Choral Conductors Network
Over twenty years ago, CAE created a Choral Conductors Network (CCN) to serve the regional school, church, and community choir directors. The primary goals were to present educational workshops by expert clinicians and to encourage cooperation and networking in our choral community.
Recent studies support the need for active choirs in schools and communities. The 2019 Chorus Impact Study: Singing for a Lifetime revealed that Music education in schools is key to lifelong singing and the benefits it brings. The majority of adults singing today say that they began singing because of a school choral music education opportunity. Over half of all choral singers started in elementary school, and three-quarters started by the end of high school.
The study further highlighted the importance of choral groups in communities. Results indicated that people of all ages who sing feel more connected to others and that
singing helps them socialize better. Also, choral singing promotes healthy, vibrant aging and even improvements to chronic health conditions.
To encourage passion and skills for choral singing in our youth, we offer our annual High School Festival - Singing For Life concerts, giving three HS choirs exposure to multiple coachings with a professional conductor and a side-by-side performance opportunity with the highly skilled adult singers of CAE. Choral directors are able to share and learn from their peers through reading sessions and informal gatherings. In addition, they have access to the 1750+ titles in the CAE library and to expert clinicians in workshops and masterclasses. All directors are encouraged to tap artistic director Rick Kvam for any musical or logistical advice on performance, commissioning a work, recording sessions, repertoire, etc.
"What I liked best was the opportunity to sing as a mass choir with the other schools and the Choral Arts Ensemble (plus a chamber orchestra and soloist)."
"I especially liked the venue and the school visits from Rick & Jan. "
"I loved singing in such a beautiful space with amazing acoustics."
"It was an enjoyable experience & wonderful to bring art to life"
"Thanks choir, very cool"
"The music was tough - especially with a large number of school snow days, but I liked that it was something I wouldn't otherwise be able to program."
"It was good for my students to hear CAE and the other choirs perform and giving them the experience of hearing the professional tenor soloist."
"I appreciated the pre-festival coaching when Rick came to my class before the festival! The coaching by the singers of Cantus made my students really think about how they breath and use their whole bodies to sing."
Heart To Heart Singers
Launched in the fall of 2018, this is a rotating roster of current and former Choral Arts Ensemble (CAE) singers who bring the restorative and comforting power of music to those in Alzheimer’s and hospice care centers, and to patients and family at the Ronald McDonald or Gift of Life Transplant House. Our mission and ability to “inspire, educate, and enrich the community through outstanding choral performance” has now been extended to provide quality choral performances to special needs audiences where they are. A familiar hymn or folk song can spark a mind through the Alzheimer’s fog, or give encouragement, comfort, and support to a senior, a patient, a family member, or an attending health-care worker during a low or stressful time.
Audience sizes range from < 10 people when the group sings bedside in individual rooms at the hospice house, to over 500 when asked to sing for the installation of the University of Minnesota - Rochester Chancellor. All of the locations visited have asked to remain on the group’s calendar. After being out of these locations due to COVID, we hope to return to a more regular schedule during the 2022 - 2023 Season.
"My mother, Audrey, passed away recently. I wanted to let you know that we both so appreciated the singers during her time in hospice care. That you could sing the hymns and special songs she loved made her (& me) so happy – it meant so much!"
"Thank you for singing at our community’s summer gathering. The songs you selected were well-known, fun, and got everyone’s toes tapping!"