Collaborative Partnerships Help A Chorus Grow

I think a community chorus partnering with an urban arts center makes good sense. Last October, the Indianapolis Choral Artisans began its inaugural season with rehearsal space and first performance opportunity provided by the Harrison Center for the Arts. I’m enjoying watching the collaborative synergy taking place between the two organizations. A newly, developed chorus of townspeople need other community and neighborhood-based organizations to develop a healthy existence. An infant chorus only grows stronger by seeking to develop and build relationships with other like-minded artistic communities.

I was thrilled to hear that the Harrison Center would be interested in exploring the possibilities of housing a community chorus. I’ll never forget the moment when the thought of creating a choral community began to take root. I had the opportunity to attend a First Friday last spring, and I spent some time on the Harrison Center’s website, trying to absorb their DNA makeup. I binge-watched all the “Studio Visits” in one sitting. I came across one particular video which piqued my interest entitled “48 Hours in Indy.”

The video vignette featured 48 hours from one of their residency internships, seeking to capture what makes a city great and breeds its creativity. The narrator opens with the following, “What helps breed a city’s creativity is…knowing the process of getting there can be just as great as the product itself…pursuing beautiful things, just to see if they can be done. And when it has been done, it’s worth sharing…worth putting on display; bringing out the whole neighborhood to celebrate connection.” These couple of sentences seemed custom fit -  describing what a conductor and chorus aspire to accomplish when learning a new piece of music. Whether it’s a piece by J. S. Bach, or a beautifully arranged folk song, good music works its own will in a particular way – it has its own organic inevitability. I’m looking forward to see how the arts will continue to be a binding force in Indianapolis – bringing people together to celebrate creativity and connection.

You’re invited to join the Indianapolis Choral Artisans on Friday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m. for our spring performance entitled “Landscape Yearnings: Unfolding Journeys of Place & Soul.” Our mission as a community chorus is to “serve the city with collaborative art experiences through the craft of choral music-making.” For the First Friday in May, the Choral Artisans will take the raw materials of rhythm, motion, sound and text to paint a picture of how choral music throughout the centuries has existed as a vehicle for purposes central to life – articulating joy and sorrow, a summons for help and a conduit for hope. The concert will be held in the Sanctuary.  For more information, visit

–Rick Cobb