Conducting

In early 20th-century Chicago, the intersection of classical and gospel church traditions gave birth to the modern gospel chorus movement. This history has made Chicago the gospel choir capital of the world—and continues to have an impact on ensemble singing today.

With this issue of the Research Memorandum Series, Matthew Bumbach assumes the editorship. The issue focuses on restoring Renaissance repertoire for women’s ensembles using the convent archives of Spain. Compiled by Kathryn Longo.

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In an effort to renew our understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and challenges choral conductors encounter and how they affect the choral ecosystem, Chorus America undertook a new study, updating survey findings from a decade ago. The results highlight both important challenges and reasons to feel confident about the health of the profession. 

Understanding more about choral conducting as an occupation can help choral conductors plan their careers and choral leaders make better decisions. This report uses data drawn from the survey responses of more than 600 conductors to examine conductors' career paths, training, responsibilities, salaries, and more. These key findings provide an overview of both important challenges and reasons to feel confident about the health of the profession, as well as developments since Chorus America's first choral conductor survey over a decade ago. Access the full report, available to Chorus America members, here. 

With this issue of the American Choral Review, Timothy Newton assumes the editorship. The lead article examines new perspectives on Howells’ compositional activity in America by presenting three case studies. The issue also includes a concert report from Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie, and reviews of recent recordings The Wonder of Christmas and The ABC’s of Russian Diction.

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Choosing the right primary teacher at college or conservatory is one of the most important decisions a music student will make in their musical career, according to Deborah Simpkin King. A conductor and educator, King is artistic director and founder of Schola Cantorum on Hudson and its Conducting and Choral Scholar programs. Her tips on finding the perfect fit with a teacher for undergraduate or graduate studies are a great resource to share with young conductors and singers.

Emotional Expression in Group Singing

Music is an emotional medium, yet we often spend rehearsal time in our choirs focused on notes, rhythms, and precision, rarely addressing the meaning of the music, says arranger and producer Deke Sharon. In the new book The Heart of Vocal Harmony: Emotional Expression in Group Singing, Sharon puts the process of delivering an emotionally compelling performance front and center.

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