Bridges

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Advancing the Spirit of Community

We believe that music should not be limited to those who can visit the concert hall. Led by Associate Conductor & Director of Community Engagement,  Katherine Chan, our Bridges program, launched in 2013, is an integral part of the Back Bay Chorale’s mission to celebrate and share the unifying power of music with our community.  

Spring 2021 ESL Program

Music and English are universal languages. Everyone should have access to these languages without fear of making mistakes, whether spoken or sung. In partnership with the Boston Public Library, our Bridges ESL Singing Group provides participants with an opportunity to make vocal music, improve their English language skills, and develop friendships with singers—within the ESL community as well as with singers from Back Bay Chorale. Bridges participants meet each Tuesday morning via Zoom to learn basic singing skills and songs in English. At the end of each class, they have the opportunity to make new friends and practice their English conversation skills. No previous music skills are required.

About the Video

 In February 2021, the ESL Chorus and participants of  The Complete Chorister  recorded "We Shall Overcome", that most famous anthem of the American civil rights movement.

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IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

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2020–21

ESL Virtual Singing Group

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What our ESL participants are saying.

"For me, singing is a dream come true! Thank you!”
– Maunia (Iran)
"Singing makes me feel free from my worries and gives me hope and strength."
– Monika (Poland)
"It's very easy and fun to improve my English with this music class."
– Débora (Brazil)
“For the singing class, it was professional. The class is very good.”
– Ngon (Vietnam)


​​​​​​​2019

Boston Public Library: Literacy Training
Faneuil Hall: Naturalization Ceremony

A Heart for  Service

Service has always been at the heart of the Back Bay Chorale experience. Musician, minister, and social activist Larry Hill founded the Chorale in 1973 to create a musical ministry that would bring meaning to both singers and their audience.

We launched Bridges in 2013,  focusing our efforts on performing live choral music for those unable to visit the concert hall. From retirees, to Alzheimer patients, to veterans recovering from injury and PTSD, Bridges has always connected and uplifted communities across the Commonwealth.

Voices, spirits lift in face of Parkinson’s steady toll
— Boston Globe

We also started welcoming our country’s newest citizens by performing the National Anthem at Naturalization Ceremonies. To further help connect our community, we coordinated with local universities to include students in this endeavor, and we look forward to resuming this important function when it is safe to do so.

Our current initiative is a partnership with the Boston Public Library, helping with literacy training through song. Thanks to our online sessions, which launched in the spring of 2020, our reach is now global.

While our initiatives may evolve, what inspires us is a shared commitment to a sincere and authentic experience, advancing the spirit of community through our song. 


Current Partners:

Boston Public Library

United States District Court

Previous Partners Include:

Chelsea Soldiers' Home

Cornerstone at Canton

Goddard House

Jewish Children’s and Family Service

Northeastern University Choral Society

Olmsted Choir

Standish Village at Brookline

Tremble Clefs Chorus

Women’s Lunch Place, Back Bay

For more information on the Bridges project or to request a performance, contact us at bridges(at)bbcboston.org.