In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Bulgaria. Slovenia. The UK. Canada. The U.S. Latvia. Spain. Finland. Norway. Women’s choirs come from all over the planet, and they sing music from around the world, too. Some of the female choruses are more traditional in their raison d’etre simply to sing wonderful music while others are a bit more specific, dedicated only to the works of women, to raising awareness of issues, or simply to celebrate their cultural origins. The diversity is great to see, and shows how much more there is to music than the sound of it when paired with this lovely sound, it’s a two-fer you shouldn’t pass up!
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Amabile Choirs of London, Canada is an educational program welcoming children, youth and adults who wish to develop their musical talents as part of a vibrant, award-winning chorale organization. (Amabile is pronounced Ah-MAH-bee-lay).
Young people audition for a place in the Choir and are challenged to fulfill the mission of the organization under the direction of dedicated professionals who willingly give their expertise and time for a very nominal fee.
Active in London, Canada since 1985, there are now more than 300 choristers singing with Amabile ranging from ages 8 to adult. Together they form a total of ten choirs - five for female singers and five for male singers. Girls and women move up through the Amabile family of choirs as their voices and experience level develops; the same is true for the boys and young men as voices change and expertise is mastered.
In 1990, a year before beginning her master's degree in choral conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kristina Boerger decided to form what she advertised as a lesbian/feminist chorus called Amasong. The group's name was a play on the words amazon and song. Boerger said, "The word amazon conjures up images of strong women who make their own decisions. It was a way of coding our group in a certain way."
Boerger posted flyers around town about her new choral group, Amasong. Many local women responded to the flyers. A roomful of women showed up at the first choir rehearsal, consisting mainly of lesbians, feminist housewives, and students. The decision to label Amasong as lesbian/feminist was important. In the PBS documentary The Amasong Chorus: Singing Out, produced by Jay Rosenstein, Boerger explained, "There's lesbian-feminism with a hyphen, which refers to women who are lesbian and feminist. But if you put a diagonal slash between, then it means either/or. And that's very important.
The Anna Crusis Women's Choir is recognized as both an agent of social change and a premier performing arts group in the greater Philadelphia region. The Choir is committed to reaching diverse audiences, including people who have little access to the arts, and it supports the work of other progressive social justice organizations by singing at benefits and fundraisers.
Much has changed since Anna's founding in the 70's, when one of its primary objectives was to provide a safe haven for both gay and straight women to find their voices. Anna grew out of the grass roots feminist movement characterized by the local group "Wine, Women and Song. " Formed by songwriters/musicians Judith Palmer (who still sings with Anna) and Wendy Caplan, they composed much of their own music since little about women's lives - from a feminist perspective - was available.
Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine musical, literary, and historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition as they create ingeniously designed programs, interweaving music with poetry and narrative.
In addition to their unmatched medieval repertoire, Anonymous 4 has often reached out into the realm of contemporary music, and has premiered works by Peter Maxwell Davies, John Tavener, Steve Reich, and Richard Einhorn. The group has most recently expanded their repertoire to include traditional music of the British Isles and America.
Aurora Chorus is a 100 plus member women's chorus based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1992 by David York. In 1994, Joan Szymko became artistic director. Open to all levels, Aurora brings together novice and experienced singers to sing songs of peace and justice. Audiences of over 800 at every concert enjoy inspiring, empowering music. Aurora is lead by Joan Symko, a prolific composer whose works are sought after and widely preformed. Performances by Aurora always have Symko compositions sung. Aurora's mission is to inspire and reflect the universal yearning for peace by giving voice to women.
Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont was founded in March of 2004 by Dr. Dawn Willis and debuted their first full concert in May of that same year. The chorus of 45 auditioned singers performs existing and newly-commissioned sacred and secular works for women's voices throughout Vermont and the Northeastern United States. Our name, Bella Voce, is an Italian phrase meaning "beautiful voice" and we strive to achieve this artistic goal at all times. A non-profit organization, Bella Voce is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors guided by Director Dr. Willis' artistic vision.
Bella Voce Young Women's Choir is based in Rochester, Minnesota. Founded in 2007 as part of the independent non-profit organization Sing Out Loud, the choir consists of 65-70 singers in grades 8-12 drawn from communities throughout southeastern Minnesota. Our purpose is to create an inviting and safe community in which young women can share musical excellence, build confidence, and gain perspective about the world through the gift of music. The purpose of Bella Voce is to inspire young women, through singing, to realize their highest potential in order to more broadly impact the world.
The nuns of the Abbaye Notre Dame de l'Annonciation, near Avignon, took a call. It was, improbably, Decca Records asking to visit. The company was launching a global search to find the world's finest female exponents of Gregorian chant - a talent contest for nuns. It had advertised in Catholic newspapers, hired a specialist nun-hunter, followed the leads. Two A&R men turned up at the abbey. The purity of the sisters' singing was obvious at once, yet the search continued: 70 auditions, from America to Africa. And then, in July, although warned that it would not find a more traditional order than the Abbaye sisters, Decca chose this group of 28 women, whose mystique and dignity are enhanced by their refusal to engage with the hype surrounding a record launch. They are wary of the world but say, 'We did this for others, for their spiritual wellbeing; it will bring peace to the people who listen to our music.'
The Vorosmarty Grammar School , celebrating their 20th anniversary next year, has run special music classes from the beginnings formed and built up by Miklos Csik. The beautiful concerts and competition achievements of the first 15 years were all attached to his name. In 2005 Sandor Kabdebo took over the direction of the music classes and became the conductor of the girls' choir as well. Since its formation the choir has been awarded the "Choir of the Year" title several times and among other achievements won First Prizes at the International Choir Competitions in Giessen in 2005, Celje 2009 and Neerpelt 2010. The choir regularly performs at national choral events and is an active participant in the cultural life of Budapest. Their work was acknowledged with the For Budapest Prize in 2006.
The Women's Chorus is a large group of select, versatile singers who perform a diverse repertoire extending from medieval and renaissance works to masterpieces of our own time. Folk music and other varied genres are included in the choir's study and performances. The choir is well known for its beautiful, blended sound from pristine, quiet unison to the majesty of large textured sonorities. Sensitive musicianship and constant improvement are goals for each rehearsal and performance. An audition is required, and a two semester commitment is expected.
Calgary Girls Choir was founded in 1995 by Elaine Quilichini and has flourished and grown under her direction and inspiration. Throughout its career, critics and adjudicators have acclaimed its performances. The repertoire of the Choir ranges from folk song to contemporary classical music with the emphasis always on repertoire of the highest quality. The philosophy that only the best is good enough has been a constant guiding principle. CGC is known for gorgeous resonant tone, impeccable technique and for the artistry and sincerity of its performances.
The Choir has gained renown nationally and internationally. Tours have included Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Wales, England and Italy, in addition to touring extensively in the USA and Canada. The Choir has been featured in numerous radio and TV broadcasts and is a three time winner of the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur choirs.
Cantamus Girls Choir based in Mansfield was founded in 1968 by Pamela Cook, who is still its director. Throughout its career critics and adjudicators have acclaimed its performances. The repertoire of the choir stands at around 250 items - all sung from memory in 13 languages - ranging from contemporary music to folk song. It consists of 44 girls aged between 13 and 19 who attend various schools in the locality and is organized on an independent basis.
The choir's impeccable technique and unfailing ability to captivate its audiences are brought about by its talented team of teachers: Ann Irons, Elaine Guy and Joy Nicol, all of whom were taught by Pamela Cook. They help to develop the girls' organisational skills in addition to their vocal and musical abilities.
The vocal ensemble Carmina Slovenica with its artistic director Karmina Silec is noted for its innovative programming which explores works from the forefronts of the contemporary music scene. With Choregie - vocal theatre or theatre of voices Carmina Slovenica is introducing a concept which incorporates contemporary music, drama, movement and other stage elements.
With this concept of vocal theatre the ensemble performed on stages worldwide - from Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space to the Teresa Carreno Theatre in Caracas, from Hong Kong Cultural Centre to Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Carmina Slovenica has been invited to music events of the highest esteem such as the World Music Days (organized by the ISCM), Moscow Easter Festival, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, the World Symposium on Choral Music (organized by the IFCM), the European Symposium on Choral Music (IFCM), Polyfollia, America Cantat, Choir Olympics, Europa Cantat etc.
The Copenhagen Girls' Choir rates among the best of its kind in Denmark and has its home at the Sankt Annae Gymnasium, the Copenhagen Municipal Choir School. The Choir has a broad repertoire with special focus on new music and popular music. Many composers of stature have felt persuaded to write for the choir, among them Knut Nystedt, Ib Norholm, Svend S. Schultz, Thomas Clausen, Leif Kayser and Michael Bojesen. This music is often taken up by other girls' choirs. The choir also performs older music by composers such as Gabriel Faure and Johs. Brahms.
The Copenhagen Girls' Choir is characterized by its homogenous sound, partly resulting from the fact that the girls are of the same age, partly a result of the careful voice-training that all the pupils of the Sankt Annae Gymnasium go through.
Damenes Aften was founded by Erland Dalen in 1992, and has existed more or less in the same form as then, ever since. The name Damenes Aften (Ladies' Evening) has become a familiar name in the cultural scene in large areas of Eastern Norway.
The choir started out as a women's choir, but was for a short period of time changed into a chamber choir with mixed voices, before it went back to being a women's choir in 1995. It's been a women's choir ever since, with a number of members being at about 16 singers. In October 2007 the choir won three classes in which they competed in Riva del Garda, Italy. They were ranked no. 15 among Musica Mundis Top 1000 choirs, and no. 5 within performers of Sacred Music.
The choir has also performed in a Habaneras-competition in Torrevieja in Spain, as well as many other festivals in- and outside of Norway. They have visited Spain several times, and value the opportunity to travel. Concerts with great artists like Arve Tellefsen, Sissel Kyrkjebo, Bjorn Eidsvag, Ole Edvard Antonsen and Sigvart Dagsland has given the choir wonderful experiences.
Dzintars is the Latvian word for amber, the translucent fossilized pine pitch highly prized in Latvia. Commonly worn in necklaces, bracelets and rings, as a symbol of national identity it signifies beauty, openness, and freedom. The Dzintars choir, the leading female chorale of the region, was founded in 1947 and has evolved into an internationally acclaimed professional chorus. Their awards include Hungary's 1968 Gold Diploma in the Bartok Competition, and the Netherlands' Grand Prix in 1977. The present company includes 76 skilled professional singers, under the direction of Imants Cepitis and Ausma Derkevica.
During their 1989 U.S. tour, the Dzintars stopped at the state-of-the-art sound studios of George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in northern California to record this album with producers Mickey Hart and Jerry Garcia. Drawing upon a rich cross-section of their native Latvian repertoire, both traditional and "avant-garde," this is a pristine showcase of their remarkably pure voices and impeccable harmonies.
With a mandate to inspire and lead in the choral art form through excellence in performance and through the creation, exploration and celebration of women's repertoire, Vancouver's renowned Elektra Women's Choir has taken a leadership role in the international classical women's choir movement.
The choir is known for its adventurous programming, seeking out music written specifically for women and frequently commissioning new works. Its appearances include performances at the distinguished National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (February 2003 and March 1997), including memorable New York performances at Carnegie Hall, Riverside Church, and Avery Fisher Hall. Elektra was honoured to represent Canada at the Fourth World Symposium on Choral Music in Sydney, Australia (August 1996).
Tallinn Children's Choir was founded in 1951 by Heino Kaljuste. In 1969 the choir was named Ellerhein. A year later, Tiia-Ester Loitme began working with the choir as an assistant conductor and since 1989 she has been the choir's chief conductor. The choir's current assistant conductor and music theory teacher is Ulle Sander, the accompanist is Katrin Kuldjarv and the vocal coach is Eha Parg. Ellerhein has received wide international acclaim for its beautiful sound and is the winner of many choir competitions. The choir has received the 1st prize in Celje (Slovenia, 1977), Powell River (Canada, 1988), Giessen (Germany, 1990 and 1997), Tolosa (Spain, 1990 and 1997), Nantes (France, 1993), Tallinn (Estonia, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008), Arezzo (Italy, 1994), Ankara (Turkey, 2005), Wuppertal (Germany, 2007), as well as the European Grand Prix in Tolosa (Spain, 1997), Takarazuka (Japan, 1995), Tolosa (Spain, 1997). In 2007 the choir won the Estonian Radio prize The Best Estonian Choir and in 2008 they won the Grand Prix at the international choir competition Kathaumixw in Canada. At the same competition they also received the 2nd prize in folk & cultural traditions category.
In 1990, a Music Studio was founded under the auspieces of the children's programme of Estonian Television (ETV). Aarne Saluveer (music director of the studio 1990-2004) founded Estonian Television Girls' Choir, ETV Children's Choir and Toddler's Choir, which at present are all among the very top of Estonian Choirs.
In 1997 Aarne Saluveer and Eve Viilup established nonprofit institution Lasteekraan Music Studio, and gained the licence for choir school the same year.
The cast comprises 30 girls of 15 to 21 years of age. The programme includes spiritual and secular music of different ages, folk music with effective dance movements and modern programmes of pop music and jazz. The numerous contest firsts prove their internationally high professional level. The Estonian TV Girls' Choir has collaborated with Arvo Part, Veljo Tormis and other well-known contemporary composers, appeared at a number of international conferences and symposiums and participated in the City of Tallinn programme of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2002.
The Grand Rapids Women's Chorus is dedicated to singing music that celebrates and honors the diversity of women's lives. Drawing on music from many cultures, the Chorus strives to educate and inspire its community to promote justice, peace, and equality.
GRWC is a diverse, volunteer group of 24-48 fun-loving women who are passionately devoted to musical excellence and using the power of music to delight, to uplift, and to advance the cause of social justice. The chorus is widely recognized for its electrifying performances, musical diversity, professional presentation, and success in promoting women's music. The chorus is valued for its connections to community groups and the opportunities it provides for women of varying skill levels to develop their musical capabilities . Two major concerts are presented annually in addition to appearances in a variety of community events and venues. Members of the chorus are inspired and energized by their collective musical experience and the camaraderie and supportive environment they create for each other.
HARMONIES GIRLS CHOIR has been recognized as an "elite" treble choir since its first appearance, in November 2002, for the dedication of St. Thomas Church , where they sang works by Mozart and Michael Praetorius. Since that year, they perform every year at the St. Sophia Orthodox Cathedral with great acclaim at its annual classical Christmas concert. They were soon invited to perform at the Our Lady of Los Angeles Cathedral , where now they are booked frequently for many events and in many other churches in L.A. and outside, including the Mission of St Ynes , in Solvang, CA
In July 2004, HARMONIES traveled to GERMANY to its first international tour since the group was selected to participate as a performing choir at the PUERICANTORES CHOIR FESTIVAL 2004. The girls sang at the Karmelitenkirche and Brendlorenzen in Bad Neustadt; Bad Konigshofen kirke ; the Wurzburger Dome in Wurzburg; Bad Kogahofen Kirke in Kaarst; the Folk im (Dom) Forum and the Great Cathedral of the Magi , in Cologne. The tour was a success, and Mr. Espinal and the choir were widely acclaimed by a warm German audience. Harmonies received reviews on the German newspapers "Bad Neustadt" and "Rhon-u Saalepost".
It was early spring, 1994. Grotesque, yet strangely melodious sounds rose from the basement of North Meridian United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Fledgling director Nancy Hayden was leading the fledgling Indianapolis Women's Chorus through some vocal warm-ups. She made them sigh loudly, sing belly laughs and make various mouth shapes and tongue-flapping sounds that would have gotten you sent away from the dinner table when you were a kid. This, and other hard work, led to the chorus' first public performance, wearing matching teal T-shirts and singing many matching notes, on June 4, 1994, at the National Women's Music Festival. Applause was supportive.
By the December concert that year, the chorus' vocal skills had sharpened considerably, as had its attire. At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, members sang a full program of winter songs ranging from early American to the Far East.
The nature of the applause changed from, "Oh, let's clap; the poor things are trying so hard," to "Wow, they're good!" And so they grew, season by season.
Kanta Cantemus Korua is a women's choir, created in 1995 by its present conductor Javier Busto. K.C.K. has participated in important events and choral cycles in Spain, France, Sweden, USA and Italy, receiving very positive reviews, above all for the vocal quality and expressiveness of the group. The choir participated in the International Competition "Florilege Vocale de Tours" (France) and won first prize in equal voices, second prize in free programme and the Ministry of Culture prize for the "best performance of a French piece". They have won many prizes including the "International Choral Competition in Tolosa" (Basque Country, Spain) and won first prize in equal voices (folklore), second prize in equal voices (polyphony) and the Basque Government prize for the "best performance of a Basque piece". Other awards include first prizes in Ejea de los Caballeros, Tolosa, Aviles, Tours (France), Gorizia (Italy), Spittal an der Drau (Austria), Mainhausen and Marktoberdorf (Germany) plus prizes of composition in Bilbao, Tolosa and Igualada.
The internationally acclaimed Klarup Girls Choir was founded in 1980 as part of the Klarup School Choir. One of the leading choirs in Denmark, it has received much recognition. In 1984 the choir won the Danish choral championship for school choir. Five other wins subsequently followed. They have often been broadcast on Danish radio and television. In 1993 the choir achieved a high placing in the international competition, "Let the People Sing." Led by Jan Ole Mortensen, this choir continues to maintain the high standards of choral singing found across the Scandinavian countries.
Aurora is one of six auditioned choral ensembles at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Established in 1981, the group is comprised of 100 first-year women, selected each fall by audition. They perform on and off-campus for worship services, participate in the annual Christmas at Luther concert and Dorian Vocal Festival, and present a spring concert with the Norsemen, Luther's choral ensemble for first-year men.
The choir has also participated in Luther performances of major choral/orchestral works, such as Beethoven's Mass in C major and Bach's The Passion according to St. John. Conducted by Dr. Sandra Peter since 1992, Aurora has performed at several regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. The word Aurora, Latin for dawn, represents the first light of day, or for these women, the beginning of their college experience and journey as independent scholars.
Named after the painting "Malle Babbe" by the 18th-century Dutch painter Frans Hals, Vrouwenkoor Malle Babbe is a 50-member female choir of Haarlem that was founded in June 1982 by its conductor Leny van Schaik. Their repertoire is wide-ranging, from secular and sacred music to Dutch folk songs. They achieved international acclaim in their performance of "vocal orchestra music" on their album Song of Survival, which was based on music sung by prisoners in a Japanese women's camp on Sumatra during the Second World War.
Comprised of select women's voices from the first year class, the Manitou Singers is one of the most popular music organizations on the St. Olaf College campus. Despite a complete turnover in personnel each year, the 100-voice choir sings at the opening worship service of the college as well as at various campus functions throughout the year such as daily chapel and church services, the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, Family Weekend Concert and its own Spring concert in April. With a repertoire that ranges from sacred to secular to popular ballads, the Manitou Singers have broad appeal both on and off campus.
Mediaeval Baebes' exquisite storybook opened its pages in 1996, when a group of friends broke into a North London cemetery and sang together, clad in flowing white gowns and crowns of ivy.
Pulling lyrics from medieval texts and setting them to original scores using mediaeval and classical instruments, whilst singing in an impressive array of long forgotten languages, the Baebes offered a unique musical beauty and outstanding talent. Their choice of mediaeval texts were dramatic, obscure and dark in topic and remarked upon the inevitability of death, the pointlessness of material possessions, the horror of unrequited love or the dangers of imbibing too much alcohol. Some themes are timeless!
Founded by Jenny Clarke, Executive Director, in 2003, Melodia Women's Choir is a fresh voice on the New York choral scene. An ensemble of 32 singers, Melodia explores and performs rarely heard music for women's voices in many different styles, and nurtures emerging women composers through commissions, residencies and performances. Under the direction of Cynthia Powell, founding conductor and Artistic Director, Melodia has performed at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in collaboration with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, and the Surrogate's Courthouse as guest artists at Women History Month Celebrations for the NYC Comptroller. We have been heard on WNYC radio and seen on NBC TV.
The Milwaukee Choral Artists (MCA) is Wisconsin's premier professional choral ensemble, and one of only five professional women's choral ensembles in the country. With its signature lush sound, MCA brings a distinctive repertory of choral and vocal masterworks-including well-known pieces, new music, seldom-performed works, and music of diverse cultures and historical periods-to concert audiences throughout the region.
Founded in 1998 as a chamber ensemble comprised of professional solo singers, MCA occupies a singular position of excellence in the city, state, and region. In December 2007, Tom Strini, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Music Critic, named the Milwaukee Choral Artists-Present Music collaborative performance of Olivier Messiaen's "Trois Petites Liturgies" (with MCA's Sharon Hansen conducting) the #1 Performing Arts Event of the Year. Two years previously, MCA's "Liederabend" was named the Journal Sentinel's #1 performing arts event of 2005; of the top ten events named that year, MCA held two positions.
Mirinesse is Old English for "joyful women". The singers of Mirinesse Women's Choir are an auditioned group of approximately sixty women, ages 21-70, who enthusiastically and joyfully share their love of music, and strive to model the highest level of musicianship, artistry and individual vocal ability. To that end, co-conductors Rebecca Rottsolk and Beth Ann Bonnecroy seek out challenging and diverse repertoire from historic and contemporary sources throughout the world. That high-level repertoire then becomes the vehicle for education in performance practice, cultural context, language and understanding of text, musicianship and vocal technique.
Musae is a women's vocal ensemble based in San Francisco. The group takes its name from the original "ladies of song," the classic nine muses of Greek mythology. Since its founding in 2004, Musae has performed diverse and accessible music throughout the Bay Area, and continues to stretch the boundaries of traditional repertoire for women's voices.
Musae functions as a musical collective in which each singer identifies as a leader and soloist contributing actively to the artistic process. The group's fourteen singers are trained in the choral tradition, but not bound by it. Each singer may sing a range of voice parts based on the aesthetic demands of the music, and the group performs largely without conductor.
MUSE is a women's choir dedicated to musical excellence and social change. In keeping with our belief that diversity is strength, we are feminist women of varied ages, races, and ethnicities with a range of musical abilities, political interests, and life experiences.
We are women loving women; we are heterosexual, lesbian and bisexual women united in song. We commission and seek out music composed by women, pieces written to enhance the sound of women's voices, and songs that honor the enduring spirit of all peoples. In performing, we strive for a concert experience that entertains, inspires, motivates, heals, and creates a feeling of community with our audience.
Northwest Girlchoir promotes artistic excellence by and for young women through extraordinary performance and education experiences, in a community that fosters personal growth, friendships, and respect for diversity.
Five auditioned choir levels-Fresca, Amabile, Vivace, Amore, and Ensemble, serve 170 choristers, grades 3-12. Three non-auditioned programs, Songbirds, Music Makers and Prep Choir, serve girls age 4 - Grade 2.
The Ohio State University Women's Glee Club was established in 1903. This ensemble has the distinction of having been the first campus musical organization to appear in concert in Mershon Auditorium. Membership in the Women's Glee Club has steadily inscreased over the years, as the ensemble becomes better known within the OSU community. The WGC represents a wide variety of majors and interests, with singers ranging from freshman to graduate students. Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt has been the director of WGC since 1993.
The Peninsula Women's Chorus (PWC) is a Palo Alto-based, 50-voice women's choir performing high-quality classical and contemporary music in the Bay Area and many parts of the world. Committed to excellence in the performance of diverse and challenging choral literature for women's voices, the PWC has come to national and international attention through live performance and recordings and has added significantly to the choral literature by commissioning new music. The chorus inspires and enriches its audiences in the Bay Area through its concert series, its ongoing program of premiering new works, and its numerous collaborations with other Bay Area performing groups.
The Helsinki-based women's choir Philomela was started in 1984 at the instigation of the Helsinki Chapter of the Finnish Amateur Musicians' Association (SULASOL) and the Culture Board of the City of Helsinki. Philomela has 45 members, half of whom are students and the other half already in working life. Philomela aspires to perform choral music as extensively and ambitiously as possible. The choir aims at mastering both traditional and modern music, sacred masses and light music, singing styles originating from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, as well as the works of contemporary composers, many of whom have dedicated works to Philomela. The choir is known for its experimental choreographies and its chameleon-like ability to transform its style and appearance according to each occasion and venue. In spring 1998, the choir appeared in the Helsinki City Theatre production of The Sound of Music. Philomela's goals were set high at the outset. Due to goal-oriented work, the choir has risen to the top of Finnish choral music, and it has also received acclaim abroad. Philomela has produced numerous radio recordings, and in 1991 it received the Amateur Music Award of the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (YLE). In the same year, Philomela was nominated Choir of the Year by the Finnish Women's Choir Association.
In 1989, thirty-nine singers attended the first rehearsal of the Girlchoir. As we enter our 20th Season, 130 singers experience the challenge of mastering complex and exciting music; make lifelong friends in a unique musical community; work with world-class choirs, composers, and conductors; and perform beautifully. Singers in five progressive ensembles, ranging in age from 6 to 18, travel from throughout the metro-Portland and SW Washington areas to participate in Girlchoir's comprehensive choral music program.
Saint Mary's College Women's Choir, a select 40-voice ensemble, regularly commissions and performs new works for women's voices. An outgrowth of this emphasis is the publication of the Saint Mary's College Choral Series, a collection of new works for women's voices, published by earthsongs of Corvallis, Oregon. The Choir has performed throughout the United States and has appeared before state and division conventions of the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Directors Association. In February 2005, the Choir appeared before the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles, performing in Wilshire Christian Church and the new Walt Disney Concert Hall. Each November the Choir hosts the annual Saint Mary's College High School Women's Choir Festival, in which 20 choirs from neighboring states perform for each other and a panel of commentators. The Choir tours nationally every other year, and regularly performs with the University of Notre Dame Glee Club in joint performances of major works with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. They have appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall in 1999 and 2001, and returned there in November 2005 to perform music by Gwyneth Walker for women's voices and orchestra.
For more than 30 years, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has been recognized as one of the world's most respected vocal ensembles. Its level of training, performance, quality, range, and leadership in commissioning music for treble voices are lauded by musicians, critics, and audiences. San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas says, "The San Francisco Girls Chorus is a treasure. Their training, musicality, and vibrant spirit are evident whenever they perform. I have enjoyed our long association and look forward to many years of collaboration."
SFGC's 30th Anniversary season, 2008-2009, culminated in a performance in President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony, and a debut concert at Alice Tully Hall at New York's Lincoln Center.
The Sandefjord Girls' Choir was founded in 1956 by its conductor Sverre Valen. The choir first made an international name for itself in 1969 when it won the BBC world contest "Let The People Sing". Since then the choir has won many contests such as the "Weltjugenfest fur Musik" in Vienna. The choir tours extensively in Europe and the United States. It has taken part in many international music festivals and sung in famous concert halls and cathedrals such as Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, St Mark's Cathedral in Venice and St. Peter's in Rome. Their reviews have always been excellent and are truly a youth choir of international standing.
The Santa Fe Women's Ensemble offers quality performances of choral music for women's voices, presenting innovative and inspiring music from many centuries. The Ensemble encourages the writing of new music for women's voices by commissioning compositions, promotes the recognition and appreciation of women's choral repertoire, and develops the performance opportunities and musical skills of its members with its commitment to excellence.
This year, the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble celebrates our 30th consecutive season with the 2010 Christmas Offering concerts. The singers will perform music inspired by the season in the exquisite historic Loretto Chapel. The program will feature the world premiere of Two Andalusian Songs by internationally renowned composer Stephen Paulus, who will be present for the opening concert.
Founded in 1982, SGC provides a comprehensive and progressive choral education with an emphasis on classical music and ensemble performance, music theory and composition for girls in the Puget Sound region between the ages of 6 and 18. During their years with the choir, the girls gradually acquire musical and performance skills appropriate for their level of development, from the youngest singers in our Dolcine choir, ages 6-7, to our most accomplished high school aged Prime Voci choir. The choir regularly collaborates with other Seattle area arts organizations and performs at some of the most prestigious national and international choral festivals and competitions.
Sistrum, Lansing Women's Chorus, is a women's community chorus that has been making music for over 25 years. Founded on ideas of social justice, feminism, and creating beautiful music for both ourselves and our community, Sistrum can be found singing at many area events and celebrations as well as traveling across the US to choral events and conferences. Winner of a special Joy of Music citation from The American Prize for artistic vision and infectious performances, Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn is Sistrum's second CD and presents their first commissioned piece of music. Our name comes from a musical instrument, a rattle used in ancient Egypt. It was kept in constant motion as a symbol of Isis, the sacred and ever-changing Life Force. Likewise, we draw upon the words, music, and energy of women composers, arrangers and poets to inspire, empower, and entertain our audiences.
Founded in 1966 the Sofia Chamber choir is one of the brightest phenomena in the modern Bulgarian choir-performing art. The choir is a laureate of many special awards including 18 first place prizes from international music competitions. It has toured in Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey, Hungary, France, Czech Republic and Japan. The choir has realized records and concerts for Bulgarian and foreign radio and television companies, gramophone records for "Harmonia Mundi", "Pate Markoni", "Melodia", and "Balkan-ton". The repertoire of the choir includes works from the Renaissance period to the most prominent representatives of the music from the 20th century. The Bulgarian composers and their works, some of which were written especially for the choir, take a great place in its programs.
Sound Circle, based in Boulder, Colorado, was founded in 1994 and has performed with many local artists, including choreographer Mary Wohl Haan, Helander Dance Theater, and the the Colorado Music Festival, and in support of numerous local organizations. Sound Circle has released two CDs, Sound Circle, and Stick Around. Committed to the creation of new music that is relevant to our lives, musically innovative, and of the highest quality, Sound Circle has commissioned many new works, developed percussion/improvisation/movement pieces, performed original music by members of the ensemble, and created new arrangements of many works.
The mesmerizing voices of Oslo's Trio Mediaeval have captivated the concert world with their breathtaking performances and recordings of a diverse polyphonic repertoire that features medieval music from England and France, contemporary works written for the ensemble, and traditional Norwegian ballads and songs. Founded in 1997, the Grammy nominated Trio Mediaeval developed its unique repertory during intense periods of work at the Hilliard Summer Festivals in England and Germany between 1998 and 2000, and subsequently with Linda Hirst and John Potter. "Singing doesn't get more unnervingly beautiful," wrote Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle, who declared their San Francisco debut "among the musical highlights of the year." He added, "To hear the group's note-perfect counterpoint - as pristine and inviting as clean, white linens - is to be astonished at what the human voice is capable of."
The mission of the Tucson Girls Chorus is to prepare a diverse group of young women to be confident leaders through participation in a well-constructed educational program that emphasizes music, performance, leadership training and community service.
Vesnivka, founded in 1965 by Halyna Kvitka Kondracki, is an acclaimed and award winning women's choir based in Toronto, Canada. The 40 member choir grew out of the Ukrainian-Canadian community of Toronto and its surrounding area and is considered to be one of the most prominent and respected women's choirs in North America. In 1993, Vesnivka attended its first International Choral Competition in Llangollen, Wales and won first place in the Folk category, competing against 22 world-class choirs. At the closing of the choral competition, the Choir performed at the grand finale and was awarded the esteemed W.S. Gwynn Williams International Trophy for outstanding performance. In 2000, Vesnivka Choir travelled to Linz, Austria where it competed in the 1st Choir Olympics and won a Silver Medal in the Folklore A Cappella category. Vesnivka Choir continually commissions Canadian composers in order to develop its repertoire, to provide for these creative individuals a venue for their talents and to introduce these new and wonderful sounds to choral audiences. These include: Larysa Kuzmenko, Zenoby Lawryshyn, Alexander Levkovich, Willi Hwozdetcky and Evhen Stankovich.
The organization was founded in January 1997 by Dr. Iris S. Levine and Stacey L. Poston. When the 21 founding members of Vox Femina Los Angeles (VFLA) first appeared on stage as guest artists with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) in April 1997, their much-heralded debut added a sparkling new dimension to the cultural life of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan region.
Since that time, VFLA has quickly established itself as one of the premier women's choruses in the United States with a demonstrated ability to perform highly eclectic repertoire, some of which can be heard on several recordings. It has actively fulfilled its mission through an aggressive schedule of performances, touring and educational outreach . VFLA has demonstrated its support and encouragement of living composers through commissioning new works.