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!

 

The Long Bright – Spring 2014

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.”

Vox Virorum & WVC – Making Beautiful Music Together!

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Vox Virorum & Women’s Voices Chorus

 

 

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.”

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“Bogoroditse Devo” conducted by Jeremy Nabors

 

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.

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“Elijah Rock” conducted by Allan Friedman

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.

Rehearsal Cancelled – Monday, March 3

No rehearsal tonight due to the likely inclement weather.

Check your email for suggested pieces to practice this week!

Finding Our Bright Light at Spring Retreat

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Allan with Andrea Clearfield

This past Saturday was our annual Spring Retreat, a chance for us to gather in fellowship and work intensively on our spring concert program.  This year, we were honored to have composer Andrea Clearfield join us.  We will be performing Dr. Clearfield’s cantata “The Long Bright” in mid-May.  Dr. Clearfield was kind enough to make the treacherous journey through ice and snow to work with us for the day and share the vision behind the piece.

Dr. Clearfield, an award-winning composer and former Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, was originally commissioned to write “The Long Bright” by David Wolman in honor of his wife, Anni Baker.  Anni passed away from breast cancer, and David had written a series of poems between her diagnosis and her death.  Using those poems as the text, Dr. Clearfield wrote a cantata for a treble chorus, soprano solo, and orchestra.  Anni had been a coloratura soprano whose singing career spanned from Broadway to opera and beyond, and Dr. Clearfield used these various aspects of her musical history to make the piece a celebration of Anni’s life.  For example, there are snippets of musical theater themes in the “There Was a Time” movement, and a section from Anni’s own folk opera composition is included in the final movement.  There is also a five-note theme that is repeated and varied throughout the cantata.  That short, gentle melody is sung by the chorus to the words “Do not fear the view.”

Hearing the inspiration behind the movements helped us to better understand the cantata and how to perform it.  At first glance, it appears that the piece is about crossing over, the title referring to the light at the end of the tunnel.  But, as Dr. Clearfield pointed out, the “long bright” light can also refer to the undying hope for a breast cancer cure, and to the “bright fierceness of our lives.”

When commissioning the piece, David Wolman wanted to remember that beautiful brightness of his Anni, but he also wanted to raise awareness about breast cancer and funds for the cure.  The cantata premiered in Philadelphia on April 26, 2004, as a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  We are proud to be performing this piece in cooperation with UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center and the Duke Cancer Center.  Women’s Voices Chorus is dedicated not only to performing pieces that are written by and for women, but also to celebrating the lives of women.  With “The Long Bright,” we aim not only to highlight local cancer research, but also to rejoice in the bright cycle of life in which we all share.

We hope that you’ll join us on Friday, May 16 at Hill Hall Auditorium at UNC as we bring you “The Long Bright” complete with a 22-member orchestra and soprano soloist.  Check the Concerts page for more info, and our Store to buy tickets.  For now, we’d like to thank Dr. Clearfield for helping us to bring her profoundly moving composition to life!

For more information on Andrea Clearfield, check out her website and Facebook page, and to learn more about “The Long Bright” as well as hear several snippets, click here.

Songs of My Sisters – a Smashing Success!

We’d love to thank all who came out to support us at University UMC and First Presbyterian this past weekend for our winter concerts.  The premiere of artistic director Allan Friedman’s The Nine Muses was a hit with audiences – and we loved every moment singing it as well!  As this wonderful review from CVNC states, “[It] is a wonderful piece, filled with lots of variety and good humor. Knowing his singers well, Friedman scored the piece with their abilities and ranges in mind but with just the right level of challenge. … Everyone sang with great heart.”

We hope we’ve inspired you to keep up with us during our 20th anniversary season.  In addition to finding the latest news here, you can follow us on our Facebook page for more updates.  Be on the lookout for more info about our spring concerts, including an upcoming show with Vox Virorum!

Songs of My Sisters – Winter 2014

Our winter 2014 concert was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Women’s Voices Chorus. We proudly support the work of active composers and the concert featured music arranged for or commissioned by WVC, including the world premieres of “My River Runs to Thee,” by Jayne Swank, and “The Nine Muses,” by our artistic director, Allan Friedman, an eclectic piece celebrating the mythic sisters who inspire artists of all kinds.

WVC 20th Anniversary Article from The Daily Tar Heel

Today’s edition of The Daily Tar Heel has a lovely article about our 20th anniversary concerts this weekend.  You can read the article here

We hope to see you Saturday at 7:30 pm at University UMC in Chapel Hill, or Sunday at 3:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Durham.  Tickets will still be available at the door!