A Place in the Choir

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A Place in the Choir

an overview of choral music

Choral singing is a very popular pastime for many Americans. According to Chorus America, a nonprofit organization representing choruses of all types (from community to professional), one out of 10 Americans sings in a chorus, choir or other vocal music ensemble. The titles profiled below offer a great introduction to choral music, the history and culture of specific choral groups, and the choral experience. 

Choral Masterworks by Michael Steinberg
This book offers an overview of some of the most popular choral compositions. It ranges from early works, such as George Frederick Handel's The Messiah, to Michael Tippett's contemporary oratorio A Child of Our Times.

Dark Midnight When I Rise by Andrew Ward
An exhaustive history of the Jubilee Singers from Fisk University. This choir is especially known for introducing spirituals to the concert stage. Tell Them We Are Singing for Jesus by Toni Anderson offers another history of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, with a focus on the ensemble's origin and early years.

Imperfect Harmony by Stacy Horn
This work documents a year in the life of the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York City.

Perfect Harmony by Charles R. Smith
Not to be confused with the previous title, this book tells of the Boys Choir of Harlem. Smith uses poems and photographs of the group in performance and in rehearsal to bring the story to life.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography by Michael Hicks
Even if you don't know much about choirs, you've probably heard of this one. Hicks's biography presents a comprehensive overview of what many consider to be America's most iconic chorus.