Reflections on the Chorus America Conference

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the Chorus America Conference in Cincinnati, thanks to this congregation's support of my professional development funds. Here are a few highlights of the conference - things that I can tangibly apply to my work here at OCUUC:

  • Speaker on multicultural programming and multicultural audience development. Does our programming consistently reflect our community?
  • Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble concert, featuring two world premieres. Top-notch performing, such nutritious food for my soul!
  • Email marketing seminar. I will be re-invigorating our concert email list and email marketing for special events so we can get more audience members --> congregation members.
  • Conducting workshop. Fine details of conducting. "Should we follow your head or your hands?" Answer: hands.
  • Cincinnati Children's Choir concert. Amazing voices but "dead" faces and such serious music for young people to sing. The children sang a 90 minute concert completely memorized!
  • At a Dine-Around networking event, I learned about an awesome and easy fundraising idea that the music committee will be employing: Valentine Grams.
  • Celebrated H. T. Burleigh's 150th birthday with a Morning Sing. He was a classically trained African-American singer/arranger/composer who wrote down African-American spirituals for posterity.
  • Seminar on data from audience surveys. Highest motivation for people attending concerts: to be emotionally moved.
  • Seminar about vocal wellness - very important and useful information!
  • Elijah concert, a 3-hour oratorio with 150 singers and full orchestra. Amazing!
  • Tribute to Robert Shaw (one of America's foremost choral conductors) by his former students and assistants. They ran us through a Shaw-style choral warm-up.
  • Community Sing -- an open-to-the-public sing-along as part of a city-wide festival.