The Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award honors composer Alice Parker, whose career has spanned six decades and has been devoted to the creation of works for the human voice. The award was established in 2003 to recognize a chorus for programming recently composed music that expands the mission of the chorus and challenges the chorus’s audience in new ways.
The 2019 Alice Parker Award goes to Giving Voice Chorus, a program of the Giving Voice Initiative in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Giving Voice, directed by Jeanie Brindley-Barnett, brings together people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers to improve their quality of life through singing together. In 2018, Giving Voice mounted a performance of Love Never Forgets, a cycle of nine songs illuminating the experience of living with Alzheimer’s composed by Victor Zupanc with text from Louisa Castner, derived from multiple interviews with chorus members. The project, which was a collaboration between Giving Voice, the American Composers Forum, and the MacPhail Center for Music, is believed to be the first choral work about Alzheimer’s that was performed by people living with the disease. Learning and presenting a brand new work represented a major stretch for those singers—who typically perform songs that they remember from their younger years—and raised audience members’ awareness of the musical contributions that those living with Alzheimer’s are capable of making.
For more information, please visit the Chorus America Website.