Celebrating the Music in All of Us

I’ve only mentioned this glancingly on the blog before, but I am a proud member of the SoCo Women’s Chorus here in Austin. (For non-Austinites, SoCo is short for South Congress, a famous street here in Austin that is home to fabulous restaurants and shops.) The Chorus began practices in the fall of 2012, so this is our second season.

SoCo Women’s Chorus was the brainchild of Janey Hall, who is the artistic director and one of the most inspiring women you will ever meet. She dreamed of starting an all-female chorus that would also be a service organization for the greater Austin community. Now her dream is a reality. The Chorus empowers its members by helping us find and share our musical voices. It also empowers women in the Austin community through its support of organizations like Safe Place, which provides shelter and other services for victims of abuse. The Chorus’s mission statement is “to give Austin-area women the experience of musical artistry and excellence through choral singing and performing in a group which reflects the area’s diversity and is dedicated to community service”.

I auditioned for the Chorus last spring, less than a week before Lucy died. I still cannot quite believe the timing that brought this group into my life. Even though only Janey and my friend Mary actually knew me at that point and I hadn’t even started singing with the Chorus yet, they said yes when I asked if they would perform my daughter’s favorite song “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” at her funeral. Attending a child’s funeral is never easy for anyone, but a group of these wonderful women learned that song and did that for me, even though most of them had not even met me yet. It was an incredible gift and I will forever be grateful. Becoming a part of this group of women and singing again helped me to heal during one of the most difficult times in my life.

We have a concert right before Christmas, as well as one in May. The theme for the May concert this year is “Americana” and we will be performing a diverse collection of songs that are representative of the United States’ rich musical heritage. From the National Anthem to Aretha, it’s all there. We are also honored to host the Chamber Chorus of the renowned Turtle Creek Chorale from Dallas. They graciously invited a group of us to perform with them last November in Dallas for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. We are thrilled that they have accepted our invitation to perform with us this May.

In order to give back to this group that has already given me so much, I decided to devote today’s blog post to us and our upcoming concert. Our Chorus is growing and striving to become the best we can be. To that end, we have a new, bigger venue, the King-Seabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillotson University. This venue is bigger and more expensive, so we really need to fill those seats as soon as we can. Any way you can help is vastly appreciated and we will give you a great show in return. (We are a 501c3 organization, so simply making a donation is tax-deductible.)

So, for only $20, (Price goes up to $25 after April 25. There is a link below to purchase. Tickets can also be purchased at our Tuesday practice.) you get two choruses performing an amazing array of music. We will each perform a separate set and then one together consisting of four songs. (Of the set we perform together, you might recognize “Buffalo Gals” from the film “It’s A Wonderful Life”, but this ain’t Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed’s version!) Even if you aren’t in the Austin area, you can spread the word via Facebook and Twitter and/or sponsor a song in our program. For $150, you or your business can sponsor a song and have yours or your company’s contribution honored in the program. You can also honor a loved one. (There is a link below to sponsor a song. The deadline is April 17.)

I know that, to some of you, a choral concert doesn’t sound fun if you’re not already a fan of that type of music. But, I promise you, this one will be. Our director Janey is as funny as they come and her passion for the music and empowering women to share their musical gifts is inspiring. The Chorus she founded is a powerful addition to Austin’s celebrated musical scene. So, come out and join us on May 3 at 7:30 pm and/or May 4 at 3:00 pm to celebrate the music of the United States of America and the music that lives inside all of us.

Link to the SoCo Women’s Chorus blog: http://socowomenschorus.wordpress.com/
Link to buy tickets for AMERICANA: http://socowomenschorus.brownpapertickets.com/
Link to sponsor a song: http://www.socowomenschorus.com/

SoCo Women’s Chorus on KXAN, Dec. 2012:


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