Past Concerts

Growth and Change - Winter 2007

Growth and Change – Winter 2007

This concert featured Amy Beach’s The Chambered Nautilus, a major work with lush, impressionistic harmonies we first performed in 2000. Its text, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, challenges the listener to summon the courage to grow and change. We also premiered a new work by Eleanor Epstein. Funded by a major gift from the Gidwitz family in honor of President Sue’s bat mitzvah, these newly-commissioned arrangements of Hebrew songs will make a significant contribution to the repertoire of Jewish music for women’s voices.

Angels, Birds, and Witches - Spring 2006

Angels, Birds, and Witches – Spring 2006

An airborne program of music inspired by things that fly. Mendelssohn’s “Surrexit pastor bonus,” with its Easter angel dialogue; Emma Lou Diemer’s Hope is the Thing , a suite of Emily Dickinson settings with references to our featured friends; and John Govedas’s “Mulligatawny Macbeth,” a setting of the Witches’ Song from Macbeth replete with shrieks and cackles. This concert included guest instrumentalists on oboe and organ.

Dancing Day - Winter 2006

Dancing Day: Music of the British Isles – Winter 2006

On Saturday, January 21, 2006, Women’s Voices Chorus performed Gustav Holst’s “Ave Maria,” along with music by Benjamin Britten, William Byrd, Imogen Holst, John Tavener, and John Rutter; and a Scottish folk song, “Tarry Wool.” The centerpiece was a choral suite, The Dancers, by Welsh composer Grace Williams. This rediscovered work from 1954 has wonderful texts by, among others, Hilaire Belloc and May Sarton, and is scored for strings and harp, as well as soprano soloist and women’s chorus.

She Sells Sea Shells - Spring 2005

She Sells Sea Shells – Spring 2005

A salt-water program featuring Amy Beach’s “The Sea Faeries”, the Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “From the Green Heart of the Waters,” Leonie Holmes’s “The Estuary,” and a French folk song, “Roulez Juenes Gens, Roulez,” about the girls who go down to the docks to meet the sailors.

Yonders Mountain - Winter 2005

Yonders Mountain – Winter 2005

From sacred music about mountains—specifically, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—to music inspired by mountains to music from the mountains, particularly fiddle tunes and folk songs from our own Appalachians, this concert was a musical mountain tour. Highlights: Nicola Porpora’s “Ecce nunc” (1742) in its first modern performance; Arvo Part’s “Peace Upon You, Jerusalem,” Schubert’s “Coronach,” and a folk song, “At the Foot of Yonders Mountain,” collected and arranged by the folklorist Annabel Morris Buchanan.

Glorious and Free: Sounds of Canada – Spring 2004

A chronological sampler of Canadian pieces: music of indigenous peoples; folk songs imported from France, the British Isles, and many other countries; and performances of European sacred works, ranging from the 17th century to a work premiered three months before.

My Spirit Rejoices – Winter 2004

A “best of” program including favorites from our first decade and a newly-commissioned work: music from medieval convents, 18th century Venetian conservatories, 19th century European choral societies, and American colleges and women’s club choirs.

Photo by Crystal Writer.

American Quilt: Songs by American Composers – Spring 2003

Amy Beach’s cantata-length secular work, The Rose of Avontown, Naomi Stephan’s “O virtus Sapientie” on a text of Hilegard of Bingen, and Clifton J. Noble, Jr.’s splendid swing arrangement of “The Erie Canal” with down-and-dirty piano accompaniment. That mule named Sal may never be the same!

Shout, Shout, up with your Song!

A North Carolina Women’s Choral Festival sponsored by Women’s Voices Chorus, featuring nine choirs from the Triangle and beyond.

Yonders Mountain - Winter 2005

Cradle of Fire: Women’s Experiences of War – Winter 2003

This program includes everything from  “Boogie-woogie Bugle Boy” to Holocaust songs to a rediscovered composition on the blessings of peace. This program honors the women’s experiences of war. As we have learned this music, it has become our way of partaking of the courage women have shown, even in their unimaginable suffering, when the fires of war swept over their lands.