Every Wednesday evening, Teresa Caldwell smiles as she climbs into her car and heads out to her WomenSing rehearsal.
“I love the opportunity to sing with a chorus that has high standards and a lively repertoire,” she says. “Once a week I get to park everything mundane and work with my fellow singers, Martin, and Paul to create something beautiful. It is a great energizer and stress-reliever. Plus I have had the opportunity to meet so many fun, interesting and talented women.”
Teresa, who is finishing her second year with the chorus, chose WomenSing because she was intrigued by the Youth Inspiring Youth project (YIY), which gives opportunities to young composers. “I liked the fact that WomenSing was giving something back to the community,” she states.
One of Teresa’s favorite pieces was A Precious Pearl, a River of Words poem set to music by Lauren McLaren, one of the YIY composers selected in 2011. Teresa says the piece was challenging to learn but very satisfying to perform. “What a shining moment for Lauren, ourselves, the young women of Acalanes’ Bella Voce chorus, and Miribai Britton, the young poet who wrote the text.” Teresa speaks enthusiastically about the composers’ workshop that preceded this performance. “I will never forget the expressions on the faces of both Lauren McLaren and Nick Norton when they first heard us give voice to the pieces they had written. That was priceless.”
Teresa prefers singing in an all-women’s chorus. “Choral music for women is more complex and textured than a lot of SATB [music], so it is very challenging and satisfying to sing.” On top of that, “there is a special camaraderie … that doesn’t exist in a mixed chorus. Women have a natural tendency to be collaborative and supportive of one another, which are key ingredients to choral singing!”