New England Conservatory Receives Major Grant to Support Virtual Choir for Seniors

By Nicolas Quiroga

The New England Conservatory has received a major grant to help it launch a virtual choir for seniors.

The Catalyzing Creative Aging seed grant from the National Guild for Community Arts Education and Lifetime Arts is aimed at promoting the development of a new Creative Aging Program. The initial grant from NEC will support a group of 25 virtual students, for the formation of a choir of older adults who will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual singing class for nine weeks.

Via Zoom, the participants will form a singing community, under the direction of master artists who will offer them one class per week, and the students will engage in voice and breathing warm-up exercises.
The program will culminate with a performance sung by the participants. There will also be an opportunity to participate in an optional songwriting workshop with NEC students, a virtual community, and various community groups.

“These grantees’ programs will provide elders in their communities with much-needed creative and emotional outlet, as well as a source of social interaction.” said Ashley Hare, National Guild’s Director of Leadership Development in a press release. “The programs will also demonstrate to the wider field that successful adaptation of programming to meet these needs is possible with the use of social distancing, use of outdoor space, and virtual programming.”