Community Chorus

OperaDelaware and Wilmington Children’s Chorus Take the Choir to the Child with Neighborhood Choir Program-Wilmington, Delaware

VOICES of Kentuckiana Spreading Message of Acceptance and Equality Through Their Music-Louisville, Kentucky

VOICES of Kentuckiana, founded in 1994 as an inclusive chorus that strives to change hearts and minds through song, “is a chorus for the community that celebrates diversity and is dedicated to fostering positive social change through artistic excellence.”  Under the direction of Jeff Buhrman, the chorus initiated a Youth Outreach Program in 2014 in an effort to bring their music and their message of acceptance and equality to local high schools.  Since then, they have partnered with GSAs, GSTAs and The Louisville Youth Group on performance projects and school programming. 

VOICES has a large footprint in the broader Louisville community.  The group has performed at the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration, Volunteers of America’s annual breakfast, the Louisville AIDS Walk, Kentuckiana Pride Festival, Shine on Louisville, The March for Justice, and World AIDS Day.  VOICES has partnered with choruses from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Nashville to present joint concerts in Louisville, and they have performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Brass Ensemble, the Louisville Gay Men’s Chorus, and with several community church choirs.

VOICES values inclusivity, courage, musicianship, cooperation, empowerment, integrity and joy.  The chorus has participated in international LGBTA choral festivals in Tampa (1996), San Jose (2000), Montreal (2004), Miami (2008), and Denver (2012, 2016).  “Joe Nord, who has been a member of VOICES for two years, loves the inclusiveness. ‘For a few years, I had been wanting to join a choral group but I hadn’t sung in several years and was concerned that I wouldn’t be good enough. My friend, Paula Head, had been singing with VOICES of Kentuckiana for several years and suggested I come to their open enrollment in the Fall of 2013. I knew very quickly I had found the right group!’”

Las Vegas Master Singers a Wellspring of Creativity & Joy in the Desert-Las Vegas, Nevada

When one thinks of Las Vegas, choral music is likely the last thing to come to mind.  However, The Las Vegas Master Singers have been defying that stereotype by making stunning choral music in the Las Vegas Valley since 1993.  The 100-voice community choir, founded by Susan L. Johnson, grew from a small group of dedicated vocalists who came together to sing "for the joy of it." Since then, the Master Singers quickly became recognized as one of the premiere choral organizations in the Las Vegas Valley.

The choir, under the direction of David B. Weiller, is comprised of teachers, choral directors, organists, pianists, and performers from the Southern Nevada community who are committed to forging partnerships with other arts organizations.  LVMS performs with Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Henderson Civic Symphony, the Desert Chorale, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Southern Nevada Opera Association, and the Cultural Arts Society.  The group has welcomed students from the Las Vegas Academy, Nevada School of the Arts, Las Vegas Dance Theater Studios, Palo Verde High School Chamber Singers and Boys Chorus of Southern Nevada as guest performers.

Evanston Civic Chorus United Through Harmony-Evanston, Wyoming

Evanston, Wyoming, population 12,400, was founded during the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad.  The first train arrived in December 1868.  With an elevation of 6,800’, the city enjoys over 300 days of sunshine.  The mayor states on the town’s website, “I don’t think a day goes by that we don’t see an antelope or mule deer or maybe even both! Within the Bear River State Park we enjoy our own herd of buffalo and even a couple of bull elk!”

Since 2007, the Evanston Civic Chorus, a non-auditioned group, has been welcoming singers and enriching the community with their choral concerts.  It began as a community class offered by Uinta B.O.C.E.S #1 Education Center and then in 2012, the Evanston Civic Orchestra board voted to adopt the Civic Chorus, so membership was no longer by class enrollment.  “Though the details of how the Chorus functions have changed, and membership varies from year to year, the focus on community has remained constant since the beginning.  Singing together as a community unites us - Unison through Harmony.”

In addition to their two concerts a year, the chorus has performed at the Memorial Day Ceremony, the Fresh Air, Freedom and Fun Festival on July 4th, the Uinta County Museum Dedication, and the opening ceremony of the Tour of Utah bike race.  According to their website, “some of their most meaningful performances have been for audiences at the State Hospital and the Senior Center.”
 

Lowcountry Voices Celebrate Rich Cultural Heritage of the African-American Choral Tradition-North Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina’s coastal region, known as the Lowcountry, has a rich musical history that has been shaped by people who have inhabited the region, including the native Edisto, Sewee and Kiawah Indians, planters from Barbados, early French Huguenot settlers and of course West African and Caribbean slaves brought to work the rice, indigo and later, cotton, plantations that were the Carolinas' economic engine. Today the influences of Gullah culture, including remnants of a creole-based language and culinary and craft traditions, are a vital part of Lowcountry heritage.

In 2012, Nathan Nelson founded Lowcountry Voices, a multicultural and ethnically diverse choral performing arts organization based in North Charleston, SC, in an effort to give voice to those distinct traditions and to preserve the cultural legacy and authenticity of African-American music.  Its repertoire includes traditional and contemporary gospel music, spirituals, hymns, jazz, classical choral music, and music from the theater and movies.  The choir is based in North Charleston, but its members are drawn from across the entire Lowcountry region and beyond.  

LCV has cultivated partnerships with various choirs in the region, including the College of Charleston Gospel Choir and Claflin University Concert Choir, and has performed at the Inaugural Lincoln Center Global Exchange Evening Performance and with James Taylor in 2015.  The Lowcountry Voices provided music at the services for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the slain pastor of the Mother Emanuel AME tragedy, and provided the background singing behind President Obama’s rendition of Amazing Grace.  In July, 2015, LCV took the sounds of the Lowcountry internationally to Bermuda for two enthusiastically received performances.