Gender Identity & Choral Singing Symposium

Saturday, February 22, 2020 
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts
922 Park Avenue
Richmond, VA

Presented in partnership with Richmond Allied Voices
with support from Diversity Richmond, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and The National Endowment for the Arts

The Gender Identity and Choral Singing Symposium will include panel discussions, featured guest speakers, workshops and performances from VCU and Richmond Allied Voices choral ensembles. Topics of discussion will address gender identity, the impact of transgender transition therapy on the voice and other aspects of choral singing.

Participation is free and open to the public.

Click here to sign up for the Gender Identity and Choral Singing Symposium mailing list.


Featured speakers, panelists and conductors

Stephen Mark Crisp, music educator
Cynthia Donnell, Associate Professor of Voice, VCUarts Music
Erin Freeman, Director of Choral Activities, VCUarts Music
Lisa Fusco, Adjunct Professor and Director of Vox Concordia, VCUarts Music
Liz Jackson Hearns, Director, The Voice Lab Inc.
Brian Kremer, Assistant Professor of Voice and Music Theatre, Elon University
Annie Lacey, Director, Ramifications
Kaleb Patterson, Director, Richmond Men’s Chorus
Sheri Sanders, Creator, Rock The Audition
Aaron Ward, Director, The Noteables
Erin Wind, Director, Richmond Women’s Chorus
Chris Wyeth, Speech-Language Pathologist and member of Richmond Allied Voices
Jaemin Yoo, Speech-Language Pathologist, VCU Health



9 – 9:50 a.m.
Seminar: Inclusivity in Choral Singing
Stephen Mark Crisp, featured speaker

After opening remarks by Symposium Chair, Martin McFadden, singer and voice teacher Stephen Mark Crisp will discuss creating a welcoming environment for all singers. There will even be a not-so-surprise performance!


10 – 10:50 a.m.
Seminar: Clinical Implications of the Transgender Voice
Jaemin Yoo and Chris Wyeth, featured speakers

Speech-Language Pathologists Jaemin Yoo and Chris Wyeth discuss the transitioning voice from a medical point of view.


11 – 11:50 a.m.
Seminar: The Singing Teacher’s Guide to the Transgender Voice
Liz Jackson Hearns and Brian Kremer, featured speakers

Dynamic, compassionate, and knowledgeable, voice teachers Liz Jackson Hearns and Brian Kremer will share philosophy, tips, and tricks to working with the transgender voice.


12 – 1 p.m.; Lunch Break

A list of nearby restaurants and coffee shops will be available at the registration table.


1 – 1:50 p.m.
Panel: Leading the Charge
Erin Freeman, moderator
Stephen Crisp, Cynthia Donnell, Liz Jackson Hearns, Brian Kremer,
Sheri Sanders, Erin Wind, and Jaemin Yoo; panel members

VCU’s Director of Choral Activities Erin Freeman brings together leaders in the field to find out more about the technical, social, and psychological aspects of creating an inclusive environment for singers of all gender identities.


2 – 2:50 p.m.
Panel: From the Inside Out
Stephen Mark Crisp, moderator
Noah Beller, Judith Roxanne Dee, Cat Grundy, Devin Manning,
Mel Morris, and Alexei Staruk; panel members

Music Educator Stephen Mark Crisp interviews trans and queer singers from VCUarts Music, Richmond Allied Voices, and the Richmond Symphony Chorus to garner their perspectives from inside the choral section.


3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Open Rehearsal with Combined Choirs and Guests
Erin Freeman, conductor
David Kim, pianist

Join choral ensembles from VCUarts Music and Richmond Allied Voices in a rehearsal of Greg Gilpin’s meaningful “Why We Sing,” led by VCU Director of Choral Activities Erin Freeman. All singers at this rehearsal will participate in the final concert at 4:00 pm.

4 – 5 p.m.
Why We Sing! A Final Concert
Free and open to the public, this concert features eight choral ensembles. Plus, at the end, all of the ensembles and those who sang in the open rehearsal will join voices to celebrate the unity and inclusiveness of singing.