Just ask. Ask people to come to your concert. Ask people to donate. Ask people to be changed by your music. Sam Brukhman gives the origin story of Verdigris, a new professional choir in the Dallas area. Verdigris is dedicated to the idea of exploring new space in choral music, with the goal of creating unique performances that challenge the audience to experience the familiar in a new way, much the same way patina changes old copper. But behind the artistry there is hard work, sacrifice, and the willingness to take a risk.


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Highlight to Tweet: “You don’t have to be a master to do what you do, as long as you’re willing to learn” -Sam Brukhman

Show Notes:

  • Sam is the founding director of Verdigris Ensemble. They began with a house concert to launch the group.
  • There invitation list was created from personal connections, and cold calling the Dallas Symphony donor list. There was one response from that list. The concert didn’t raise musch, but it was enough to get started.
  • This led to a second house concert, which helped launch a crowdfunding campaign. It was enough to launch their first concert series.
  • Today, it is easier to create a non-profit choir than ever before because of crowdfunding, blockchain technology, and interest in grassroots startups
  • Audiences and donors look for aspects of your organization as an excuse to make a donation. You have to make those qualities and aspects apparent in your mission/presentation!
  • Innovation in choral music is difficult because you are creating something no one has ever done before. Its very easy to get sucked back into the traditional standard
  • There are 6 qualities to a successful choral organization:
    • Funding
    • Strong vision
    • Dedicated members
    • Consistent presentation
    • Collaboration
    • Dreaming big


Sam Brukhman is currently the Artistic Director of the Verdigris Ensemble, a new Dallas professional choir exploring the boundaries of the choral medium through creative concert programming, modern instrument technology, unconventional use of space, and decentralized music distribution. He also teaches middle school choir at Brown Middle School in Forney, TX.

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