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.

Dance the World ‘Round – Winter 2017


Sunday, January 22, 2017, at 3:00 p.m.
Judea Reform Congregation
1933 West Cornwallis Road, Durham, 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.


Travel to South Africa, India, Lithuania, Brazil, Canada, and other lands without ever leaving Durham in this concert of international music. Guest dancers will whirl on stage and a host of instrumentalists, including a big band and percussion ensemble, will join the chorus in presenting an impressive variety of musical styles. Fun for all ages, this event is sure to be a feast for both the eyes and ears!


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.





It’s Back! Girls’ Night Out Comedy FUNdraiser

gno2016Are you feeling overextended and underappreciated? Could you use a good laugh and some pre-holiday stress busting? Join Professional Humorist and Singing OB Nurse, Deb Gauldin, RN, PMS, for a GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT! Proceeds from this evening of clean comedy and music will help Women’s Voices Chorus purchase choral risers.



Grab a friend (and a panty-liner) and join us Sunday, November 6, 2016, from 7:30-8:30 pm at The ArtsCenter, 300-G Main Street in Carrboro. Light snacks will be provided and drinks will be available at the cash bar. You can purchase tickets ($20) online from our Square store. Purchased tickets will be held at the door. Seating is limited – act fast!


Can’t make it? Bummer. You can still help: We deeply appreciate donations to the Raise the Risers Fund! Head to our Square store to make yours today!

The Book of Love – Summer Community Chorus 2016


The Summer Community Chorus, sponsored by Women’s Voices Chorus, proudly presented a benefit concert entitled The Book of Love. With music featuring famous and infamous lovers from the world of literature, this one-hour program had something for every listener—from classic compositions by Georges Bizet, George and Ira Gershwin, and Duke Ellington to contemporary works by Eleanor Daley, Joan Szymko, and Rene Clausen.


The concert took place on July 31, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The Summer Community Chorus is a non-auditioned group of sopranos and altos committed to the local arts scene and charitable outreach. The concert was held in benefit of the Augustine Literacy Project.


Founded in 1994 in Chapel Hill, the ALP has trained more than one thousand volunteers to provide long-term, one-on-one instruction to low-income students with reading difficulties. Whether these challenges are due to poverty alone or coupled with learning or language differences, the project’s motto holds true: “Tutor one child, change two lives.” Executive Director Debbie McCarthy spoke about the ALP’s mission and needs at the concert.


With the help of the generous donations of our audience at Sunday’s concert, we raised over $1000 for the ALP!  We’d like to thank everyone for coming out and making this benefit concert a success. We couldn’t do it without you!


The Womanly Song of God – Spring 2016

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Sunday, April 24, 2016, at 3:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
305 East Main Street, Durham, NC


“I am the God of a thousand names: why cannot one of them be Woman singing?” So asks poet Catherine de Vinck in the title piece of our spring concert, which featured stunning music about powerful women.  The first half of the program began with “From Behind the Caravan” by Abbie Betinis, based on the mystical Persian poetry of Hâfez. We were delighted to have Dr. Amir Rezvani with us as a guest artist on this piece, singing the text to each movement and enchanting the audience with his rich voice.


We were also overjoyed to have the Advanced Women’s Chorus of Northern High School perform with us on Sunday.  After Women’s Voices finished a triumphant “The Womanly Song of God,” which is by far the most complicated piece WVC has ever attempted, the talented young women of Northern High sang a gorgeous rendition of Maryam Khoury’s “Koowu.”  Then they joined WVC for several songs including a stirring arrangement of “Sisters” that had audience members cheering.


The second half of the concert included the world premiere of “Mah Dodech Midod.” This piece was commissioned from Eleanor Epstein by WVC to celebrate Artistic Director Allan Friedman’s recent wedding.  Originally, the song was to premiere at our winter concert, but the unfortunate cancellation of that show was a mixed blessing, as the song has more of a spring feel to it!  A combined, rousing version of “Stayed on Freedom” brought the concert to an end, and WVC closed the show with a hushed encore of “Grace Before Sleep.”


We have so many people to thank for Sunday’s success.  Petra Berenyi, Rick Keena, Les Webster, and Lexie Hallman all provided instrumentation for several of the pieces, and Lexie magnificently sang the solos on “Jocheved” and “Miriam’s Song” as well! Our former accompanist Nancy Whelan helped us tremendously in rehearsals, and our new accompanist Deborah Lee Hollis brought us to new heights with her beautiful playing during the concert.  We’d like to thank Dr. Rezvani for gifting us with his time, both in assisting us with understanding Hâfez and in bringing the poetry to life at the concert.  And a big thank you goes to the Advanced Women’s Chorus and their director, Rachel Spencer, a member of Women’s Voices Chorus herself.


But most of all, thank you to all of you who attended!  We hope you had a great time. Keep watching this website for information about our upcoming summer concert season!

Dr. Amir Rezvani and the Poetry of Hâfez




We had a special visitor join us this week at rehearsal! Dr. Amir Rezvani, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, graciously spoke to us about the famous Persian poet Hâfez and his many works.


Hâfez is the most beloved poet in Iranian culture. His works are open to many interpretations – and indeed, as Dr. Rezvani told us, many Iranians will often turn to his writing to reinforce their beliefs or to find answers or meaning in their own lives. Born in the 14th century, Hâfez wrote lyrical poems that are called “ghazals.” Ghazals contain rhyming couplets and are usually about love, whether it be love for another person or love for a divine figure. Hâfez’s ghazals are filled with a longing for one’s “Beloved” above all, according to Dr. Rezvani.


While he is mainly celebrated for his poetry, Hâfez’s contributions to Persian culture extend to many other areas such as philosophy and politics. He even has his own national holiday, October 12th.  Naturally, Hâfez’s ghazals have inspired many composers throughout the centuries, and one such modern composer to set his words to music is Abbie Betinis. WVC will be performing From Behind the Caravan: Songs of Hâfez at our spring concert in April.


We’re honored that Dr. Rezvani took the time to teach us about Hâfez so that we could better understand his words – and it was wonderful to have him work with us on the Farsi pronunciations as well! Thank you, Dr. Rezvani, for sharing an important part of Iranian culture with us!



Rehearsal Cancelled – Monday, February 15


No rehearsal tonight due to inclement weather.


Check your email for suggested pieces to practice this week!