Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Corin Overland

Second Committee Member

Karen Kennedy

Third Committee Member

Coreen Duffy

Fourth Committee Member

Margaret Donaghue


This study examines the recent phenomenon of project-based professional choirs through a comparative analysis of the business models of three leading project-based professional choirs. Background information regarding nonprofit and performing arts organization economics as well as the history of professional choirs provides context for a definition of organizational stability. Major analysis of public domain financial data, internal and public historical records, as well as interviews with current administrators in each organization provides the formula to determine stability. The resulting analysis identifies major trends in the founding, operations, and future growth of each organization through a historical tracing of the first and last five years of existence, determining the stability of each model. A comparative analysis produces global trends that identify the expense-revenue stability threshold and its relationship to risk management and organizational growth, particularly through the first five years of existence. Additionally, the analysis confirms the nonprofit literature's emphasis on mission statement directives and the importance of arts nonprofit tools such as price discrimination, revenue diversification, and market-oriented operations.


Professional Choir; arts nonprofit; nonprofit; Santa Fe Desert Chorale; Seraphic Fire; Choir

Kyle Nielsen Data (494 kB)
Appendices A-0 provided as Excel documents via zip folder.