Miriyam, Maria, and Maryam – Spring 2018





Sunday, May 6, 2018, at 3:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
305 East Main Street, Durham, NC


This concert, a showcase of Spanish and Middle Eastern sounds, will examine the core of compassion shared by the three Abrahamic faiths. Ariel Ramirez’s “Misa Criolla” and a new work by Artistic Director Allan Friedman will anchor the high-energy performance, and interpretive dancers will join the chorus on stage. Stay tuned for more details!


Tickets are $17 for adults and $7 for students. To purchase advance tickets online, please visit our Square store. All tickets purchased online will be available for pickup at the ticket table in the lobby on the day of the concert.

And the Winner is…

The WVC Commission Competition has chosen a winner! This competition aimed to identify a talented composer (of any gender) and support her/him in the creation of a new work to be integrated into the chorus’s 2019 Spring Concert program. This performance will focus on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment by the US Congress, leading to the eventual ratification of women’s suffrage by the states. The concert will feature suffragette songs and the newly commissioned piece.



Our Commission committee faced a very daunting task – to choose from among 28 submissions from composers all over the US and far-flung locales such as Switzerland and New Zealand. After much thought and consideration, WVC is thrilled to announce that it has chosen Michael Bussewitz-Quarm as the winning composer!



Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, a composer, conductor, and educator from New York, is the perfect choice to work with us on a piece about woman’s suffrage. His bio describes him as “[p]assionate about advocacy through choral music,” and some of his previous and upcoming works include songs concerning the global refugee crisis and climate change. You can read more of his bio and discover his works on his website, mbqstudio.com.



Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates on our collaboration as they come. WVC is excited to embark on this journey with Bussewitz-Quarm as we work to bring his vision to life!

Song of the Universal – Winter 2018



Sunday, January 21, 2018, at 3:00 p.m.
University United Methodist Church
150 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC


Come, said the Muse,
Sing me a song no poet has yet chanted,
Sing me the Universal.


Our winter concert takes its title from the Walt Whitman poem, beautifully set above soaring violins and piano by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. Join us as we explore both the heights and depths of humanity, from Whitman’s unabashed optimism to Veljo Tormis’s dark warning about the evils of war and unchecked technology in “Curse Upon Iron.” Also featuring Vivaldi and contemporary composers Abbie Betinis and Gwyneth Walker, plus string orchestra.


Tickets are $17 for adults and $7 for students and will be available at the door. Online ticket sales have closed. All tickets purchased online will be available for pickup at the ticket table in the lobby on the day of the concert.


Free childcare will be provided at the concert, though space is limited. Send the names and ages of children needing care to contact@womensvoiceschorus.org.


Rehearsal Cancelled for January 17

Tonight’s tech rehearsal has been cancelled due to the weather. We will rehearse this Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:45 am – location to be announced. Please read your email for more details about this weekend’s rehearsal and concert, as well as suggestions of what music to work on at home!

“Preview!” Interview for “Song of the Universal”

Artistic Director Allan Friedman recently sat down with WCPE 89.7’s “Preview!” program to discuss our upcoming winter concert, “Song of the Universal.” In this interview, Allan and “Preview!” host Jonny Pierce chat about Allan’s musical history from his time at Duke University to conducting Women’s Voices Chorus before talking about what to expect from this Sunday’s concert.





If this interview has piqued your interest, be sure to order your tickets now! Women’s Voices Chorus presents “Song of the Universal” this Sunday, January 21 at 3:00 pm at University UMC in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $17 for adults and $7 for students. To purchase advance tickets online, please visit our Square store. All tickets purchased online will be available for pickup at the ticket table in the lobby on the day of the concert.








Fall Retreat 2017

On a gorgeous autumn morning, Women’s Voices Chorus gathered at Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill for our annual fall retreat. Every year, we spend a Saturday working to refine our upcoming concert program, while also taking the time to build our bond with our fellow sisters and socialize over an always-amazing potluck lunch.


For this year’s retreat, we were honored to have Dr. Nana Wolfe-Hill, an assistant professor of Music and the Director of Choral Activities at Wingate University, as a guest clinician. Dr. Wolfe-Hill’s workshop focused on bringing feminist pedagogy into our choral rehearsal space, which is her main area of research.


Feminist pedagogy rose out of the third wave of feminism. It moves away from the hierarchical approach to teaching – the idea that the teacher has all of the knowledge and power – and instead promotes the idea that everyone in the room has something to contribute. In Dr. Wolfe-Hill’s experience, this empowering method of teaching leads to a choral performance that might be less technical, but more engaging and alive as the singers are able to connect more emotionally to the pieces they sing.


Dr. Wolfe-Hill guided us through this style of teaching with the use of journaling. As we worked on a song, she would ask us a series of questions and had us write down our thoughts. Then she encouraged us to share our impressions with the room. The discussions that resulted from those questions shaped our perception of the music and deepened each performance as we rehearsed. By using the journals, Dr. Wolfe-Hill helped us to stimulate our right brain, so that as we used our left brain to read the notes and words, we would also use our right brain to feel the emotions in the song.


We cannot thank Dr. Wolfe-Hill enough for taking the time to work with us! Her feminist pedagogical approach to choral rehearsal was an eye-opening experience for many of us, one that we will continue to use as we prepare for our winter concert. We hope that by doing so, we will present a concert that is as engaging as it is entertaining!


Welcome Home – Summer Benefit 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017, 3:00 p.m.
Judea Reform Congregation
1933 West Cornwallis Road, Durham, NC


Fresh off a choral tour of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Women’s Voices Chorus will perform a summer benefit concert in support of Church World Service-Durham.


The hour-long performance will feature music from the Baltic States and from the United States, connected by the common themes of crossing borders and appreciating cultural differences. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted and go entirely to CWS; $10 per person is suggested.


Church World Service-Durham welcomes refugees and immigrants from around the world into lives of freedom, hope, and opportunity in the Triangle area. CWS staff and volunteers connect new arrivals with community resources and social services in order to meet their immediate needs and to help clients gain the skills and tools critical to achieving long-term self-sufficiency. The Durham office opened its doors in 2009 and is sustained by volunteers and community partners.


CWS staff will speak about their vital work in our area and be available to answer questions. Mark your calendar now for this afternoon of quality music and community service!

Bridge of Songs – Spring 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3:00 p.m.
University United Methodist Church
150 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC


Online ticket sales have ended. All tickets purchased online will be available for pickup at the ticket table in the lobby on the day of the concert.


Our world is filled with borders: those between countries, between youth and experience, between sleep and wakefulness, between slavery and freedom, between life and death. Come explore these boundaries as we feature music from the United States and from the Baltic States, our destination for a summer 2017 international tour. This compelling concert will include spirituals, folk songs, and new music by contemporary female composers.


Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. To purchase tickets online, please visit our Square store. Please note that all tickets purchased online include a $1 credit card processing fee. All tickets purchased online will be available for pickup at the ticket table in the lobby on the day of the concert.



A Visit From Lana Walter

Artistic Director Allan Friedman with composer Lana Walter


We were honored to have composer Lana Walter visit our final pre-concert rehearsal this week! A former elementary music teacher and the cofounder and director of the Umpqua Youth Choir in Roseburg, Oregon, Ms. Walter is a celebrated American composer and arranger. Over the years, WVC has performed many of her compositions, some of which were works that we commissioned. In our spring concert on Sunday we will perform her composition “Lux Aeterna,” and Ms. Walter made the journey from Oregon to North Carolina to help us prepare.


“Lux Aeterna,” which means “eternal light,” was commissioned by the Washington Women’s Ensemble in Washington, D.C. Ms. Walter said that as she composed, she focused on the idea that light is energy, constantly moving, rather than remaining static. This insight is key to our performance of “Lux Aeterna,” as we embody those moving particles and beams of light. We hope to awe you with its radiance!  We’d like to thank Ms. Walter for taking the time to enlighten us, working with us to bring her composition to life.


To catch our performance of “Lux Aeterna” and to meet Ms. Walter in person, we invite you to “Bridge of Songs,” this Sunday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m., at University UMC in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and will be available at the door.



A Bridge of Songs “Preview!”

On Sunday, April 30, our artistic director Allan Friedman sat down with Dan McHugh of WCPE’s “Preview!” program to discuss our upcoming spring concert. If you missed the interview when it aired, you can listen to it here:



“Preview!” provides a sneak peek at upcoming classical events every week from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on Sundays on 89.7 WCPE. For more information on the program, check out WCPE’s website.