Women’s Voices Chorus (WVC) will perform a spring concert entitled “Saints and Sinners,” Sunday, May 6, at 4 pm, Duke Chapel, Durham, NC. The program features a wide variety of music, and includes Lana Walter’s Magnificat, opera choruses by Bizet and Verdi, and other music about angels, devils, rogues, and saints. For more information contact (919) 684-3855, wvcinfo@yahoo.com. Tickets available at the door and at www.womensvoiceschorus.org, $15 adults, $5 students. Group rates available.

“I’m especially excited about this concert because the music explores one set of extremes in the human condition,” says Allan Friedman, WVC Artistic Director.  “The first half of the concert features music praising various saints from history. The words of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, St. Francis of Assisi, and others are set to sublime music by Renaissance and modern composers. The second half of the concert explores the other extreme of sinners. Legendary sinners like Adam, the Lorelei, the Witches from Macbeth, and Bizet’s Carmen are portrayed in rollicking music. There’s something for every musical taste at this concert, as the choir sings music from Gabrieli to Gershwin.”

WVC President Shelley Hedtke adds, “In choral music we have many opportunities to sing about the transcendent and holy, to bring to life the stories of saints, the Virgin Mary, or noble figures like Harriet Tubman. But we seldom get the chance to play the “bad girl,” the siren, or the witch, so we particularly enjoy this part of the concert! Taking a little walk on the wild side is going to be lots of fun for us, our regular fans, and our new listeners.”

WVC is also known for featuring the works of women composers, some well-known, others less so. Lana Walter’s Magnificat is a highlight of the concert, based on the text of the Gospel of Luke, which describes Mary’s reply to her cousin Elizabeth when praised for her faith. WVC will also sing “Canticle of the Creatures,” the well-known text of St. Francis of Assisi, composed by Theophane Hytrek (1915-1992). Hytrek was a School Sister of St. Francis, leader in the field of liturgical music post-Vatican II. Another work, “Regina Coeli,” the first piece ever commissioned by WVC, is by Katherine Dienes (b. 1970) a New-Zealand-born organist, conductor, and composer. Finally, the WVC chamber chorus will sing selections from “The Nine Orders of the Angels” by Patricia Van Ness (b. 1951), a composer, violinist, and poet who has been hailed as a modern Hildegard von Bingen. Deborah Coclanis will accompany on piano and Jennie Vaughn on percussion.

About Women’s Voices Chorus

The Triangle’s only community-based classical chorus for sopranos and altos has received numerous rave reviews in its nineteen-year history, such as Classical Voice of North Carolina: “a top-flight ensemble […] one of the great artistic gems of the Triangle.” Through their exciting and varied repertoire, they bring to life both traditional and contemporary music written for women’s choirs. They especially enjoy unearthing gems from the past as well as commissioning new works. Much of their repertoire is by women composers. For more information visit www.womensvoiceschorus.org.