Exton, PA – January 22, 2024. J.W. Pepper is proud to be a marquis sponsor of the stunning new documentary Choral Singing in America: Nurturing the Country’s Soul. The film, developed by Collaborative Films, captures the breadth and beauty found in choirs of all kinds. The film’s creators are two-fold: the talented team who brought the project from dream to reality, and the many musicians whose recordings and insights are shared throughout the film. J.W. Pepper has also contributed to the documentary with videos from our Cued In blog.
The topic of American choral singing has depth enough, but you will discover much more in this documentary. A range of human emotions come through in clips of performances. As you see the vast array of ages and backgrounds of the performers unfold, you will realize this film is about more than music: it is about music making bringing together a wonderfully aware, connected, supportive community. It’s about people making the world better by putting their hearts, time, and talents into making something remarkable.
The Choral Singing in America documentary is made possible through the efforts of Brian Gaukel (filmmaker), Jerry Blackstone (artistic director), Emily Ellsworth (artistic advisor), Matthew Workman (executive producer), Kady Le (line producer), and Hamilton Chang (producer). According to Jerry Blackstone, the film is “not as much about the music that they sing but who sings … and how did we get to where we are now.” Further, the contribution to the documentary from an impressive and diverse advisory panel takes us into schools, churches, concert halls, hospitals, prisons, and anywhere music can be shared.
To see the film:
Screenings of the film will take place at several American Choral Directors Association regional conferences this winter. Many of the same thought leaders and performers featured in the film are active at these regional events.
A 45-minute preview is being held on Friday, January 26th at ACDA Northwest. All screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with the film’s creators. Additional previews at other ACDA regional conferences are detailed below. All screenings are FREE and open to the public, though tax-deductible donations will be accepted to support the film’s mission. Here is a list of ACDA regional preview sessions:
- ACDA Northwest: View Part 1 on January 26th at 2 p.m.
- ACDA Midwest: View Part 1 on February 8th at 12:30 p.m.; Part 2 on February 9th at 8 a.m.
- ACDA East: View Part 1 on March 2nd at 8:40 a.m.
- ACDA Southwest: View Part 1 on March 2nd at 9 a.m.
- ACDA Western: View Part 1 on March 8th at 1:15 p.m.
The world premiere of the full-length film is scheduled for February 3, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. The film will be screened at Wheaton College’s Barrows Auditorium in the Graham Building, 500 College Avenue, Wheaton, Illinois. This event is also FREE and open to the public, though tax-deductible donations will be accepted to help support the mission of the film.
J.W. Pepper will post additional information about streaming options once these details are known.
Additional information is available at choralsinging.org.