Rubber Ducky, You’re the One!

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Want a chance to win $1000? Or a $250 gift certificate to one of your favorite stores? Simply adopt a duck for $10! Women’s Voices Chorus is partnering with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Sunrise Rotary Club for the 2015 Rubber Duck Race on Saturday, June 6, at West Point on the Eno. You can “adopt” a rubber duck for $10; that duck is then numbered and entered into an actual river race. The adoptive parents of the 20 winning rubber ducks get to pick from a long list of fabulous prizes!

Ducks can be adopted as follows: 1 for $10; 6 for $50, 13 for $100; 35 for $250; or a whole herd of 175 for $1000! For every duck adoption through WVC, $5 will go to Sunrise Rotary for their global and local service projects and $5 will go directly to Women’s Voices Chorus.

Ready to adopt one or more ducks? Simply email WVC, contact any chorus member, or download the application and mail it to Women’s Voices Chorus, P.O. Box 2854, Chapel Hill, NC 27515. Please make all checks payable to “Sunrise Rotary Club.” Applications will be accepted until Monday, April 20.

Spring Retreat 2015

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Allan demonstrates the unnamed eleventh element of music: Jazz Hands.

 

We had a wonderful, educational, and productive retreat this past Saturday, February 28! Our president, Shelley Hedtke, so eloquently described it as “one of the most interesting, uplifting and just plain brilliant retreats we have had since I have been a member. Allan delivered a veritable seminar on musicianship!”

We met at United Church of Chapel Hill for a day of fellowship and fun.  Every retreat is different, and for this semester’s gathering, Allan focused on defining the Ten Elements of Music: Notes, Technique, Rhythm, Articulation, Tone/Diction, Dynamics, Phrasing, Emotion/Feel, Space, and Listening.  He periodically read excerpts from The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten, a Grammy award-winning solo artist and member of the musical group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.  Although Wooten is primarily a bassist, not a singer, his novel spoke to us all as musicians and helped reinforce the elements that Allan emphasized.

Allan beautifully paired each of these elements with different pieces to amazing results. We were truly able to hone in on what it means to be a musician, not “just a singer.” We are so grateful for Allan’s guidance and support, and hope to show you the fruit of our hard work in our upcoming concert, Love Notes, in April!

Awakenings: Songs of New Birth and Origins – Winter 2015

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Sunday, January 25 at 3:00 p.m.
University United Methodist Church
150 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill

As January opens the new year, WVC presents intriguing music about origins and new beginnings, featuring stirring pieces about spiritual rebirth, young love, springtime, and the rise of social movements. We’ll sing both sacred and secular music, including works by Britten, Victoria, and contemporary female composers Lana Walter, Patricia Van Ness, Joan Szymko, and Rosephanye Powell. This season’s repertoire also broadens the boundaries of choral music with works that use innovative vocal techniques.

Tickets are $5.00 for students and $15.00 for adults. You can purchase tickets through our website, from any chorus member, or at the door on the day of the event.

Free childcare will be available on-site during the concert. Childcare will be managed by experienced UUMC staff in the education wing down the hall from the sanctuary. To reserve a spot, please email us the number of children and their ages by Monday, January 19 at contact@womensvoiceschorus.org.

Click here for parking tips from the UUMC website.

WCHL’s Hometown Hero of the Day!

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!

Interview with WCPE’s Preview!

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!

 

Strobilus Music Series

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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!

 

 

WVC High School Festival

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! 

 

 

Women’s Voices Chorus High School Festival

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!

2014 Summer Benefit Concert

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.

“The Long Bright” Brings a Close to Our 20th Anniversary Year

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!