Re-Imagining Relevance through New Music & Social Consciousness

March 8, 2018, 8 am - 9 am
Hilton Pavilion West Ballroom, Portland, OR
NW ACDA Conference Session
To register for conference:

Discussants: Jeremiah Selvey, Wendy Moy, Justin Raffa, Reg Unterseher

The purpose of this panel discussion is to provide thoughtfulness on the importance of new music and social advocacy as we reconceive the impact of the choral art in our various communities. The panelists will speak from the depth and breadth of their own experiences, as well as broader trends in the field, to provide practical ways to revitalize our choral communities by way of supporting the diversity of our humanity. This panel discussion will explore how we can integrate social consciousness and new music into our choral settings as a means of making the choral art more immediately relevant to our singers, communities, and audiences. The framework for this conversation will be Equity, Diversity, Compassion, and Transformation. Some of the topic areas will include the following:

1. The role of art, especially choral music, to alerting social consciousness and advocacy...
a. How composers use art to evoke social awareness and to connect to communities beyond their own.
b. How singers and audiences are finding deeper connections to the art and to each other by way of the shared passion for particularly socially conscious topics.
c. How choirs are connecting and collaborating with community organizations and social causes.
2. Programming socially conscious music…
a. Importance of performing new works in addition to the canon.
b. Resources available for finding high-quality socially conscious repertoire appropriate to our ensembles, as well as composers who are empathetic to social consciousness.
c. How groups are re-purposing works from the canon in ways that draw attention to social consciousness.
d. Using programming to draw attention to socially conscious issues.
3. Potential fears or barriers to becoming an advocate for social consciousness…
a. Balancing the potentially polarizing views on social issues in your ensemble and community.
b. Becoming a caretaker for the potential psychological barriers to performing socially conscious music.