January 22, 2022
In February 2019 Chris Munce, Lee’s Summit High School choir director and 1998 Lee’s Summit North graduate, decided to launch a podcast dedicated to providing professional development for music educators called “The Choralosophy Podcast.”
The original intent was to create an “off social media” conversation space to combat what he say as an increasingly toxic level of public communication online.
The show was slow to take off, but grew steadily in the first year. Then the pandemic happened and Munce began to notice that news headlines started popping up about how dangerous choirs and choral events were – large groups of people in close proximity. Choirs do present unique risks related to Covid, but Munce was worried about the sensational, over the top coverage with claims like “choir won’t be safe for at least 2 years, etc” In an effort to educate the public on how experts describe risks, he reached out to Dr. Amesh Adlja of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and one of the top experts in the world on the pandemic.
“I fully expected him to ignore me because he is always on the big news channels,” says Munce. “But he said yes! It immediately had to begin cramming study after study to prepare intelligent questions, and to not sound like an idiot. That’s what started my deep dive.”
“That episode put a lot of detailed information out there that was important for people to hear, because when he speaks on MSNBC or CNN for example, he only gets 3-4 minutes. With me he had 30.”
The episode went viral and was even quoted in the “New York Times.” Because of this success Munce was able to attract other high caliber experts to discuss COVID topics including other infectious disease doctors, epidemiologists and researchers, many of whom he keeps in touch with regularly to stay up to date.
He still remains true to his core of music education, but the success of the show has allowed Munce to branch out into other areas such as COVID and conversations about race, social justice and philosophy. The show has featured conversations with “Newsweek” commentators, professors and even a PBS TV host and currently sits in the top 1.5% of all podcasts globally, recently hitting the 500,000 download milestone this past fall.
You can find out more about The Choralosophy Podcast by following on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any podcast app, or by visiting Choralosophy.com.