This past Wednesday, January 21, 97.9 FM WCHL interviewed our artistic director Allan Friedman about our upcoming winter concert and named him their Hometown Hero of the Day! These heroes receive a Village Pride Award for their dedication to their communities. Check out the interview below, and join us in thanking Allan for all that he does for Women’s Voices Chorus and his community!
Yesterday, Sunday, January 18th, our artistic director Allan Friedman sat down with WCPE’s Tara Lynn on the “Preview!” program to talk about our upcoming winter concert “Awakenings: Songs of New Birth and Origins.” From WCPE’s website:
In this brief interview, Dr. Friedman discuss the program which features intriguing music, secular and sacred about spiritual rebirth, young love, springtime, and the rise of social movements.”
The interview is embedded below for your listening pleasure. For more on WCPE’s “Preview!” follow this link!
On Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 3:00 in the afternoon, Women’s Voices Chorus presented Awakenings: Songs of New Birth and Origins as part of the Strobilus Music Series from Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. The concert featured music ranging from the Renaissance to the present, all on the theme of awakenings. It included a mix of sacred and secular music, including works by Britten and Victoria and a number of pieces by contemporary female composers.
Women’s Voices Chorus was delighted to participate in the inaugural season of this exciting new series. Series coordinator Nathan Kotecki explained the vision of the series as such: “The aesthetics of the Chapel in the Pines, with its rough-hewn beams and expansive views of the surrounding pine forests, along with the exceptional acoustics afforded by the hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings, make the sanctuary both a unique and an ideal location for intimate acoustic performances. Our hope is that the greater community will visit us and experience the great local talents we have lined up for this premiere season.”
As Ken Hoover of CVNC said in his review of the concert, “The setting of the picturesque Chapel in the Pines provided a warm acoustic ambiance for the unique blend of Women’s Voices Chorus. It seems that each year under the capable leadership of Allan Friedman this ensemble achieves another level of ensemble precision and blend.” It was a delight to sing in such a gorgeous space, and we truly appreciate all the hard work that Nathan and Chapel in the Pines did to make us feel welcome and to help make the concert a success!
Chapel in the Pines is located at 314 Great Ridge Parkway, Chapel Hill. For more information about the concert, check out the Strobilus Music Series website. You can read the rest of the CVNC review here. And follow us on Facebook for more concert news!
Last Saturday, October 11, Women’s Voices Chorus members gathered for our annual Fall Retreat. Only this year, instead of meeting for a closed session of WVC bonding and rehearsing, we were also joined by students from several area high schools for a day full of fellowship and singing that culminated in a combined concert!
The first ever Women’s Voices Chorus High School Festival got off to an early start with warm-ups and a run-through of several pieces of music written for and/or by women. The auditorium of Orange High School rang with the voices of over 150 women singing in beautiful harmony! At a rehearsal break, several members of WVC came on stage to speak to the audience about their experiences with singing after high school and how music has impacted their lives, and then the floor was opened up for questions. We were blown away by the insightful and profound questions the young ladies asked, many of which addressed the ability of music to forge emotional connections and the balance musical activity can bring to lives otherwise dominated by work and family.
After a delicious lunch break provided by WVC, we regrouped to rehearse our combined pieces again. At four o’clock, WVC opened the concert with a short set before the students joined us to sing five songs, bringing the house down with a powerful performance of Gwyneth Walker’s “Never Sit Down,” an anthem celebrating leaders of the women’s suffrage movement.
It was a long day full of hard work, but it was also full of laughter and fun. The goal of the festival was to mentor these bright young women and show them how they can continue performing long after they’ve graduated from high school. We hope the students enjoyed getting to know us as much as we enjoyed getting to know them, and that they will keep singing no matter where life takes them!
The day wouldn’t have been a success without the help of the directors of the schools involved, and we’d like to thank them for joining us: Sydney Sides, Sean Grier, and Amy Davis of the Durham School of the Arts; our own Rachel Spencer of Durham’s Northern High School; Brad Bensen of Cary’s Panther Creek High School; and especially Jane Williams of Hillsborough’s Orange High School, our gracious host!
We also need to thank some of our own for the roles they played in putting the festival together. Meg Berreth deserves thanks for organizing all the lunch details – no small feat when you’re feeding over 150! Rachel Spencer came up with the idea of the festival, so she deserves major kudos as well! And last but certainly not least, a big thank you goes to Laura Delauney, who began organizing the festival in spring 2014, networking with area choral directors to pull everything together!
We are excited to announce the first ever Women’s Voices Chorus High School Festival taking place on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at Orange High School in Hillsborough. The event will conclude with a joint concert at 4:00 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
It is our hope that this event will expose high school singers to new music written for women and by women. We also hope it will serve as a community builder through music and fellowship along with mentorship from our adult singers, who range in age from 23 to 80!
Sunday, July 27, at 3:00 p.m.
United Church of Chapel Hill
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC
Women’s Voices Chorus presented their annual benefit concert on Sunday, July 27, at 3:00 p.m. at United Church of Chapel Hill on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Admission was free, but donations were welcomed and benefited the Inter-Faith Council’s Community House. The new Community House will offer a transitional program to help residents recover from homelessness, rebuild their lives, and become productive members of the community. You can read about how the proceeds from this concert helped the IFC in their latest newsletter, in the Community Support section.
Women’s Voices Chorus made history again on Friday, May 16, with the southeastern premiere of Andrea Clearfield’s “The Long Bright” cantata. Playing to a full audience, WVC, along with a 23 piece orchestra and soloist Susan Hellman, brought down the house with a program dedicated to celebrating the beauty of life and the pain of illness and death.
Harrison Russin of CVNC.org was in attendance and had this to say of the cantata: “This music is beyond the bounds usually sought by community choruses, but Women’s Voices Chorus seemed to delight in the challenge of its complexity. … Clearfield, who was in the audience for the performance, can only be pleased with the impact her music has had on both the musicians and the audience.” For more of his review, click here.
We’d like to thank everyone who made our 20th anniversary year such a success – the musicians who performed with us, the composers who let us use their works, the sponsors who keep us going year after year, but most of all, all our wonderful fans who turned out for this concert and all of our other concerts. We couldn’t do it without you!
Friday, May 16, at 8:00 p.m.
Hill Hall Auditorium, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Andrea Clearfield’s cantata “The Long Bright” anchors this concert, which explores the difficult themes of illness and mourning, as well as those of joy and triumph over adversity. Accompanied by a chamber orchestra, we are delighted to bring you “The Long Bright,” along with pieces by a few of our favorite composers, including Lana Walter’s “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” and Abbie Betinis’s “Be Like the Bird.”
On Sunday, March 23, an audience at First Presbyterian Church in Durham experienced an historical event – the first joint concert between Women’s Voices Chorus and Vox Virorum! Vox Virorum is a men’s chorus ensemble founded in 2012 by director Jeremy Nabors that brings together singers from the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas in order to “hone and renew their love of singing, and to provide a home in the choral community.”
For the concert, Vox Virorum performed pieces by such American composers as Aaron Copeland, Alice Parker, and Robert Shaw. Women’s Voices set consisted of songs that were either commissioned for or premiered by us, including Allan Friedman’s “Songs of Radiance.” At the end of the show, the men and women combined to sing Sergei Rachmaninov’s “Bogoroditse Devo,” conducted by Mr. Nabors, and a tear-the-roof-off rendition of Moses Hogan’s “Elijah Rock” conducted by Allan.
We had an absolute blast performing with such an outstanding group of gentlemen! And we weren’t the only ones who had a great time. Harrison Russin, from CVNC, wrote of the concert, “If a region’s artistic potential and commitment were to be measured by the strength of its community music organizations, the joint concert presented by Vox Virorum and Women’s Voices Chorus on Sunday, would make a case for the Triangle’s artistic leadership.” Read his review here.
Thanks to Vox Virorum for singing with us! Let’s do it again next year.