History

Women’s Voices Chorus was founded in the fall of 1993 when Mary Lycan brought together a group of 30 women interested in singing together.

 

That first year, the chorus operated on a shoestring budget and premiered with a concert entitled “Images of Women in Music.” Over the next decade WVC grew in membership, budget, and musical reputation. We commissioned and premiered choral works written for women as part of our stated mission. We sang joint concerts with Bennett College Choir, UNC Women’s Glee Club, Washington Women’s Chorus, and the Capital City Girls Choir Cantabile and performed at the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina convention of the American Choral Directors Association, and special events at local churches and businesses.

 

In 2007 Lycan retired from the chorus. At the end of our search for a dynamic new director, we selected Allan Friedman, DMA. His expertise in choral conducting and commitment to maintaining a connection to our roots made him the clear choice. Our first concert under Friedman’s direction was entitled “Herself a Rose” and featured the premiere of a new piece by the same name, written by Eleanor Daley in honor of Lycan.

 

Under Friedman’s leadership, the chorus has grown to 70 singers and continues to focus on the core mission of promoting and performing choral works for women’s voices. Recent concert titles include “The Womanly Song of God,” “Love Notes,” and “Songs of my Sisters.” In addition, the chorus has expanded our outreach through community partnerships, particularly with nonprofit organizations. For the past several years, WVC has sponsored a summer community chorus to benefit a community organization, donating all funds raised at the concert to the featured nonprofit. Recent recipients have included the Augustine Literacy Project, the Durham chapter of Arts for Life, and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

Another way that WVC has expanded our outreach is through joint concerts with other choral groups.  In 2014, we sang with Vox Virorum, a men’s chorus ensemble featuring singers from all over the Triangle region.  That same year, WVC also held a one-day high school festival with young women from several local schools that culminated in a combined concert after a long day of hard work and fellowship!  And, most recently, the Advanced Women’s Chorus of Northern High School joined us at our “The Womanly Song of God” concert in 2016 for several stunning pieces about the power of womanhood.

 

In summer 2012 the chorus realized a long-held dream: to embark on our first international concert tour. After more than two years of planning, the tour to Italy, Slovenia, and Hungary gave us the opportunity to share American choral traditions with new audiences and to learn about the choral history of the countries we visited.  And coming up in 2017, we will be heading to the Baltics for our second international tour!

 

2014 marked another major milestone for WVC: 20 years in existence as the Triangle’s only classical women’s chorus. We commemorated with an ambitious season that started with our winter concert highlighting works written for or commissioned by the chorus and concluded with our spring concert in which a 23-piece orchestra and a nationally known soprano soloist joined us for the southeastern premiere of “The Long Bright.”

 

As we celebrate the achievements of our past, we also look forward to the future of WVC. Our song continues.