This news from Washington DC:
Washington, widely regarded as the choral capital of the nation, lost two of its large choruses in May. Both the Maryland Chorus, a largely non-student organization of the University of Maryland School of Music, and the Master Chorale, one of the city’s four large symphonic choruses, were compelled to shut down. As audiences decline and the recession eats into budgets, the closures seemed a possible foretaste of things to come — even, perhaps, an indication of what might happen to other large classical music organizations, such as orchestras, in the straitened economy.But if volunteer choruses are serving as a canary in the coal mine, the air appears to be better than we thought. Because if old choruses are closing, new ones are springing up to replace them — with far smaller budgets and more flexible organizations.