The Story of the Chorus

Chorus old picture

The Story of the Chorus

The story of the chorus is the story of women’s lives. We move, break up, have children, retire, lose loved ones, get new jobs, make friends, have grandchildren, grow ill and heal, and sing. Because what else can you do? But breathe in. Then sing out.

It began in 1999. We sang at my house, we sang at the school. I learned to teach a song, to arrange parts that I like. We sang open stage at Beaner’s, we sang in our classroom, the audience sitting in our usual places. We met Sowah and sang with him. We met Sowah again. I wrote Dark Swallows Day just for the chorus, and taught it first at a party we had at winter solstice.

I almost gave it up. Then I didn’t get the other job. More time for music. We sang at Carmody’s. Carolyn and Chris all supportive, but they were a half an hour late and we were already out of music. Ha. Still they showed up; I’ve been trying to expand our repertoire ever since.

Then we sang at Sunrise Assisted Living in Two Harbors. Then we sang at Homegrown. Experimental Tuesday at Sacred Heart. And we got asked back for Duluth Does the Grand Ole Opry. Sing whatever you want. Will the Circle Be Unbroken. And it sounded so good.

Then people started to pay attention. A little bit. We got the grant to bring Sowah to work with us. We had a concert with him at the Weber. I loved the space on that stage. Room for chairs for everyone.

I tried to maintain my original idea while recognizing the singers who had worked so hard to bring this music to life. We started Sing! 2. More time to add more music.

This year at Homegrown we met and sang with Alan Sparhawk. Cool. It’s easier for me these days to convince the women I talk to that they want to sing with us. I’ve always been an advocate. Don’t tell me you can’t sing; that’s the quickest route into the chorus.

I love every woman who has walked through the door to sing with me. Singing is a primary connection. I do believe it’s from this ground that love arises.

photo - Jason Wussow

photo – Jason Wussow

Don’t forget to join us at our 15 year celebration concert

About Sing! A Women's Chorus

Founded in 1999 by director Mags David, Sing! A Women’s Chorus is based in the Duluth Public Schools Community Education program. This ensemble is open to all registrants. Music is learned through the oral tradition, allowing singers at all levels of experience to participate. We sing traditional music from the U.S., Europe, and West Africa, and original songs written for the chorus by Mags David.
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