Choirs Transforming Our World


A Symposium – 22-23 June, 2012

A part of the 2012 Yale International Choral Festival

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

19-23 June, 2012



The Yale Glee Club is pleased to announce Choirs Transforming Our World, a symposium organized in collaboration with the Conductors Without Borders network of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.


yale-glee-clubThe Yale Glee Club, Yale University’s oldest musical organization, is an 80-voice mixed chorus, recently hailed by The New York Times as “one of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous.” Over the course of its 150-year history, it has been involved in hundreds of choral collaborations both at home and abroad.



IFCM_LogoColorThe Conductors Without Borders network is part of the International Federation for Choral Music. In a world in which borders of all kinds exist – political, psychological, emotional, hierarchical – CWB maintains that choral music is a vital way in which these borders can be crossed and, in so doing, that community and societal transformation can occur.



international-festival-of-arts-ideasOne of the world’s most significant arts festivals, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas has the distinction of fusing arts and ideas programs to present a broad array of offerings within and across genres. The Festival presents artists and thinkers from all over the world in hundreds of events each summer on an impressive scale and scope unmatched in the northeastern United States.



american-choral-directors-associationFounded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching.



The symposium will take place within the 2012 Yale International Choral Festival, a new event that will bring choirs from four continents to Yale’s campus for five exciting days of concerts, masterclasses, and workshops.



The symposium will explore these and other themes:

  • How can choral music connect communities separated by political borders or through political conflict?
  • How has innovative artistic programming increased awareness of less familiar music from around the world?
  • What kinds of beneficial partnerships exist between conductors and/or choirs in rich and poor countries?
  • How has choral music been used to empower marginalized members of society, such as the incarcerated or the homeless?
  • How has choral outreach to the sick or the dying helped contribute to a sense of dignity?
  • In what way has choral music contributed to the well-being of those struggling with mental illness?



Our symposium seeks to explore – through workshops and presentations – real world examples of CWB’s mission in action, as well as potential directions for the future. We seek choral musicians who have developed and implemented innovative and exciting ways to reach beyond the walls of the rehearsal room and concert hall to transform their communities through choral singing, whether at the local, national, or international level. Presentations that go beyond simple documentary description are particularly encouraged, and can take any of the following forms:

  • 60-minute workshop
  • 20-minute panel presentation
  • 7-minute lightning talk within a larger session
  • Poster



Interested individuals should submit the following:

  •  Title of presentation
  • A description (300 word maximum) of the proposed presentation
  • Biography (200 word maximum)
  • Contact information, including email address and phone number.


Selected presenters will be provided with free registration for the Symposium but will be responsible for the costs of their accommodation and their own travel to and from Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Applications are due on August 20, 2011 and must be submitted electronically to

Selections will be announced by October 1, 2011.

Registration for the Symposium for non-presenters will be open by October 1 at

Questions may be directed to Jeffrey Douma, Yale University (


Steering Committee:

Jeffrey Douma (chair), Mary Lou Aleskie, Philip Brunelle, André de Quadros


Selection Committee:

Jeffrey Douma (chair), Mary Cohen, André de Quadros, Cathy Roma


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