Recently I decided to create my own mission statement for my work as a choral director. I had worked through the process of defining a mission statement with our ACDA membership for our work as an Association, and I thought it would be interesting and informative to try the same thing for my own choral work. This is what I came up with:
As a choral director, I evoke sounds through a community of singers for the satisfaction of unique human emotional needs.
As I reflected on that role, I was pleased that I had concluded that I engage in work that matters in society because of the fundamental inner life needs of fellow humans.
In 2011, the GE Corporation conducted a survey in which they interviewed a thousand senior business executives in twelve countries on the topic of innovation. The most remarkable findings of this survey were the kinds of innovation these leaders think will be most important in the future. 77 percent agreed“the greatest innovations of the 21st century will be those that have helped to address human needs more than those that had created the most profit…” The common denominator between my work (and your work) and the results of this survey comes in the action of satisfying human needs.
While most of us probably don’t think of a choral ensemble as an activity of innovation, if we change our perspective a little, perhaps choral music making is an innovative solution to addressing human needs beyond those of our ensemble members and the past audiences they have sung to. As I think ahead to a coming season of choral performance, I am thinking through the lens of further addressing human needs in the region where I live and work.
If you begin thinking of your choral work through the filter of an innovative solution to a human need, where might that lead you? We know that it already is for your singers and for your past audience, but if you get out of your current “music box”, where else could it apply its uniquely human magic?