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2022 Workshop Descriptions (schedule to be determined)

New Artistic Directors Dinner: Resources and Networking
Jane Ramseyer Miller & Joe Buches, facilitators
Are you an artistic director who is new to GALA Choruses?  You are invited to arrive early to meet with some of our seasoned conductors on Friday afternoon.  This session will give you a chance to meet other conductors in a smaller setting, ask any questions that are burning and get to know the resources available through GALA Choruses.

The Creative Process in Rehearsal
Alysia Lee, presenter
Centering singer voice and agency means integrating authentic opportunities for members to share their perspectives and experiences, make choices, and provide and receive feedback. In 2018, Alysia and her team at Sister Cities Girlchoir launched an arts strategy goal: by 2024, 50% of the ensemble's repertoire will be original music from the singers and staff. This action to center the voice and narratives of the singers created a big shift in the organization’s priorities, approach, and partnerships. This session will share key learnings and practical tools to introduce the creative process.

Artistic Director Open Agenda
Joe Nadeau and Jane Ramseyer Miller, facilitators
Arrive by 2:00 pm on Friday to join your musical colleagues for a facilitated conversation on topics designated by the group gathered.

Programming Like Our Lives Depend on It
Sean Baugh, presenter
If we learned anything through COVID, it’s that what we do is URGENT. Lives depend on the art we produce. So, that lends a bit of extra pressure/credence/weight to our most important job as artists - the art of the “program.” For something so essential, it’s remarkable that this skill is not taught in music schools but is left to trial and error. We’ve attended MANY programming talks over the years, but this one will take a different stance - why and how our programming can actually save lives.

Intergenerational Dynamics
William Southerland and Abdullah Rasheen Hall, facilitators
By popular demand.... GALA’s New Harmony Task Force has designed a second hands-on workbook addressing new topics, including the divide in understanding and communication that can occur between younger and older singers in a chorus. This workshop offers an introduction to the issues, real-life scenarios for conversation, and steps that can be taken to address intergenerational dynamic in your own chorus.

The Second Voice Change: The Aging Voice
Donald Milton III, presenter
Our voices never stop changing throughout our lives and aging can have a major effect on our vocal stamina, our range, and our tone. In this interactive lecture we will explore how to deal with these changes to maintain a strong and healthy singing voice throughout our whole lives. This workshop is geared towards singers 55 and over, but it is open to any inquiring minds.

Repertoire Reading Sessions
Melissa Arasi and Donald Milton III, facilitators
Our reading sessions will take a different focus this year beginning with a session focused on less visible BIPOC, trans, queer and women composers. We're especially encouraging submissions set for a variety of voicings. A second repertoire session will split into two interest groups: one focusing on holiday music, and a second discussion of themes and concert programs. ADs will be invited to share their top 5-10 repertoire recommendations in a collected spreadsheet that will be available to all.

Transformation not Transaction: School & Community Partnerships
Alysia Lee, presenter
Explore various approaches to school partnerships that keep stakeholders engaged, excited, and accountable. Presenter, Alysia Lee shares tools to guide the vision and implementation of partnerships that are sustainable, affirming, and transformative.

Introduction to New Harmony Workbook I
Abdullah Rahsheen Hall and Maria-Elena Grant, facilitators
New to GALA’s New Harmony Task Force? Join us for this introduction to the first New Harmony workbook which includes a chorus assessment, guided conversation, and steps you can take to create more equity, access and belonging in your chorus. Workbook topics include Race & Ethnic Identity, Mobility & Ability, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Socio-Economic Status. This workshop explores ways that New Harmony tools can be integrated into your chorus conversations.

New Harmony Workbook II
Abdullah Rahsheen Hall and Maria-Elena Grant, facilitators
GALA’s New Harmony Task Force has created a second workbook to address new topics requested by our choruses including Digital Accessibility; Intergenerational Dynamics; Mental Health & Neuro-Diversity; and Religion & Spiritual Diversity.  Join New Harmony facilitators for an introduction to the second edition of the workbook and to explore these resources for use in your chorus conversations.

Grappling with American Exceptionalism
Sam Bullington & Jane Ramseyer Miller, facilitators
Especially since the murder of George Floyd, many GALA choruses have begun to actively interrogate and decenter whiteness in their organizations. The next phase of organizational transformation will be decolonizing our choruses. In order to begin this important work, we must grapple with American exceptionalism, the assumption that the United States is inherently different from and superior to other nations, especially virtuous, unique, and worthy of universal admiration.

This workshop is especially relevant for any chorus engaging in local collaborations that cross  cultural borders, for instance, urban choirs traveling to rural environments. In these situations, dynamics and unconscious attitudes of cultural superiority can be present. We'll also explore challenges for choruses planning overseas tours. When US-based GALA choruses travel overseas, we can carry unconscious habitual attitudes of cultural superiority that can undermine cross cultural collaborations.

Change Your Culture, Change Your Board
Eve Campbell, presenter
Many of our choruses ask about increasing the diversity of their chorus and their board. That’s the wrong question. Instead, start by thinking how to change the culture of our chorus to make it a welcoming place for people of color, non-binary & trans individuals, and other desired segments of the community.

What I learned from 35 years waving my arms at LGBTQIA Singers
Tim Seelig, presenter
Ever thought, "If I knew then what I know would have been different." Or maybe not so different. One of my favorite convention workshops is "Things they forgot to teach or were afraid we'd find out." With only months until retirement after 35 years, it will be fun to share some of what I've learned along the way. Q&A too!

Educational OUTreach: Taking your mission on a field trip!
Mitch Galli and Shawn Cullen, presenters
This workshop will discuss how to get a collaborative school program on its feet, and for choruses who already have a program, share ways in which they can increase their impact and maximize their resources.

What Keeps Them Coming Back? Motivation for LGBTQ Choral Singers
William Southerland, presenter

Our choir members devote massive amounts of time, emotional energy, and money to our choruses. Why do they do it? And, when "the going gets tough," what keeps them coming back for more? This presentation, based on my dissertation research, will summarize survey findings about the factors of motivation for LGBTQ choral singers through the lens of Stebbins' (1977) 'serious leisure perspective' (SLP) and provide specific recommendations for improving singer retention.

Addressing Sexual Harassment
Doug Althauser and Eve Campbell, presenters
Several of our member choruses have had to deal with issues around sexual harassment.  Join us for a description of one chorus' approach to dealing with the issue and potential legal liabilities.

Digital Marketing
Craig Coogan, presenter
Join Craig for a hands-on demonstration of the power of posting and tagging using the symposium as a living experiment.  This session is designed for mid-size and smaller choruses with no paid administrative personnel and no funds for outside consultants.

Listen & Learn: Coaching Skills for Leaders
Nicholas Gulick, presenter
Relationships are at the heart of leadership. Relationship-building can be hard work, but we can accelerate the process, provide significant impact, and create value for those around us. By utilizing elements of coaching – active listening skills and powerful questioning – we can build stronger relationships.

Improve Your Choir's Digital Accessibility
Kim Singleton and Sam Bullington, presenters
Over 20% of people have trouble using all aspects of websites and digital media. This might be because of a disability. Blindness, hearing loss, cognitive challenges, or physical disabilities all can affect a person’s ability to use websites. Learn practical, simple strategies to make your choir's digital media accessible to all people. You don’t have to be a media expert to participate. Topics will include choosing colors/fonts, language usage, captioning, audio describing, naming protocols, alt texting and more. We will also explore the free Digital Accessibility tools offered in the New Harmony workbook II.

Growing from a Management Board to an Advisory Board
Eve Campbell, presenter
As your chorus adds administrative staff the role of the board changes.  For most groups making that transition, there are some growing pains as you work out what work the new staff takes on and what remains with the board.  How does the board provide oversight without micromanaging?

GALA Choruses Best Practices Program
Robin Godfrey, presenter
Participating in GALA's Best Practices program not only distinguishes your chorus as a leader in organizational responsibility but can have significant financial benefits.  Join us to review the program requirements and get a start on your application.

Welcoming Neurodiversity in Our Choruses
Sam Bullington, presenter
Neurodivergent individuals can often have higher than average abilities in areas relevant to choral singing, such as pattern recognition and memorization, yet can struggle with choral norms such as sitting quietly for long periods and unstructured socializing. How can we bring our attention to the impact of our often unconscious organizational expectations and transform them to reflect the broad range of unique ways that individuals experience, interpret, and interact with the world around them?

Surviving the Pandemic:  Government and Foundation Support
Rick Jung, presenter
What happens next with the government and NEA pandemic programs? Will the foundations that stepped up during the pandemic maintain their support? How do we build our short and long-term case for continued funding?

Surviving the Pandemic – Events, Tickets & People
Rick Jung, presenter
What should we expect regarding returning audiences?  What did we learn from our holiday concerts?  Can ticket price hikes help cover increased performance costs?  How do we market in a post pandemic world? Is there another way to do business?

Surviving the Pandemic – Rebuilding Your donor Base of Support
Rick Jung, presenter
Did your donors step up during the pandemic? If so, how did you make them feel appreciated?  What innovations can we adopt to build donor relationships?  How do we attract younger donors?