Change the world through music!
For several years now, Chorosynthesis has been envisioning a project that would involve the performance of new, high-quality works by living composers. We would honor the excellence of these composers by performing their works with a chamber chorus of professional singers (Chorosynthesis Singers) and Co-Artistic Directors Wendy Moy and Jeremiah Selvey. Essential to the concept of the project was connection to the vision and mission of Chorosynthesis, more specifically engaging community and providing platforms for collaboration. Both passionate about issues of social justice, Wendy and Jeremiah decided to include compositions centered on social justice.
On Sunday, March 13, 2016, the singers and conductors will arrive from all over the country for a week of daily rehearsals (17.5 hours in total), including a dress rehearsal in the performance space on Thursday, March 17 with our cellist, clarinetist, and pianist. Then on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30pm, Chorosynthesis Singers will present “Empowering Silenced Voices,” a concert of new choral works on the theme of social justice, as part of the Wayward Music Series at the Good Shepherd Chapel in the Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford. Believing that music has the ability to bring together communities, this concert will highlight voices that have been silenced throughout history by exploring topics such as child abuse, terrorism, war, non-heteronormative love, natural disaster, women’s rights, and civil disobedience.
Check our our Kickstarter Campaign at http://kck.st/1Phzv3X
We are excited to announce that Chorosynthesis Singers will be part of the Seattle Wayward Music Series in 2016. Each month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded organizations and artists present ten concerts of adventurous and experimental music in the gorgeous Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center: contemporary/post-classical composition, free improvisation and the outer limits of jazz, electronic/electroacoustic music, new instruments, phonography, sound art, and other innovative musics. Save the date: March 19, 2016 for the Empowering Silenced Voices Concert.
In little over two months, we have received 100 scores from all over the world! Thank you to everyone who has spread the word about our call for submissions. We are reviewing scores on a rolling basis so if you haven't submitted a piece you still have time.
Chorosynthesis has received a grant towards its upcoming performance projects. Stay tuned for more details!
Wendy will present her paper, "Social Capital and Your Choral Program: Creating a Culture of Success and Sustainability," at the Northeast College Music Society Regional Conference on March 20 at Boston University. See below for the abstract.
This session will examine the role of culture and social capital in the development of a highly successful community chorus. The presenter will share her current ethnographic research on the shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices of the Seattle Men’s Chorus, the largest community chorus in North America and largest gay men’s chorus in the world. This chorus has created a culture of high quality performances spanning diverse musical genres from Brahms to the Beatles. They have graced concert halls around the world sharing their message of music and social justice. Most recently they toured in Germany with the commissioned work, For a Look or a Touch by Jake Heggie on the subject of homosexual persecution during the Holocaust. Every holiday, they perform over nine sold out shows for the community at Benaroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony.
This research revealed that the Seattle Men’s Chorus possess all three types of social capital (bonding, linking, and bridging), which have been leveraged to build a chorus of 300+ members, create an expanding audience demographic, and establish an institution that is a core component of the musical community. Particular attention will be given to the mission/vision of the chorus as well as the partnerships between the chorus, community, and educational institutions such as the vocal coaching program with the University of Washington. Applications to other choral organizations and academic contexts will be addressed as well as directions for further research.
Wendy and Jeremiah will be heading to Nashville, Tennessee this October to present their latest research at the 2015 National Association for Music Education National Inservice Conference. For more information go to NAfME.
Both Wendy and Jeremiah are excited to be presenting choral sessions at the upcoming Connecticut Music Educators Association Conference on May 2, 2015 in Hartford, Connecticut. For more information go to www.cmea.org.
Wendy and Jeremiah successfully defended their dissertations at the University of Washington. Wendy's dissertation was entitled, Come Together: An Ethnography of the Seattle Men's Chorus Family. Jeremiah's dissertation was entitled, Visual and Aural Modes of Perception in Choral Performance Evaluations. Both Wendy and Jeremiah will be presenting their research at upcoming conferences.
Steven Morrison and Jeremiah Selvey just published an article on conductor expressivity in the winter edition of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. Read the full journal article at JSTOR.
Wendy Moy is presenting a session entitled, Top Qualities of a Thriving Community Choir at the Connecticut American Choral Directors Conference being held at Central Connecticut State University on Saturday, October 18, 2014. For more information on attending this conference go to the CT ACDA website.
Congratulations to Jeremiah Selvey! He has just been appointed as a Lecturer, Choral/Vocal Music at Southern Illinois University! He will be teaching voice, choir and conducting classes. Check out the music department at SIU.
Can you imagine going to the Superbowl, but instead of being gathered to watch a sporting event, you've gathered to sing? Seems unlikely, doesn't it? I thought so too until the University of Washington choir tour to Estonia and Latvia. At the beginning of the tour, I had virtually no pre-existing knowledge of the unique tradition of singing in these countries. Unbeknownst to me, my perspective on singing cultures would soon be changed forever. As I stood in the Daugava stadium in the Latvian capital of Riga, a space created for the sole reason of communal singing by thousands of people, it was difficult to comprehend the magnitude of this moment in my own education as musician, conductor and artist. The stadium's emptiness created an indescribable sense of awe for the sacred space, much like walking into a grand cathedral. The palpable sense of unity and purpose was evident even among the snowy benches of the stadium.
At this moment questions surfaced in my mind that I have been attempting to answer ever since. "If communal, intentional singing could bring about peaceful revolution during the complexities of the Singing Revolution years, how much more could it contribute to the welfare of American contemporary culture?" Dr. Guntis Smidchens, head of the Baltic Studies program at the University of Washington, (and touring official during aforementioned tour) has investigated the role of music in specific during the Baltic Singing Revolutions and presents his findings in the article "Was Singing Necessary?" His research has proved invaluable in answering those questions that Riga inspired in me those years ago. Chorosynthesis dreams of getting the United States to sing in massive numbers, to connect our voice, communities, and causes.
Do you believe that singing is necessary in the United States? Perhaps you will be after reading Dr. Smidchens' article...
Chorosynthesis is very excited that the 2013 National Chorus America Conference will be hosted by Pro Musica and the Seattle Symphony/Symphony Chorus in our home town of Seattle. We hope to see everyone in the Emerald City!
"The Annual Conference is the centerpiece of Chorus America's professional development and training opportunities for chorus leaders. Each year in June the Conference is presented in a different city, in partnership with a host chorus, and brings together more than 400 choral conductors, administrators, singers, board members, and business members."
Co-founder Jeremiah Selvey has just been appointed as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus. He has some great plans for community engagement that will revealed soon. We wish him best wishes on his move and new job in the Bay Area! Check out the ensemble's website at www.oebgmc.org.
What does SUSTAINABILITY mean in the arts and culture field? What are the paradoxes of sustainability? Watch this short video to find out. (Diane was once the managing director of On the Boards in Seattle!)
Jeremiah was appointed the Guest Artistic Director at Windy City Performing Arts. Wendy was appointed the Director of Choral Music at Tacoma Community College and will also be directing the Bellevue Chamber Chorus for the 2012-2013 season. What does this mean for Chorosynthesis? We will continue to fulfill our mission and vision from two points in the United States. Stay tuned for more on our American Choral Summit online.