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Chorus America National Study

Assessing the Audience Impact of Choral Music Concerts

Alan Brown, Sean Fenton, Kyle Marinshaw, Rebecca Ratzkin, Jason Tran
Published June 2016



How are audiences affected by live choral music concerts? What can we conclude about the experiences they have? How do their experiences differ? Can we identify drivers of impact?

In 2013, Chorus America initiated discussions with WolfBrown to design a study to answer these questions and build a foundational understanding of the impact of attendance at choral concerts. A total of 23 choruses across North America participated in the study, including a cross section of youth and adult ensembles. Over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, 14,236 audience members at 136 different concert programs completed surveys about their experience.

To our knowledge this is the first national study of audiences for live choral music concerts, and the first attempt to systematically assess the impact of choral concerts on audiences. Results should be interpreted with caution. Although the 23 choruses that participated in the study represent a varied array of choruses and artistic work, they were not selected randomly, but through a field wide application process. Thus, results should not be understood as being representative of the whole choral field.

The study builds on a substantial body of past research conducted by WolfBrown and other researchers investigating the intrinsic impact of live arts programs.

Chorus America, is the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that advances the choral field. It supports and serves choral conductors, administrators, board members, and singers with tools, training, peer networking, and access so that choruses are better able to contribute to their communities.

 

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