Building Community Through Music
The Denver Women's Chorus exists to build community through music.
With origins in the lesbian community, and open to everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Chorus provides educational, cultural and social enrichment through its performances and activities, thereby making a positive contribution to our audiences, members and the entire community.
We are a community chorus of women with equal interests in our music and our social environment. We feel that music should challenge and inspire us, and we do want to be pushed to better ourselves musically, but that interest is balanced with the need to enjoy the experience, each other and the community that we create by singing together.
On October 5, 2007, GALA Choruses, Inc. held its annual Leadership Conference in Denver. All eight of Colorado's GALA-associated choruses performed in The Everything Possible Concert, including RMAA's four choruses. This concert was notable for many reasons, especially as the world-premier of our Mosaic Youth Chorus. Below are links to the three songs we performed that evening. The first track is the introduction of the chorus to the audience by a person very special to RMAA.
Track 1 - Introduction of DWC by Marla Wasson, former Artistic Director
Track 2 - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Words and Music by Paul Simon, Arranged by Kirby Shaw)
Track 3 - Macavity (Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Arranged by Anne Albitton)
Track 4 - Georgia on my Mind (Words by Stuart Gorrell, Music by Hoagy Carmichael)
DWC is a wonderful and diverse group of women. Currently we consist of about 65 voices who range in age from 19 to over 70, representing a wide variety of musical abilities and backgrounds. We seek a balance of music and fun!, rehearsing on Sunday evenings and enjoying a weekend retreat each season in the Colorado Mountains.
We are always seeking new members! The next audition opportunity is January 2013. If you can match pitch, blend with the voices around you and commit to one rehearsal a week, the DWC welcomes you! If you are interested in auditioning, send an email to schedule your audition appointment. Auditions are low stress and fun! Regular rehearsals for DWC are held from 6-9 p.m. every Sunday at Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia Street, Denver, Colorado 80220.
Not a singer? DWC could not function without its support staff. If you are interested in supporting the arts and GLBT issues but can't carry a tune, consider becoming a support staff member. We have a variety of flexible volunteer options.
The Denver Women's Chorus was founded in 1984. Its first director, Carol White, was inspired to return to choral conducting by the festival chorus formed to sing at the national PFLAG conference held in Denver that year. Since that time, DWC has continued to meet and sing, striving to achieve the goal of its mission.
Under the direction of Mark Zwilling, DWC performs two to three concerts annually as well as participate in many local community outreach events. The DWC's activities have included a performance at the Centura Women's Wellness Festival, appearances at athletic events in the Denver and Boulder metro areas, and concerts at the Shwayder Theater, Temple Events Center, Auraria Campus' King Center, Lakewood Cultural Center, DCPA's Stage Theater, and the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts.
DWC's membership in the Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) of Choruses has also led to many exciting travel opportunities. DWC received its GALA charter in 1985 and has been an enthusiastic GALA member ever since. In 1986, DWC traveled to Minneapolis to perform in GALA Festival II, one of the very first all-women choruses to do so. DWC has been to each GALA Festival since: Seattle in 1989, Tampa in 1996, San Jose in 2000, Montreal in 2004, and Miami in 2008. In 1992, DWC was a local co-host of the GALA IV Festival with DGMC in Denver. GALA has given DWC members a chance to work with famous composers and arrangers, and meet other choral musicians from around the world. At last count, there are over 200 GALA choruses world-wide, from Australia to Italy. We are proud to belong to this thriving organization.
Commissioning works by or about women has been a continuing goal of DWC, from the competitions for short works that have been held since 1987 to more ambitious projects. In June, 1997, DWC performed a women's oratorio by noted feminist author and composer, Kay Gardner. The piece entitled Ouroboros, Seasons of a Woman's Life, was performed with many accolades with guest conductor Dr. Antonia Joy Wilson of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra. Ouroboros was commissioned by a DWC member, although DWC was not the first chorus to perform the work. DWC commissioned an oratorio on the subject of breast cancer by composer Diane Benjamin to texts by breast cancer survivors. This work, titled Where I Live, premiered in the Denver Metro area in May of 2000, and was enthusiastically received at GALA 2000 in San Jose. In June 2006, DWC performed their commissioned piece about marriage equality entitled We The People by composer Mark Koval. These last two pieces, Where I Live and We the People, are currently being performed across the United Sates by other concerned choruses. More recently, DWC premiered their newest commissioned piece, Women and War, by composer Diane Benjamin at their concert, Women in War and Peace in January of this year.
DWC has preserved many of its best performances on recordings. In 1993, it recorded and produced its first CD, The First Ten Years: A Decade of Daring, and performed works from that CD at its 10th Anniversary celebration in Boettcher Concert Hall, with special guest artist Margie Adam. The breast cancer oratorio Where I Live was also recorded on CD in March of 2000, before its live premiere.
The Denver Women's Chorus is a program of Rocky Mountain Arts Association. Day-to-day membership and program related issues are managed by the Chorus Council of the chorus.
Denver Women's Chorus - Chorus Council
Pam Duke, President
Jennifer Abeyta, Vice President
Jane Moore, Secretary
Mark Zwilling, Ex-Officio
Mark Zwilling, Artistic Director
Jessica Sweet, Assistant Director
Beth DeBoer, Accompanist & Director, Take Note!