Community Chorus is an collective singing space, on-call activist chorus, and experimental performing ensemble led by artist Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs and conductor Tany Ling. Our goal is to provide a platform for connection and recreational healing - sounds good, feels good! The chorus requires no audition/prior skill, and no commitment. We recognize vocalizing as a natural rite/right and radical act. We believe when people feel empowered to sing out and speak up, they can be galvanized to affect change in other ways.
Founded by Riggs in 2017, Chorus has performed at dozens of protests, marches, picket lines, community-building events, and art performances. For its first 3 years, Chorus met twice a month at Feminist Center for Creative Work’s Frogtown location, then remotely throughout the pandemic. In 2023, we resumed in-person meetings in preparation for Heal Hear Here. An album of original Community Chorus music is forthcoming.
Through an interdisciplinary practice that incorporates sound, sculpture, scent, and site-specific collective performance, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs (b.1981) creates new myths and their paraphernalia - hymns, relics, costumes, instruments, rites and rituals - for an alternate past, and still-possible future. Riggs was born in Oakland, came of middle-age in Los Angeles, and currently lives in the High Desert of Southern California. Her work explores themes of magic and myth, connection and isolation, conflicts between structures of power and modes of care, and overwhelm in the Anthropocene. In her new and reimagined mythologies polyphonic monsters, mothers, and others occupy and traverse in-between zones, otherworlds, and innerworlds.
Tany Ling is a vocalist, choral conductor, and music educator based in Los Angeles and active in the classical, new/experimental/microtonal, improvisation, and art music scenes. She appears regularly in recital while also exploring new compositions, recently collaborating on projects with Open Gate Theater, Vinny Golia, and LA Master Chorale. She has premiered new works with Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, Accordant Commons, Community Chorus, Long Beach Opera, The Industry, Lucky Dragons, Calarts Center for New Performance, Microfest, and Pacific Standard Time, and has presented at The Broad, Ford Amphitheater, Walt Disney Concert Hall, REDCAT, Greystone Mansion, Hammer Museum, and the Getty Museum. As a former touring artist with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Industrial Jazz Group, and prize-winning choirs, she has been a featured soloist at Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall. She maintains active vocal studios both privately and at the historic Neighborhood Music School in Boyle Heights.
Image: Community Chorus performing as The Portal: Mothers Choir (collaboration with Jagangormarsh).