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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Community Music Center’s Tuition-Free Choirs for Older Adults Gain National Visibility & Support

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Community Music Center’s Tuition-Free Choirs for Older Adults Gain National Visibility & Support

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May 28, 2014
San Francisco, CA

The Community Music Center, San Francisco, has been named one of ten finalists in the highly competitive Google Bay Area Impact Challenge. As a finalist, they are receiving a $250,000 grant from Google to sustain tuition-free choral programs that improve wellness for older adult participants. The four winners will be determined through public voting, which is now open through June 2 (click to vote). If CMC is chosen as one of the top four, Google will double their grant to $500,000.
Community Music Center (CMC)’s older adult choirs—El Coro Solera (Solera Singers) and El Coro de la 30 (30th Street Chorus), offered in partnership with two senior centers in San Francisco—were launched in 2011 and 2012 with the Guild’s MetLife Foundation Creative Aging grants. CMC received the Guild’s Creative Aging grant in 2013, as well, to expand and deepen these programs.  Each choir has 35 singers who rehearse weekly. Participants have a role in selecting the culturally relevant repertoire of Latin American folkloric and popular music, which is performed mostly in Spanish.
CMC's program is currently part of an important new study to substantiate the health and wellness benefits of creative aging programs. Last year the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), in partnership with CMC and 12 San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services senior centers, launched Community of Voices. This five-year study, funded by a grant to UCSF from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health, is assessing the impact of choral singing on older adults’ cognition, mobility, and overall well-being. 

About Community Music Center
Community Music Center (CMC) is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization founded in 1921 with the mission of enhancing the community’s quality of life by making music accessible to all people, regardless of their financial status. With branches in the Mission and Richmond Districts of San Francisco and programs throughout the city, CMC is the Bay Area’s oldest community arts organization and San Francisco's largest provider of low-cost, high quality music education. During the 2008-2009 school year, 2,345 students of all ages, ethnicities and income levels enrolled in CMC programs and over 17,000 people enjoyed musical performances at no or low cost.

Pictured Above: Community Music Center (San Francisco, CA) Adult Choir

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.