The Twin Cities Women’s Choir is pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Mary Bussman Emerging Female Composer competition. Sarah Grace Graves, who began her formal composition studies at Rice University in 2014, is already making a name for herself in the music world. TCWC will debut her original composition, chiaroscuro, at its first major concert of the 2015-2016 season: the annual “Illuminations” celebration.
Sarah Grace, who grew up in a military family and now lives in Texas, describes herself as a singer who draws inspiration for her compositions from the unique versatility and beauty of the human voice. Her choral work to date includes Though I Walk through the Valley (2012), silent night (2015), and chiaroscuro (2015). Earlier this year, the Houston Grand Opera’s community outreach division, HGOco, commissioned Sarah Grace to write Change Came into Our Houses, a piece that set to music personal quotes from civil rights activist Unita Blackwell. The piece premiered in Houston April 2015. She does not, however compose exclusively for vocal groups. In 2014 Sarah Grace published To God and to the Lamb, a string duet. As a vocalist, she studies with Karol Bennett and sings in the Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Houston.
In response to the Emerging Female Composer award, Sarah Grace wrote the following:
I am deeply honored to be chosen as this year’s Mary Bussman Composition Contest winner…. My piece, chiaroscuro … relates to the darkness and light in art and in ourselves. The power of art—including music—to speak, heal, and inspire, is in its inclination to force us to reconcile the poles of our being. The title… refers to the technique of painting in which darkness and light are placed side by side in dramatic contrast… to give three-dimensional… wholeness to a two-dimensional subject. When we humans affirm our inner darkness and light, we too become whole. I would like to thank…the Twin Cities Women’s Choir for bringing my song to life. I eagerly look forward to the premiere.
The annual Mary Bussman Emerging Female Composer competition supports the choir's mission to "sing, perform and affirm the voices of women." Along with other compositions commissioned through special funds, this award contributes to an ever-growing body of choral work for women’s choirs.
Photo credit: Eric Snoza, SnoStudios Photography
The Events, by Scottish dramatist David Greig, was written as a response to the shooting attack on a youth camp in Norway in 2011 that took 77 lives. It seeks to explore how the community searches for compassion, forgiveness, peace and understanding in the wake of an unspeakable act. The play sets the anguish and pain of a survivor of a mass shooting against the consoling presence of a choir.
A different community choir sings at each performance. ENCORE! is singing in the final preview and on opening night. In addition to singing throughout the 90-minute play, ENCORE! will present one of its own arrangements before the show begins.
Tickets can be purchased through The Guthrie's website. Mention "CHOIRS" at the box office and get 50% off your ticket.
Press for The Events
From the St Paul Pioneer Press: "The congregation will be played during the Guthrie run by several different choirs -- on opening night, it was an ensemble of 20 or so from the Twin Cities Women's Choir -- who sing half a dozen songs and play supporting roles in the proceedings…. About that choir, though. They're lovely and the women dive gamely into their roles as foils for the two leads.… [T]hroughout the show, the choir on stage functions as a tangible reminder that, although human beings are capable of violent and inexplicable behavior, we can also come together to create beauty and peace."
From Classical MPR: "The presence of these members of our community (at the Friday night performance I saw, the participants were the Encore ensemble of the Twin Cities Women's Choir) on stage is a constant reminder that the victims of these atrocities are ordinary, unsuspecting people. They could be any of us, or our loved ones. The music, composed by John Browne and overseen by musical director Joe Bunker, ranges widely—as the repertoire of any community choir might—from hymns to a jaunty Norwegian coffee song. The singing serves as both source music (that is, music that's part of the story) and score, providing an emotional undercurrent to playwright Greig's kaleidoscopic look at an act of unspeakable violence."
Our fall open rehearsals are coming up on the first two Wednesdays in September: September 2, 2015 and September 9, 2015.
Find out everything you need to know about open rehearsal (including how to RSVP), plus a little about our season and what participation in TCWC entails.
We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you!
Position Title: Administrative Assistant
Reports to: Executive Director
Background: Her Voice Productions has as its programs: the Twin Cities Women's Choir (a non-auditioned community choir), ENCORE! (the auditioned ensemble of the Twin Cities Women's Choir), and the Twin Cities Girls Choir (an educational music experience for 2-12 graders). HVP has recently added the girls choir program. While retaining high quality artistic staff, the organizational structure is evolving to better serve program participants.
Job Summary: The Administrative Assistant works in conjunction with the Executive Director to coordinate and implement effective systems to build our internal infrastructure. We're looking for a tech-savvy person with communications and administrative experience. The ideal candidate will be highly self-directed and detail oriented. Some evening and weekend hours may be required; regular rehearsal attendance is not expected. The ensembles' rehearsal home is Calvary Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Approximately 10 hrs/week during the season (Sep-May), less during the off-season (flexible).
Submissions are now closed. The winner will be announced no later than September 1, 2015.
Twin Cities Women’s Choir (TCWC) seeks original, unperformed compositions from emerging female composers for SSAA choir – either a cappella or with piano accompaniment – that speak to the theme of Illuminations: A journey that may include embracing the darkness along with celebrating the return of light. The composer of the winning piece will receive a cash prize of $1000, an archival recording of the premiere performance in November, 2015, in Minneapolis, MN, and a possible future TCWC commercial recording. Application Deadline: 6/15/2015