Weekend update: Like women's choral music? You'll love this
Fans of women's choral music are in luck. Nearly 500 singers have been attending the Sister Singers Network National Women's Choral Festival hosted by Amasong from Thursday through today at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Two concerts today that are open to the public will feature the local Amasong chorus, followed by two mass choruses of festival attendees. Here's the lowdown, courtesy of staff writer Meliss Merli:
1 The 470 festival participants have come here from throughout the United States. "We've got people from Maine, California and every place in between," said soprano Pam Crews, publicity coordinator for the festival and manager of the 40-voice Amasong Champaign-Urbana Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus. This is the first time Amasong has hosted the annual festival, now in its 11th year.
2 Today the festival is devoted entirely to singing, with Concert Block A from 3 to 5 p.m. featuring the Columbus Women's Chorus, Sistrum: Lansing Women's Chorus, Women in Harmony, and Windsong: Cleveland's Feminist Chorus. Concert Block B from 7 to 9:15 p.m. will feature Amasong, Festival Mass Chorus: Prairie and Festival Mass Chorus: Sky. Tickets to each concert are $10.
3 Each mass chorus will sing separate sets, except for one song commissioned for the festival. The repertoire: all kinds of choral music by women. "There'll be some blues. Amasong is singing folk songs from other countries," Crews said. "One of the mass choruses is singing 'Cradle Me' by Deborah Dougherty, a former Amasong member." Amasong founder Kristina Boerger will direct it.
4 Crews admits she wasn't that excited about hearing a lot of women's choral music when she went to her first Sister Singers Network festival in Chicago. Then she found herself going to all the concerts — and enjoying them. Both concerts today are in the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Each concert will run for more than two hours, with no intermission.