RMA Study Day April 2025 Call for Papers: Choral Singing and the Transnational

Choral singing occupies a significant place in the field of participatory music-making and has in recent years become the focus of several diverse strands of academic study. What might be described as a ‘choral turn’ over the last two decades has seen developments within the fields of historical musicology (Strimple 2005 & 2008; Geisler & Johansson 2014), singing for health (Robertson-Kirkland et al 2021), and practice-based research focussed on collective music-making (McCoy 2013). However, questions of transnationalism, migration, and postnationalism (Appadurai 1996; Tölölyan 1996) as they might apply to choral culture, writing and practice, are currently under-represented within the academic narrative, although studies within the field of music more broadly have successfully applied sociological and cultural-historical frameworks (Bohlman and Scheding 2015; Knyt 2018; Treece 2022).

This Study Day therefore questions how we might understand choral music making as a transnational force by exploring the intersection between its history and contemporary praxis. This includes, but is not restricted to composition, conducting and musical direction, and musicology. It will offer an opportunity to bring together musicologists, composers, musical directors, and singers whose work includes elements of transnational practice, or with lived transnational experience. The Study Day is hosted jointly by the University of Glasgow and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and will take place in Glasgow on 11th April 2025.

We invite contributions on the theme of choral singing and transnationalism, migration and сhanging choral practices. Possible topics could include (but are not limited to):

● Language and translation; composing for a multi-lingual choir; working with linguistically and culturally diverse choral groups

● Imperialism, post-imperialism, decolonization, and appropriation

● The experience of mobility and its impact on praxis

● The choral music academic-practitioner and/or practitioner-academic

Formats could include:

● 20-minute paper

● 30-minute lecture-recital

● 20-slide flash presentation, lasting up to 7-minutes

● 10-minute introduction to research topic

● poster or score for display

● short composition (lasting up to 4 minutes, SATB without divisi, unaccompanied or with piano accompaniment) to be sung through and discussed by participants

● 30 to 60-minute workshop: linguistic, vocal, or musical

In the spirit of ‘learning through doing’, a participatory singing event will be scheduled during the Study Day. Participants will join local singers in an ad hoc laboratory choir to explore new music and test workshop ideas together. We warmly encourage the submission of choral compositions and workshop themes for practical engagement.

Abstracts, workshop outlines, or a brief description of compositions, posters and slide presentations, to a maximum of 250 words, should be emailed to ChoralSingingTransnational@gmail.com by 31 August 2024. We endeavour to notify all participants by 31 October 2024.

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