Education Initiative

The mission of the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers is to learn, present, and promote music of the African and African-American choral traditions. The choir views educational outreach as a key aspect of that mission. We are particularly interested in developing choral affiliations and alliances in schools and houses of worship through the workshop and residency programs described below.

Rather than present one standard offering, we typically tailor our time together to a format that is most conducive for your group. Please review the options below for examples of how EOJAS can work with you to enhance your musical offering.

Some suggestions include: a workshop, multiple events in a daylong workshop, or multiple selections in a station format with simultaneous sessions. It is our hope that these experiences will build ongoing partnerships between your organization and EOJAS. To request one of the workshops below or a program better suited to your organizational needs, please contact the EOJAS VP of Business Management at vpbm AT eojas.org.

Example Formats

  1. Sing with the Choir
  2. Artistic Director Residency
  3. Music Educator or Choir Master Class
  4. Choir Mentoring
  5. Subject Matter Expert Panel
  6. Artist in Residency Programs

1. Sing with the Choir 

Choose and prepare a song from our skill-appropriate repertoire lists and have your choir learn a song and then perform with EOJAS. This can be in a rehearsal and/or performance setting. This is a great way to expose your group to the varied rehearsal and learning techniques used by EOJAS while supplying your group with a different perspective of vocal models and musical opportunities. This format could also provide your choir with the opportunity to attend an EOJAS open rehearsal.

2. Artistic Director Residency

Dr. Anthony T. Leach, Professor of Music and Music Education at the Pennsylvania State University is a world-renowned musician, and an expert in the areas of African-American music, including: traditional works by African-American composers, gospel, spirituals, blues and work songs. He is an accomplished composer, arranger, music educator, pianist and singer. For a full bio of our Artistic Director, please see About The Choir.

This option would invite our Artistic Director to work with your musicians in whatever capacity you need. He can work with the choir, accompanist, general music classes, church choirs, and work one-on-one with conductors. He will offer support and constructive criticism for you and your group.

3. Music Educator or Choir Master Class

Invite other music educators and/or choirs to a workshop with EOJAS and our Artistic Director. Participants can discuss repertoire, learn about African-American music performance practice, and trouble shoot areas of their music programs. You can also have the opportunity to work with EOJAS, who can serve as a demonstration choir while you conduct. The format provides the opportunity to develop new repertoire, learn new warm-ups, and practice teaching a song by rote. The choir is eager to learn from your experiences as well. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to gather colleagues. This format is also appropriate for visiting choirs, particularly at the collegiate level. Pennsylvania Act 48 credit (or equivalent) may be available for educators, with proper planning.

4. Choir Mentoring

In this offering, EOJAS would interact directly with the members of your singing group. This can be as structured or as free-flowing as you like. Our members come prepared to lead discussions with your choir members. This is a great low-key option to choose as part of a larger workshop with multiple sessions.

5. Subject Matter Expert Panel

Many EOJAS members are living musical lives. We have professional musicians, music educators, performers, songwriters, private teachers, and instrumentalists among us. We also have many members working in a variety of jobs that can speak to the merits of music education. In this offering, EOJAS members would form a panel or small discussion groups to speak about how music has impacted their lives.

6. Artist in Residency Programs

This is typically offered in combination with one of the items above. Our Artist in Residency programs will expose your ensemble to a variety of music options. Ask one of our many instrumentals to work with your orchestra, accompanist or percussionists. Have one of our music educators or composers speak to your theory students. Let one of our private lesson instructors discuss the business aspects of running a studio with your college students. A vocal specialist could work with your soloists or voice class. Have one of our drama/musical theater specialists work on acting or vocal coaching with your students. Many options are available. Please contact us with your interest and we can find a workshop that would fit your needs.

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