ChorTeach is ACDA’s quarterly publication for choral conductors and teachers at all levels. It is published online, and each issue contains four practical articles. If you are not already a member of ACDA, you can join as an Associate for $45 per year and receive access to ChorTeach and the Choral Journal online.
The Winter 2017 issue contains the article “Past, Present, and Future: Today’s Choral Repertoire” by Lynne Gackle. This article was originally published in Texas Choral Notes, January 2016. Following is an excerpt from the article.
I am constantly amazed (and awed) by the choral repertoire “hounds” that I observe in my choral literature classes. I laugh when they call themselves choral “nerds.” These are future choral music educators who have such a love for choral music that their libraries (both physical and audio) are filled with new, creative, and interesting choral works that are being written, published, and recorded daily.
Through the technology currently available to all of us, we have access to music (both print and recorded) from across the globe. Young composers, emerging choral groups (check out Room Full of Teeth, the Lorelei Ensemble or Tenebrae, just to name a few), and fresh, creative music is literally only a click away! As a choral editor, I admit that I love the new—the excitement of fresh concepts, the juxtaposition of different pallets, texts, and timbres. I am always excited when I see new manuscripts with poignant and intriguing texts from recognized composers and those whose names are new. Often, just their birthdates are enough to amaze me.
However, … as educators, conductors, and mentors of potential choral music educators, we must ask ourselves the following important question: With all the new music available, do we have a responsibility to include music from the past, the “tried and true” jewels from years gone by? I would argue unequivocally, yes! The great masterworks and choral jewels that have been shared with generations of listeners deserve to be brought into the lives of our singers in the twenty-first century. The music of today is influenced by the music of the past. To sing these splendid choral works connects us with our choral heritage. Most importantly, there is an artistic thread that ties the human heart of today with those from hundreds of years ago. With all of the wonderful new literature we see in reading sessions each year, let us not become so enamored of the “new” that we lose sight of the intrinsic beauty and worth of works that have stood the test of time.
Read the full article by clicking here and looking in the Winter 2017 for Lynne Gackle’s article. If you are not already an ACDA member, you can join as an Associate for only $45 per year and receive online access to all ACDA publications. Go here to learn more. You can also view the full ChorTeach index here.