Chorus America and Carnegie Hall-sponsored Event Highlight of Chorus America’s 2011 Conference in San Francisco

 

 

Chorus America will hold its Annual Conference from June 8 – 11 in San Francisco for the first time since 1988. Co-hosted by Chanticleer and the San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, the conference offers high-quality plenary and breakout sessions with nationally renowned speakers, concerts featuring outstanding regional choruses, and festive networking events.

The Annual Conference is the centerpiece of Chorus America’s professional development and training opportunities for chorus leaders from across North America, and each June, over 400 choral conductors, administrators, singers, board members, and volunteers participate.

Chorus America and Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute will present a Community Sing with Chanticleer, offered free of charge to the public, as a highlight of the sold-out Annual Conference, Saturday June 11 at 2:15pm at the International High School Gymnasium, adjacent to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Since the conference itself is sold out and the waiting list is closed, the Community Sing is the last remaining opportunity to interact with the professionals, administrators, artists, and directors at the conference, and the only event open to the public. This is a free event, but reservations are required and can be made online at communitysingwithchanticleer.eventbrite.com.

The Community Sing, developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, is an interactive experience that engages the public in taking part in the artistic process that is unique to the featured performing group. Much more than a sing-a-long, the choir director and chorus bring their newly expanded choir into the inner-­workings of songs through an open-rehearsal process. Each event includes songs, which can be explored and sung by anyone, regardless of musical experience or skill. Participating artists in the New York City area have included Take Six, Young People’s Chorus of New York, Soweto Gospel Choir, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

This 75-­‐minute Community Sing will feature Chanticleer, leading an open “rehearsal" of one of their pieces, creating opportunities for the audience to explore with them the inner workings of vocal technique, coloring, blending, etc. and culminating in a joint performance. The event will open with a song performed by the group alone and will end with a joint performance of the Biebl Ave Maria, a trademark Chanticleer piece they often include as an ending to their performances.

Following the Community Sing, the participants are invited to stay for the Adapting the Model for Your Community workshop, during which the artists and Carnegie Hall educators will discuss the mechanics of the presentation and share “how-to” tips for arts organizations who are interested in developing similar programs for their communities. The Adapting the Model workshop is targeted to Conference delegates and performing arts colleagues.

The Community Sing and Adapting the Model for Your Community workshop are supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The Adapting the Model for Your Community workshop to promote community participation in the arts is supported, in part, by The Wallace Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation.

Chorus America was founded in 1977 by the professional choral music community in response to clear and demonstrated needs for more public awareness, financial support, and experienced organizational management. Out of their personal commitment to the choral music art form, and in an attempt to put North America's choral ensembles on a path to growth and success, the late Michael Korn and several colleagues, including Roger Wagner, Gregg Smith, Margaret Hillis, Hugh Ross, Janice Kestler, and Walter Gould, met and decided to found a new organization.

What began in Philadelphia as the Association of Professional Vocal Ensembles has since expanded to embrace the broad spectrum of choruses, growing from 45 choruses in 1977 to 650 today, as well as more than 900 individual and business members. In June 1993, the organization's name was officially changed to Chorus America, and in 1998 Chorus America relocated its national offices to Washington, DC.

Chorus America’s programs serve the entire field of choral music, including advocacy and research and resources for artistic directors, board members, administrators, and volunteers of professional, volunteer, symphony/opera, and children/youth choruses. Currently, the organization boasts 2,000 members, including 729 individual chorus leaders, 648 choruses, 62 businesses and libraries, and 600 singers who are members of the Singer Network online community. Through research and national advocacy work, Chorus America has extended its impact and reach far beyond their membership.

The Annual Conference is funded through registration fees, sponsorships, the National Endowment for the Arts, and grants from generous community arts supporters, including the William and Florence Hewlett Foundation.

The Conference in San Francisco is a unique opportunity to highlight leading artists and outstanding choral music to a large group of influential chorus leaders from across North America. The Conference will have an even broader reach as information shared in these sessions will be disseminated through Chorus America’s website as well as print and online communications for those who are unable to attend the Conference in person. Additional information about the Conference is available at chorusamerica.org/conf2011.

Chanticleer has been called “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by the New Yorker magazine, and named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2008, and has developed a worldwide reputation for its impeccable musicianship, beauty of sound, and wide-­‐ranging repertoire from Renaissance and Mexican Baroque to jazz, gospel, folk, and adventurous new music. Chanticleer Records releases live and studio recordings on CD and in downloads, and both may be found through the organization’s website: chanticleer.org.

Chanticleer was awarded Chorus America's prestigious Education and Outreach Award for 2010, and recently launched its newest education program, introducing a small, mixed youth chorus for Bay Area singers aged 14-20 known as the Louis A. Botto (LAB) Choir in honor of Louis A Botto, the founder and original Artistic Director Chanticleer. With the help of individual contributions and foundation and corporate support, the Ensemble involves over 5000 young people annually in its extensive education program which includes in-school clinics and workshops, Chanticleer Youth Choral Festivals™ every four years, master classes for university students nationwide, and the Chanticleer in Sonoma summer workshop for adult choral singers.

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