Nano Interview with Jane Money of Boston City Singers
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Name: Jane Money
Organization: Boston City Singers
Title: Founding Artistic Director
Years in the Field: 30
What do you do at Boston City Singers?
I do pretty much everything! I conduct several of our choirs, including the most advanced, Tour Choir. I enjoy meeting with our donors, creating new arrangements of music with our outstanding staff (often based on folk songs or spirituals). I work on our grantwriting team, and conduct 5 of our 15 programs. And recommendations! Last year I wrote over 100 for our graduating seniors. We were delighted that they earned over $300,000 in scholarships.
Why do you do what you do?
At Boston City Singers we believe in supporting the upward trajectory of each of our singers. There is nothing more rewarding than supporting the growth of a young person all the way through to college and beyond.
What comes easiest to you in this work?
I am passionate about excellent repertoire which speaks to the diversity of our singers and audiences.
What challenges you in this work?
As our work has continued to grow, we have been challenged to find rehearsal and performance space that is both safe and accessible in the communities we serve.
What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
We have always been based in Dorchester, MA. In our earliest years, potential partners, funders, and Board members would be turned off by that. Few would visit, and it was not always easy to be taken seriously. More than once we heard “You are from Dorchester? You can’t be any good…” Over time, Dorchester has changed and continues to evolve into something far more positive. We like to think that we have been a part of that process.
How do you blow off steam?
Once a year, I go back home to New Zealand for a couple of weeks, where I walk the length of one local beach each day and cook for my brother and his family.
What do you create in your free time?
I am an avid knitter, home cook, and co-restorer of our Victorian home.
Whose work in the CYD field do you admire and why?
We have had a long relationship with the Corrymeela Centre in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. We led a choir project in Ireland in 2005 aimed at bringing children from both sides of the border together in song. One of the highlights was a residency at the Centre where I experienced first hand the power of creative youth development. We have worked closely with one of their volunteers ever since crafting leadership and youth development programs across the organization.
What music do you like listen to (if even a little too loudly)?
The Brazilian singers Marisa Monte, anything Ella Fitzgerald and the Canadian choir Elektra.
Do you live with any animals?
I am a foster parent for New England Brittany Rescue. We adopted our first dog, Brady, three years ago. He is 12 now, but very active and an awesome host dog to our fosters.
The unauthorized biography of your life is titled:
Let’s find a way to make this happen!
My husband and I are visiting Cuba in February, meeting with local choirs, musicians and teachers, then off to South Africa with 40 members of the Tour Choir in the summer.