Transforming Choral Singing: An Activist's Guide for Choir Directors (Paperback)

Transforming Choral Singing: An Activist's Guide for Choir Directors By Charles W. Beale Cover Image
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Choral conductors and clinicians often focus on honing the technical and artistic elements of their choir's performance, but what is the true purpose of choral singing? Choral performances sound beautiful, but they also tell stories, "say something" to someone, and create change in them. In that fundamental sense, they are always activist. In Transforming Choral Singing: An Activist's Guide for Choir Directors, author Charles W. Beale draws from his nearly 20 years of leading major choirs in the LGBTQIA+ choral movement internationally as well as his long experience as a singer, organist, conductor, and educator to put forth a new vision for choral singing: to move audiences and change the world.

Four main principles underpin this vision: connection, impact, social justice, and stylistic openness. Beale lays down a non-canonical and inclusive framework, grounded in critical musicology and pedagogy, for mission-driven and activist-oriented engagement with the choral arts, and provides practical takeaways for choral practitioners and conductors through a lively mix of practical, rigorous, and fun workshops, tips, and suggestions. Starting from the premise that all styles deserve equal space, the nine chapters cover the core aspects of choral directing, including mission, vocal sound, rhythm and groove, improvising, programming, conducting, and leading a choral community, teaching and learning, and the daily practice of equity and inclusion. The book closes with a series of calls to action and lays out a potentially transformative activist vision for the whole field, which foregrounds participation and engagement, and conceives of all choral singing as a powerful catalyst for musical and social change.

The result is a provocative and contemporary approach to building choral communities with profound implications for why we sing, what we sing, how we sing, and how we conduct, teach, rehearse, and lead a choral community.

About the Author

Charles W. Beale is an international choral director, jazz educator, composer-arranger, and author. He is the current Artistic Director for the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, and the former Artistic Director of the London Gay Men's Chorus and the New York City Gay Men's Chorus.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780197657782
ISBN-10: 0197657788
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: February 16th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English