September 2010

SBO Staff • ChoralHeadlinesSeptember 2010 • September 28, 2010

“Too Hot To Handel” to Bring NYC Kids to Carnegie Hall

This fall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) teams up with conductor Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to bring a choral creative learning project to hundreds of New York City high school students. As choir students from six New York City high schools located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx head back to school this fall, they will begin the final rehearsal process for WMI’s “Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah Project,” becoming active participants in the creative process and preparing for the once in a lifetime opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop on November 14. A related songwriting workshop for select students involved in the project culminates with a performance of their own student-written compositions and excerpts from the larger piece in Zankel Hall.

The centerpiece of this project, a musical work conceived by Ms. Alsop, is “Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah,” based on Handel’s famous work. During performances of the Messiah, the “Hallelujah Chorus” is known for getting people on their feet, and this sense of excitement prompted Ms. Alsop to suggest giving the Messiah a new twist. “Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah,” co-arranged and orchestrated by Ms. Alsop’s colleagues Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson, takes Handel’s “Messiah,” and infuses it with jazz, gospel, rock, and RB. During the performance, audiences will be provided sheet music from the “Hallelujah Chorus” and encouraged to sing along with the student choir.

In addition to the large-scale choral project for hundreds of students, select students involved in the project have also been given the opportunity to participate in a more intimate songwriting workshop inspired by “The Gospel Messiah.” Working with professional composers, students from three of these New York City high schools have been asked to explore the possibilities inherent in re-inventing or re-mixing a masterwork. Since the spring, these students have become composers themselves, re-inventing masterpieces of their own choosing. These students will perform the world premieres of these original works and all six choirs will perform excerpts from “Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah” in Zankel Hall on November 21.

For more information, visit

President Obama Honors the Global Choir Community

The World Choir Games (WCG) were held in Shaoxing, China, July 15 – 26 2010, and 472 choirs and jurors from 83 nations comprising a total of well over 20,000 active participants took part in the world’s biggest choir competition, which is organized every two years by Interkultur in cooperation with partners.

During the twelve days of song and music, more than 220,000 visitors flocked to the competitions, concerts, and events marking the city of Shaoxing’s jubilee celebrations.

In a message to the choral singers of the world, President Obama also stressed music’s potential “to transcend languages, cultures and borders.” The message was read out to thousands of participants at the World Choir Games’ closing ceremony. The message went onto say that the power of art and music “brings us together and helps us to reflect on who we are, where we come from, and what lies ahead.” Obama stressed that musicians from all over the world had gathered together “to exchange ideas and styles and share in the artistic vibrancy born from diverse experiences and tradition.”

In the Champions Competition at the WCG, 66 gold, 117 silver and 28 bronze medals were awarded. The choirs in the Champions Competition included two ensembles from the U.S. — Men in Blaque and the Voices of Unity from Indiana. Cincinnati, Ohio will be the host city of the next World Choir Games in 2012.

To find out more, visit

Opera America’s Grant Programs

Opera America, the national service organization for opera, has announced grant programs to be administered through June 2011.

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase is a bi-annual program offered as part of OPERA America’s continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists. Emerging director-designer teams submit a production proposal for a work selected from a list of North American operas. Four teams chosen as finalists will receive a stipend to create more complete renderings and models for the concept and will receive a trip to Opera Conference 2011 in Boston, Mass. to present their production proposal to a group of opera company general, artistic and production directors. The program connects promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to promote their careers. Members of all four finalist teams from the first Director-Designer Showcase in 2009 have been offered career-advancing opportunities with opera companies across the U.S. as a result of their showcase participation. The application deadline is October 1, 2010.

New Works Exploration Grants provide support to representatives of Opera America professional company members who wish to travel to another city to attend a performance or workshop of a new opera and meet with the creative artists and administrators who are responsible for the work’s creation. The goals of the program are to broaden awareness of new North American opera and music-theater works across the field and create relationships among opera companies interested in pursuing the creation and production of new works. Grants cover the cost of transportation and lodging.
Application deadline: These applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 1, 2011.

For further information, including guidelines and application procedures, visit

Music for All Announces New Leadership

Music for All, Inc. has announced that Eric L. Martin has been named the organization’s president and CEO.

Previous president and CEO Scott McCormick has resigned his position with the organization. The executive leadership of the organization will be Mr. Martin and Nancy H. Carlson, vice president and chief financial officer.

For more information, visit

2011 NAMM President’s Innovation Award

The NAMM Foundation has announced that Sept. 30, 2010 is the final deadline for college students to apply for a 2011 NAMM President’s Innovation Award. The award supports college students interested in and planning for careers in the music products industry to attend professional development activities at the NAMM Show Jan. 13-16, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif. Interested parties must submit their application online by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on September 30.

The NAMM President’s Innovation Award is provided to undergraduate and graduate students. The cash award supports qualified college students to attend NAMM’s annual global music products trade show. Awards help with travel needs and expenses to attend the show.

For more detailed information about the programs that the NAMM Foundation’s initiatives support and to access funding guidelines, visit

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