Assessing the Audience Impact of Choral Music Concerts

Alan Brown, Sean Fenton, Kyle Marinshaw, Rebecca Ratzkin, Jason Tran, Mitch Menchaca

June 2016

How are audiences affected by live choral music concerts? What can we conclude about their experiences? 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 in 136 different concert programs completed surveys about their experiences.

Chorus America, the national service organization, commissioned WolfBrown to conduct the first-ever national study of audiences for live choral music concerts and the first assessment of the impact of choral concerts on audiences. Twenty-three choruses participated in the study, representing an array of artistic work. The methodological approach grew from WolfBrown’s framework for intrinsic impact measurement. A total of 14,236 audience members at 136 different concert programs completed surveys about their experience.

The research was funded by ArtsWave, Barr Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, GALA Choruses, Heinz Endowments, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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