In the News
VENI,VENI is a fantasy on two verses of the medieval Advent hymn “Veni, Veni Emmanuel.” The piece invokes the light by which we recognize the divinity in all things and the wisdom to live according to the knowledge of that divinity. The soloist’s closing phrase “the light in me greets the light in you” (translated from the Indian greeting Namaste) is for the composer, J. David Moore, the fulfillment of the desire infusing the verses.
As 150 female voices of the Twin Cities Women's Choir join together once a week to blend into a four-part harmony, one voice stands out. Carol Rue, a St. Louis Park resident, was recently recognized with the Jean Loh Award, an annual honor that spotlights one choir member who continuously exceeds the requirements.
The award was presented to Rue on May 18 at the group's annual Divas and Desserts concert. Each year, an individual is honored with this award for their unconditional gifts of time, talent and money to the choir.
My friends from the women's softball league had been encouraging me to check out this choir for a couple of years, and I finally went to the first rehearsal of the season. Before I even entered the Minneapolis church basement door, I knew I was going to be friends with Carol, a woman I just met, who I learned through enthusiastic conversation had gone to grad school with my roommate from Grinnell. That was 1999, and my commitment to the Twin Cities Women's Choir has grown from tentative soprano to board member, Treasurer, section leader, and occasional soloist.
The temperature hovers around -5 at 7 p.m. on a recent Wednesday night. The streets in the area of 39th and Chicago in South Minneapolis are deserted — until you reach Calvary Lutheran Church. There the lot is full, and cars spill out onto the street. Women hurry, with purpose, into a basement room — where they leave their cares behind for the next two hours.
Profile: Mary Bussman conducts the Twin Cities Women's Choir
Mary Bussman's passions are music and justice, one having to do with her driving force; the other with who she is. She indulges the first as director of the 140-member Twin Cities Women's Choir, the other by being an openly gay woman.
Mary Bussman, a 1983 Stewartville High School graduate, directs Twin Cities Women’s Choir
Growing up on a farm near Stewartville, Mary Bussman learned about kindheartedness and the value of hard work by watching her parents, Lawrence and Anna. Now, years later, Bussman still applies simple friendliness and a strong work ethic to her job as a principal of Valley View Elementary School in Columbia Heights. Those traits are also on display when Bussman welcomes new members to the Twin Cities Women's Choir, a group she has directed for more than 10 years. Thanks in part to Bussman's warmhearted spirit, the choir now boasts a current membership of 110 strong, up from the 14 singers who joined the group in fall 1997.