Clearwater Chorus

Organization Associated with Program
The Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute
1111 N McMullen Booth Rd.
Clearwater, Florida 33759

The Clearwater Chorus is the official adult chorus of Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, and it performs a variety of musical styles from classical choral to pop music. It is focused on spreading the sound of beautiful voices, the spirit of fellowship, and the shared love of music, and it is recognized as one of Clearwater’s oldest musical organizations. The chorus gathers weekly to rehearse at Ruth Eckerd Hall, where it also gives an annual public performance. Multiple performances in broader community settings are also an important part of the Clearwater Chorus season. Participants in the Clearwater Chorus sing, learn new skills and new music, and receive a cutting-edge music education. They are challenged to master the music for a public performance, participating in a four-hour technical rehearsal in preparation.

The chorus is multigenerational, comprised of volunteer singers over the age of 19, with those over 55 predominating. Many of the older participants have been performing with the chorus for over 25 years and are strongly engaged and committed to participating in the group. Anyone can join the chorus, although auditions are required. There are two terms each year, with 70 to 100 adults participating in each term.

Program History

The chorus was launched in 1972 and has flourished ever since, with participants continuing to grow and learn as a group while fostering new skills and friendships. Some performance highlights include tours of Europe in 1982 and 1997 and appearances alongside the Florida Orchestra, the Florida Pops Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, Linda Eder, Dave Brubeck, Andy Williams, and John Tesh. 

Program Assessments and Evaluations

The program is evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout each term. Program participants are encouraged to submit feedback, which is carefully reviewed by staff members for the purpose of further refining and honing program activities. Staff evaluate the rate of return, how many people recommend the program to friends, ticket sales, and attendance records in addition to conducting official surveys of participants, interviews, and press reviews.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Take time to listen to your constituents. It is important for older adults to feel heard and be heard; do not underestimate them.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Presenting a Performance, Attending a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Participate in an Ensemble
Arts Discipline: Music, Musical Theater
Interdisciplinary Connections: Education
Target Audience: Active Adults, Frail Older Adults, Intergenerational
Program Setting: Arts Organization, Education (e.g. School / University)
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice