Stronger than silence, louder than hate

Posted: May 11th, 2018 | Arts & Entertainment, Music, Top Story | No Comments

Albert H. Fulcher | Editor

Women’s Chorus delivers mighty performances with “Voices”

April 29 was a powerful night of musical performances for the San Diego Women’s Chorus as they performed its spring concert “VOICES: Stronger than Silence. Louder than Hate.” Held at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center, The venue — Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center — was the perfect setting for the afternoon of inspiring, enabling music.

The use of spoken word during many of the songs was brilliant in design and added to the theme of the concert. With a diverse array of musical arrangements, the theme of this sonata never lost the meaning of the significance of this formidable performance.

The San Diego Women’s Chorus performing “Voices: Stronger than Silence. Louder than Hate.” at Lincoln High School Performing Art Center on April 29. (Photos courtesy of Sarah Soto Photographics)

Although there were many strong performances, my favorite standout was a song I have never heard about, “When I Was a Boy.” Hearing the story about the life of a transgender male, who always felt trapped in his woman’s body and wrote the song just prior to his death, brought a meaning to the words that might have otherwise been lost. But it was a beautiful arrangement that allowed his words to be heard about LGBT rights that those before us never had. Its message was so loud and clear, I still am thinking about this song and its relevance in our society today.

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” from the musical “Hamilton” was another phenomenal choice in artistic direction. With the use of narrators and soloist Cary Lynn Feller, it was a perfect fit translating a well-known song into an anthem of LGBT history and its future.

“Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” a timeless piece of music that was written during the Vietnam War protests, was also a splendid performance. It reminded me of needless wars and conflict — past and present — and that we need to learn from our previous mistakes to make a better future for all. My hope is that the audience understood the relevance and worth that these words have today.

“Teach Your Children” (Graham Nash) evoked a similar message. Bringing a smaller ensemble up to the front of the stage, including children present who sang along made this a touching and memorable performance.

San Diego Women’s Chorus Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen leads the audience to sing along with the chorus. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Soto Photographics)

With beautiful harmonies, exceptional soloists, and the consistent use of the spoken work, there was not a single melody in the afternoon’s performance that was not moving, powerful or engaging. The artistic direction of all of these arrangements really brought home the intended message of the Women’s Chorus.

The San Diego Women’s Chorus has some exciting upcoming events, after an already record-breaking season of performances. An ensemble from the chorus will be traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan from June 27 – July 21 to participate in the Sister Singers Choral Festival, which occurs every four years and brings together feminist women’s choruses from around the country. Hanson has been asked to conduct a newly commissioned work as part of the festival’s mass chorus.

During Pride Week, the chorus will present its next concert “A Million Dreams” at the Irenic in North Park. There are some new commissions that the chorus gained, which will likely make the next concert as successful as its spring concert. It is promised to be an upbeat, fun, family friendly concert to kick off Pride weekend.

— Albert Fulcher can be reached at

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