Women’s Voices, Women’s Music

Composer Lana Walter meeting with WVC in 2010

It’s in our constitution that Women’s Voices Chorus seeks to “promote choral works by and for women.” On our upcoming tour, we’ll be singing many works by female composers, including:

  • Canticle of the Creatures – Sister Theophane Hytrek
  • Selections from Magnificat – Lana Walter
  • Michael, Seraphim from The Nine Orders of Angels – Patricia Van Ness
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – arr. Nina Gilbert
  • Ave Maria – Paola Tillen
  • Wade in the Watah – Ysaye Barnwell

Our founder, Mary Lycan, wrote a series of papers and talks about the history of women’s choral music, which you can find here. She writes in an engaging, conversational, and often funny style about her work compiling a huge database of choral works written by women for women, and about breaking down the stereotype that “before 1800, a composer was a German guy in a powdered wig” and “after 1800, a composer was a German guy with bad hair.”

Lycan stresses the importance of “real repertoire” for women’s choirs. That is, repertoire that’s not just SATB music transcribed for treble voices, music that takes seriously the project of composing for women’s unique vocal capabilities. One of the moments in history that she highlights is music for 18th-century Venetian girl’s orphanages, and coincidentally, we’re going to sing one such piece, a selection from Magnificat by Nicola Porpora, in the very Venetian orphanage for which it was designed!

This entry was posted in pre-tour and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *