Entertainment » Music

"DIVAS" Take to the Stage

by Lisa Lipsey
Friday Nov 30, 2012

Tell me about the show, "DIVAS."

"DIVAS" is a really fun concert celebrating strong female artists, we've designed the concert to represent our own twist on the idea of divas, women artists who are powerful, confident and known for challenging norms and taking risks. We'll be singing songs from various genres-disco, R&B, Broadway, soul and pop. There will be something for everyone, selections include: "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler's hit "From a Distance," "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan, a Salute to Aretha Franklin medley, "You Don't Own Me," by Leslie Gore and "True Colors" by Cindy Lauper.

What's the best part of being a member of SDWC?

It's a place where women can come together to sing quality, meaningful and fun music. The chorus fosters a compassionate, safe space for women to create and find their voice and we have a lot of fun together!

I joined SDWC when I was 22 and in very many ways I feel like I've grown up there. I've found my voice, had the opportunity to perform in front of the most amazing audiences-in San Diego and throughout North America. I've mostly gotten over some pretty serious stage fright and uncovered a hidden leader within myself. It's hard to believe when I joined the chorus that I hated public speaking and was terrified of solos. Through SDWC, I've fallen in love over and over again with singing and the experience of creating music. It's not just a group of women who come together to make music; we really are a family. Even as we've doubled in size from 18 months ago, we really try hard to retain that sense of community.

It sounds like a wonderful family! Are you accepting new members?

We will be accepting new members the first Sunday in January. We'll be rehearsing for our May concert, "Women Rise." We are a non-audition chorus and just ask that our members be able to match pitch to the piano and are committed to our mission statement. If people are interested in joining us, they can contact us at membership@sdwc.org.

Tell me about your best moment on stage.

Performing in Denver was probably one of the highlights, I was so proud of our set and of the hard work my chorus mates did to prepare for the performance. We sang a song called "What Matters," written by Randi Driscoll after Matthew Shepard's murder. The song is an incredible testament to Matthew's life and the unconditional love of his family. I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience...or for any of us singing. We performed to a sold out crowd, which included many of the
men from our brother chorus, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus. They cheered for us and held up signs; it was the biggest high ever! There's nothing like performing to a room full of singers, they get it, they just want you to do well and love you for being there.

Anything about SDWC, or the upcoming show that I didn't ask you?

One thing many people ask about is what we mean when we say that we are a lesbian-identified or allied chorus. Our roots within the LGBT choral movement are important to us, but we have always been and will always be welcoming to all women, regardless of sexual orientation. In the 10 years I've been in the chorus, I've really seen the number of straight allies in the chorus grow. We are attracting amazing, feminist-minded women.

Our target demographic, both in membership and audience is people that believe in equality and appreciate the message of love, equality, hope and acceptance that we sing about. We encourage any woman who loves to sing to sing with us; our members right now range from 17 to mid-70. One of members just left us to go to college, she and her mom started singing with us when she was just 13. Our current youngest member is a senior in high school!

The San Diego Women's Chorus show "DIVAS" has two performances, Saturday, December 8 at 7p.m. and Sunday December 9 at 3p.m. and both performances are at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest. For tickets go to sdwcdivas.brownpapertickets.com, for more information about the chorus go to sdwc.org.

Copyright Rage Monthly. For more articles from Rage visit www.ragemonthly.com


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