Let Me Sing and I’m Happy: The New School Chorus Kick-off


“The power of communal singing is a hot topic at the moment as evidenced in a recent Atlantic Monthly article,” said Maggie Koozer, associate director of the Mannes Extension Division.  “Singing used to be a part of American culture and this community gathering experience has slowly disappeared. We hope to bring this tradition back at The New School by creating a new and innovative outlet for making music together.”

To realize that goal, on Wednesday, March 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the Mannes Extension Division will present a kick-off event to celebrate and engage the university community in communal singing, New School style. Part concert, part discussion, part chorus rehearsal, this event will leave you wanting to sing more in our community, and ready to explore music from around the globe.

“Someone asked me why we were creating The New School Chorus,” wrote Richard Kessler, Dean of Mannes College The New School for Music. “I can think of no better answer than what I recently read by Brian Eno the legendary British composer, artist, and activist: “Well, there are physiological benefits, obviously: You use your lungs in a way that you probably don’t for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly. And there are psychological benefits, too: Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. And then there are what I would call “civilizational benefits.” When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That’s one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us.“”

Roomful of Teeth, a vocal octet dedicated to re-imagining singing in the 21st century, will perform, speak, and teach the group vocal music that will span styles ranging from brand-new classical compositions, yodeling, throat singing, and beyond, including music by Caroline Shaw, Judd Greenstein, Merrill Garbus (tUnEyArDs) and more.

“These performers constitute one of the most cutting-edge groups in music right now, said Kate Sheeran, assistant dean of Mannes Prep and Extension. “They’re the perfect group of people to help launch The New School Chorus.”

This free event is open to all New School students, faculty and staff and will be held at the Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance Space, 55 West 13th Street, 5th floor. Register at tnschoruskickoff.eventbrite.com. No formal singing experience is necessary to participate and The New School Chorus will formally launch in the fall of 2013.