2018 Grants Challenge

Big Sing LA

Big Sing LA is a free multi-generational event that invites everyone regardless of ability or background to come together to learn new songs and sing familiar ones at selected parks in Los Angeles.


Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

Big Sing LA 2019 will bring together thousands of individuals and families at selected parks throughout Los Angeles to join and play music through a shared singing experience. Music is a universal language that invites everyone regardless of ability or background to unite in peace to activate our parks in a fun, joyful, and multi-generational activity.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your activation impact?​

Attendance at cultural events

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings

Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?​

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA


City of Los Angeles

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?​

Digital organizing or activism

Trainings and/or in-person engagements

Influence individual behavior

Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Increase donations to organizations and causes

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to CONNECT?​

Los Angeles Master Chorale will provide the opportunity for thousands of Angelenos to express themselves and connect with others through a free, shared singing experience at parks throughout Los Angeles. It is the Master Chorale’s goal to inspire people to tap into a gift each person is born with, namely, the ability to sing in a safe, fun, non-competitive environment. Through Big Sing LA, we are reclaiming our public parks as a place where artistry and creativity can flourish and play music alongside the soccer fields, picnic tables, and baseball diamonds.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn and rehearse the pre-selected choral repertoire in advance of the event through online educational tutorials featuring our Artistic Director Grant Gershon and the Master Chorale’s Swan Artist-in-Residence and Grammy Winner Eric Whitacre. A Grammy-winning composer and conductor, Whitacre is very well-known among choral music enthusiasts. However, we are considering engaging conductors that reflective of the diverse communities we want to serve at the various parks.

A dedicated website will be created for Big Sing LA and provide a central location where participants can access the video tutorials, connect with each other, and share their experiences. It will contain all the information participants will need to know to get involved, such as which parks will serve as hubs for the Big Sing LA events and how to create gatherings of their own should they wish to. After the event, the website will serve as a conduit for participant surveys, and tracking and evaluating data to determine impacts. However, no prior knowledge or registration are required, and people can simply just show up and sing along with the crowds.

Taking part in Big Sing LA is truly a multi-generational endeavor that will significantly reduce barriers to involvement in singing by inviting people from all walks of life to join in at a location that is more convenient than traveling to Grand Park in Downtown LA. Anyone who loves to sing or enjoys live music will connect on a deeper level by experiencing a powerful and transcendent moment that only through singing together as an ensemble provides. We will work with local neighborhood councils and local organizations to determine the park that is geographically the most accessible and therefore, we will create more access points for increasing inter-generational play opportunities and making parks more vibrant. This event will also create indelible memories linked to their experience with Big Sing LA at their park.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to CONNECT​

The targeted participants are adults, children, and families from diverse and eclectic backgrounds throughout Los Angeles who love to sing. Although parks are often used for concerts, these are often passive affairs—spectators & performers. Big Sing LA places the spotlight on the audience members, who are also the performers, as the conductor guides and brings it all together. These events will also activate parks as a place to play sports as well as playing music and connects people from all walks of life.

A dedicated website will be created for Big Sing LA and provide a central hub where participants can access the video tutorials, connect with each other, and share their experiences. Emphasis will be placed on engaging participants in person and in areas that have been identified as having populations that have the least access to live music, such as Northeastern San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles.

The Master Chorale will engage community coordinators that are local to the areas who can partner with local leaders, networks, and neighborhood councils. These coordinators will take the lead in promoting the event because of their in-depth familiarity with the area. We will pay these coordinators to compensate them for the time and energy including organizing volunteers, and help manage the logistics at the park on the day of the event with support from the Master Chorale, including tracking demographics and contact information to be used in post-event evaluations.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

This will be our third incarnation of the Big Sing initiative and with each event we are learning. The Los Angeles Master Chorale will track participant demographics to determine to what extent we were successful in reaching stated goals of who and how many participants were served. The coordinators will help collect demographic information about the people in attendance at each park. Participants themselves will have numerous outlets for expressing their level of satisfaction through online surveys created by the Master Chorale as well as the more informal feedback gained through social media, informal conversations of participants, and observation over the course of the event.

Success will be determined by several factors: Did we reached our stated goals and desired impacts? Were the numbers of participants as high as we expected? What was the quality of experience reported in surveys? And the experience itself, did the event go smoothly? Did the community grow and interact as much as we hoped? We will also be looking at more long-term effects to see the impact of this program from the community and how they interact and engage with their local parks. These are all the questions, and more, the Master Chorale will be asking in post-project evaluations.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

In five years, it is the goal that the Master Chorale will have created a revenue model and the organizational staff capacity that allows for Big Sing LA to be sustainable. However, it is also a goal to craft this program with the purpose of it being replicated and self-organized by more communities at their local parks in Los Angeles, which is aligned with the metric of increasing the number of parks with inter-generational play opportunities and increase attendance at cultural events.