We are entering fall, and students are returning to school! For many of us, the phrase “back to school” brings back memories of new classes, new friends, and singing in school choral music programs. Unfortunately, these opportunities are not available for all.
An artist, arts educator, teaching artist, policymaker, and philanthropist, Alysia Lee has a broad perspective on the arts ecosystem. As the founder and artistic director of Sister Cities Girlchoir and as the inaugural president for the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (a position she began in early 2022), she works to advance access, equity, and decolonization—always with a focus on youth, anti-racism, creativity, and justice.
Chorus America, the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that advances the choral field, is thrilled to announce awards totaling $950,000 to 21 inaugural grant partners of its new Music Education Partnership Grants program, made possible through a new funding partnership.
by Alysia Lee and Diana Sáez
It’s no secret that these have been difficult times for choruses and choral music educators lately. It’s why, as board members of Chorus America, we are delighted to share some wonderful news – the launch of Chorus America’s Music Education Partnership Grants. This new funding partnership will be awarding over $900,000 this grants cycle to support collaborations between community organizations and elementary, middle, or junior high schools during the 2022-23 school year.
As early as May 2020, researchers identified COVID-19 to be highly transmissible through singing and choral musicians had to pivot quickly. Overnight, music educators and choral conductors became experts in planning asynchronous Zoom rehearsals and producing virtual choirs, allowing their ensembles to continue creating through the pandemic.
Chorus America is thrilled to welcome two new team members to the organization, both of whom will be supporting the inaugural Music Education Collaborative Grants program.
With some help from Silicon Valley, we may be on our way to overcoming the choral field’s most persistent hurdle during the pandemic—latency from internet connections that prevents choruses from truly being able to hear each other and sing together synchronously online. Software entrepreneur Mike Dickey, a parent of the Ragazzi Boys Chorus of San Mateo, California, worked with Stanford University researchers to develop a technology platform called JackTrip Virtual Studio that makes real-time remote singing possible with common internet connections.
SPONSORED CONTENT FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER
Choristers and directors know all too well the challenges of learning music while apart, as the majority of choruses are not meeting in person right now. But as Andrew Goren shares, the concept of taking the rehearsal room with you has been in the works from before the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives in 2020. Goren, the founder of the digital rehearsal app Harmony Helper, talks with Chorus America about his singing background and the experiences that led him to develop new technology to help singers make the most of their practice time.
The Fall 2020 Chorus Survey collected data on the impact that COVID-19 continues to have on the choral field and how choruses are operating at this point in the pandemic. This report provides detailed information on the responses of children and youth choruses.