Missouri State University
Springfield , Missouri
Bio: Founded in 2014, the Missouri State University Women’s Chorus is open to all MSU students interested in singing challenging music in a wide range of styles. Women’s Chorus personnel consist mostly of undergraduate students who come from diverse backgrounds and a variety of majors. The Women’s Chorus performs multiple concerts each semester, along with functions both on and off campus. Additionally, this ensemble tours to area high schools and throughout the region, and were recently invited to perform at both the Missouri Music Educators Association 2022 in-service conference and the 2022 SWACDA conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Ensemble Statement: Our ensemble is auditioned and consists of 60 undergraduate students from all corners of campus. The group is diverse in its representation of major, socio-economic background, cultural background, race, gender, and sexual orientation. It is one of eight ensembles offered at our large liberal arts institution. Over half of the group consists of freshman and non-music majors who share a love of choral music – all students are welcome. We seek to inspire listeners through musical excellence and diverse repertoire. We are committed to making music together at the highest level, and to using our music as a force of change in our community. We strive to never take each other or our art for granted. We have built a community of well-being and acceptance based on this shared love: every person is welcome and safe. We continue to seek ways to innovate the performance process so that audience members feel included and engaged. Our programming represents our commitment to this community – we strive to represent our students in every way possible. We also strive to challenge ourselves daily, to ask difficult questions, and to influence all those around us through our choice of music and message. We strive to increase empathy and cultural competence in ourselves and all with whom we interact, and to create an atmosphere of belonging and unity. All of the pieces we sing carry a message relevant to the world our students are living in. As an example, we performed Zanaida Robles’ “No Fairy Tale Here” this past year, which tells the story of Ida B. Wells fighting racism and violence in the post-Civil War south. While this was initially an uncomfortable topic for some of our students, we grew in our ability to tell this important story and share it with our community.