By Rebecca Lord
What music is being programmed for our nation’s choirs and why? What issues or criteria weigh most heavily in the minds of those choosing repertoire and where are conductors turning for ideas and inspiration? Are there solid trends or are our choirs all over the map?
Become part of the answer to these questions by sharing your personal views and programming realities through this brief national choral programming survey. Anyone who has ever programmed for a choir (current or past) is encouraged to participate. No choir is too small, no conductor insignificant. Whether you have performed with the NY Philharmonic, led a graduate program, or served as an untrained conductor with a community or church group of 6-8 singers, we want to hear from you. Every voice is invaluable and greatly needed in this quest to see and understand the heartbeat of American choirs in our time.
The survey results will be a key component in my research on choral trends , which will also include in-depth analyses of the repertoire performed at ACDA national conferences since the first national conference in 1960. I am utilizing national conference programming in part because historical records exist, and in part because of the choral leaders involved in programming for those conferences. The aim is to assess and make widely available information on programming trends as seen over the last approximately 80 years of national conference performances, and to compare that information with what is gleaned from the survey results.
The choral programming survey is completely confidential and takes approximately five minutes to complete. You will check the type(s) of choir(s) you have led and the types of music you have programmed. You will be able to share your programming realities, as well as any ideals and philosophies, and if desired, favorite works or composers (which will be compiled and shared with the choral world). All questions/fields are optional, so any that you would prefer not to answer may be skipped.
Results of the survey and programming trends seen at ACDA national conferences will be shared in coming months. The information gleaned from this research will provide conductors with a comprehensive view of ACDA national convention programming trends since its inception, generate data of value for further research and conversation on programming trends, and most importantly, provide easily accessible inspiration and programming ideas from conductors around the nation. Please add your voice to this important record of our time!
Rebecca Lord has served on the choral/vocal faculty of Brigham Young University-Idaho and as Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned MM and DMA degrees under the tutelage of Donald Neuen. She also served as Chorus Master for Arizona Musicfest and Assistant Conductor for the Hour of Power choir. She has a background as a professional violinist, soprano, dancer, and actress.