped us with a new idea we had to offer special opportunities to choir directors and general music teachers. We have called it "Open Door." This season we've offered 7 such events - 4 here at the Kanbar Center, and 3 in the context of our youth choral festivals. All of these programs which were launched with the much appreciated support of the Haas Fund are now a regular part of our curriculum.
Today we have our last Open Door event of the season. 20 or so students and teachers will come to rehearsal this afternoon.
The idea of Open Door is to invite Bay Area teachers ( who may bring students) to observe Chanticleer in its working environment as well as to find out how we can be a further resource to them. This means interactive observation of a rehearsal; our guests ask questions, can move around the room - even between singers - to get a real sense of our process. Education Director Ben Johns, invites them upstairs to our conference room for discussion of any number of issues -repertoire is a big one- as well as asking them how we may tailor our efforts to help them. The Choir Directors and teachers, needless to say, are the key to the successful realization of our education program. They are the ones who make the scheduling possible, maneuver around the rules and requirements of their respective schools - especially when it comes to bringing kids to our festivals and other events. Open Door is one way of keeping in close contact with them - and hopefully giving them a hand.
We are joined by the choir director and a number of students from Washington High School in San Francisco, after rehearsing by ourselves for our forthcoming tour - yes another one!
Washington High School has long been a part of our education program and has sent choirs to our Youth Choral Festival several times. After the rehearsal downstairs, they came up and had a look at our office to get a bit of an idea about what it takes to keep us going. The map of everywhere we've been is always of interest. The students' time with us concluded with a conversation with Ben Johns about what they had heard in the rehearsal.