For the Joy of Singing


“Happiness is singing in the choir!” ~ Charles M. Schulz

Long beloved by choral musicians, the act of singing has been brought to the forefront of public awareness through popular television programs such as The Sing-Off, Glee, and American Idol.  While there are times music teachers strive to convince students that singing is socially acceptable,* many are now enjoying an onslaught of interest in show choirs, glee clubs, and the more traditional chamber and concert choirs.

Creating harmonies with friends is enjoyable, but singing also has physical and physiological benefits.  Deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen to the bloodstream, while neurological functions are strengthened as the brain processes aural and visual patterns.  Prompted by release of the “feel-good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, singers enjoy an increased sense of community engagement, self-worth, and… joy!

And that’s exactly why the Joy of Singing summer workshops are so aptly named.  Organized by the Hal Leonard Corporation and partners like J.W. Pepper, these events bring renowned choral arrangers and composers into reading sessions with over 3,000 local music teachers and directors each summer.  According to Bruce Bush,  Hal Leonard’s Sales & Marketing Manager for Educational Music, Joy of Singing began in Columbus, Ohio and has been running for more than a quarter of a century in five locations.  Long before the internet, Hal Leonard wanted to create “something special for choral educators” where directors could share and read music — and benefit from the joy of singing together.

Summer 2011 marked more than twenty years of J.W. Pepper’s hosting Joy of Singing events.  We are proud to offer this valuable opportunity in three locations:  Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Directors and teachers who attend the event will:

  • Rehearse with iconic names whose works they’ve performed for years
  • Collect new techniques from colleagues and clinicians
  • Browse the J.W. Pepper store to find an inspiring resource book or song collection
  • Leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to begin another exciting musical year

Start planning today for your attendance at Joy of Singing in summer 2012.  Check our Events Calendar for dates and times.  We look forward to passing you a thick packet of music to read as we share the joy of singing.

*The author of this blog entry firmly believes ALL singing is socially acceptable, and does her best to convince any nonbelievers around her otherwise.

Rebecca Poppke
A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern Maine School of Music in Gorham, ME, she holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with a Vocal Concentration. After college, she directed a high school choir in central Maine for five years, then relocated to Minneapolis, MN. Rebecca currently performs with several choirs in the Twin Cities, directs the Small Singers at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, and maintains an active studio of young pianists and vocalists. She works in Sales and Marketing for the Edina, MN branch of J.W. Pepper.

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