The Women’s Chorus of Dallas ramps up for historic 25 anniversary season
In was back in the fall of 1989 when a new group calling itself the Women’s Chorus of Dallas joined up with the Turtle Creek Chorale and took to the stage of Dallas to sing as a unit.
“It was mostly songs more suited to musical theater,” smiles Melinda Imthurn, the chorus’ artistic director for nearly eight seasons.
Imthurn knows exactly what was sung at that first concert, and keeping with the chorus’ sense of history, she plans to revive some of those numbers this September, when TWCD’s launches its landmark 25th season.
“The music is selected and we’re ready to go!” Imthurn says. She has planned a vibrant series of concerts, starting with a party and alumna concert next month to commemorate the anniversary.
“We’re starting with what I call a mini-concert,” says Imthurn about the kick-off party in the Rose Room on Sept. 28. Alumna have been invited to return as guests (and may even be tapped to join in a sing-along) while a smaller group of singers perform showtunes.
From there, Imthurn has mapped out a diverse slate.
The Christmas concert (Dec. 14 at City Performance Hall), built around the theme “Baby, It’s Hot Outside,” will be divided in half: First fun, joyful holiday numbers in a tropical setting (expect leis, pina coladas and grass skirts along with Santa). The second act turning more solemn, and will highlight the chorus’ commitment to unusual and challenging choral arrangements.
“All of the numbers will be accompanied by a string quartet,” says Imthurn, who says numbers will be performed in Swedish, Finnish and Hebrew. “The hardest numbers usually end up being the members’ favorites,” she says.
In March, the concert will coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8) with the concert Cool Beats: Women in Rhyme and Time at the Interfaith Peace Chapel on the campus of the Cathedral of Hope. This concert will feature music by female singer-songwriters.
TWCD concludes its season, as has become a tradition, with its Mother’s Day concert Cantar: Songs to Warm the Heart at the Discovery Gardens on May 11.
“The first half will be influenced by Latin culture,” Imthurn promises, and the second half, of course, “will be all about the moms.” They’ll even provide tissue, since crying is common.
Another development in the chorus’ progression is the growing role of its chamber chorus, called Vivacious.
“We’re amping it up this season,” she says. “This year, they will be doing one outreach concert every month.” It benefits both artists and audiences,
Imthurn says. “Schools don’t have the budget anymore for music [appreciation and concerts],” she laments.
It’s not too late to join the chorus, either. There will be one more open audition call on Aug. 26. It’s a normal rehearsal for current members, but also gives women interested in participating an orientation and chance to meet members and see an actual rehearsal.
And shows that more than two decades later, TWCD doesn’t have to share a stage — these singers have made the stage their own.
TWCD will be holding an open rehearsal, new singer orientation and informational session at the Sammons Center, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd., Aug. 26 at 6:30 p.m. To preregister or for more information, visit TheWomensChorusOfDallas.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 23, 2013.