Ethnic Identity and Choral Singing
Wednesday evening, 15 May in Newton, MA
The Zamir Chorale of Boston Alumni Association and Hebrew College’s School of Jewish Music will present an informal round-table panel discussion exploring issues related to ethnic identity and choral singing. Visitors are welcome to listen in to the conversations and will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the participants. Admission is free.
Date: Wednesday evening, May 15, 2019, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.
Location: Berenson Auditorium at Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA
Participants include Richard Barrett, Cantor at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church; André de Quadros, Director of Voices 21C, and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Division Equity and Diversity Chair; Joshua Jacobson, Director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston; Fr. Romanos Karanos, Director of the Melodist Byzantine Choir; Nick Page, Director of The Mystic Chorale; José Rivera, Director of the University of North Carolina Chorus and ACDA National Ethnic and Multicultural Chair; Amy Lieberman and Lynn Torgove, Co-Directors of Kol Arev; Carol Marton, Director of Koleinu, Boston’s Jewish Community Chorus; Brother Dennis Slaughter, Director of The Boston Community Choir.
The participants will discuss a number of challenges as well as benefits for a chorus that specializes in music from a single ethnic tradition. Does our chorus have an enhanced sense of quasi-family unity because we have a shared interest/background? Do we welcome singers who are not members of our ethnicity? How do we define our repertoire? Do we include repertoire that’s outside of our traditions? To what extent is ethnic material decontextualized, assimilated and acculturated by being arranged for a “Western” chorus and performed in a “Western” concert experience? To what extent is the chorus’s mission the revival a repertoire that is largely lost or ignored? Do we want our repertoire to be more widely known? When is it inappropriate to perform music from another culture’s tradition?