The Twin Cities Women's Choir (TCWC) was created on August 6, 1997, by its first artistic director, Mary Bussman, and 13 women, some of whom who had previously sung under Mary's direction. It was agreed that this would be a non-auditioned community choir. By May of 1998, the choir performed its first concert with 32 singers. Shortly thereafter a Board of Directors was formed, comprised of both singing and non-singing members. The organization received 501(c)(3) status recognizing it as a non-profit organization. By 2006 the number of choir members reached just over 100 singers and today we are more than 150 voices strong of non-auditioned singers!
Over the years, the organization's mission has remained relatively the same; a diverse community that sings, performs and affirms the voices of women. Since its inception, the Twin Cities Women's Choir has welcomed women from all walks of life into its community. Members hail from all over the Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin and celebrate a diversity of ages, incomes, ethnic origin, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds and ability levels. We perform music from all cultures and traditions and seek pieces that provide musical challenges and meaningful text. Our repertoire includes jazz standards, classical songs, newly commissioned works, folk music from all cultures and sacred music from all traditions.
In 2006, ENCORE! was created, an auditioned ensemble of the Twin Cities Women's Choir. This smaller group is able to bring their gift of song to the larger community by performing at venues or events too small for the entire choir. The choir hired an Artistic Director for this ensemble beginning in 2009. ENCORE! is ready and willing to perform at parties, church services, gala fundraisers, weddings or any event that you might want.
In 2013, the Board was approached by the Twin Cities Girls Chorus (TCGC) to become its fiscal agent. TCGC and ENCORE! had been performing together in an annual spring Women's Concert since 2008. TCGC's mission was to build confident, disciplined, responsible, and compassionate young women into exceptional music-makers, fully capable of participating in a collaborative experience that creates a sisterhood of singers while nurturing positive female relationships. The Board agreed to that fiscal agency, and within a year made the decision to include a girls choir as part of its family under the leadership of one executive director while maintaining separate artistic directors.
In an effort to create a structure that reflects and supports the future of the organization, the Board created Her Voice Productions as an umbrella, with the Twin Cities Women's Choir, ENCORE!, and the Twin Cities Girls' Choir as programs under that umbrella, and with a unified mission, vision, and core values.
To further reflect our new organizational identity, we introduced new branding in 2015. Our longtime graphic designer, Katrina Hase from Mix Creative, distilled stories about what these choirs mean to participants into a guiding principle of "Seriously Fun," reflecting our commitment to musical excellence and one of our core values of having fun. The result is a brighter, bolder color palette, with elements of women and girls, music, and with accents representing each ensemble. In fact, one of the new fonts is called Songbook and was recreated by the designer from old sheet music!
We're very excited about these changes, and we're working hard to continue to provide excellent programming for our participants and our audience, while we evolve into the next new version of this diverse community that sings, performs, and affirms women's and girls' voices.