Choruses seek to foster an open, welcoming culture, but some practices can exclude and cause pain for transgender singers. Here are some steps your chorus can take to avoid them.
In creating a chorus culture that is welcoming to transgender singers, terminology can be something that some choral leaders may need catching up on. This list of key terms below supplements our article in the Winter 2017-18 Voice on making choruses welcoming for transgender singers.
Each month, Chorus America profiles one of our members in our Meet A Member interview series. To mark the season of giving, we often change things up a little bit for December by speaking with Chorus America donors. This year, we spoke to Hussein Janmohamed and Joan Szymko, the two composers donating compositions for Chorus America’s 2018 Commission Consortiums.
In addition to enriching musical knowledge and enhancing vocal technique, singing in a chorus can also teach important lessons about life itself. We reached out to the growing network of choruses specifically for older adults, and asked longtime singers about the ways in which singing has informed other aspects of their lives.
Singers are the lifeblood of the choral field. Ensembles from coast to coast are anchored by veterans of school and youth choral programs who found the experience rewarding enough that they continued through adulthood. But as choral leaders know all too well, many choristers can’t or don’t stick with it; they drop out of choral singing when they hit significant life transitions.
When Susan McMane was in high school, she probably spent about as much time chanting “two, four, six, eight” as she did singing “do, re, mi.”
When you stop to think about the ways people sing together, the diversity is breathtaking. Just a partial list includes community, school, collegiate, and church choruses, as well as gospel choirs, barbershop groups, contemporary a cappella ensembles, men’s choruses, and special mission groups like threshold choirs.
This August, Chorus America released the results of the first-ever systematic look at what moves and motivates the people who attend choral music concerts. In partnership with leading research and consulting firm WolfBrown, the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project worked with 23 choruses across North America to survey their audiences.
As a graduate conducting student at Temple University in the 1980s, Diana V. Saez recalls being frustrated that there was no mention of Latin American composers—except for the famous composers Villalobos from Brazil and Ginastera from Argentina. When she moved to Washington DC, in 1990, she found a bustling choral music scene, with a wide variety of choruses. But Latin American music was not part of the standard repertoire.