A clear, pitch-perfect high C soars out over the chorus into the audience. You scan the faces of the first sopranos to find its origin and discover a vibrant, petite blonde in the second row.
Kristan Torres, often a WomenSing soloist, has been performing with the group since 2005. “I found the audition very personal. Martin is very supportive and approachable, so I felt at ease right away.”
Wife, teacher, and mother of two young children, she finds time in her packed schedule for rehearsals, practice, and performances. “I do a lot of rehearsing in my car (if my kids can stand it),” she says. “It can be a big juggle at times, fitting all the scheduling pieces together, but we make it work because my family knows how important it is to me.”
Her efforts are rewarded. “WomenSing not only fulfills the need for having music in my life, but it has introduced me to a diverse, talented group of women who all have the same interest. We are all in different stages in our lives, and dealing with a variety of challenges… and we check all of this at the door and come together to make music.”
For Kristan, one especially meaningful aspect of WomenSing is the Youth Inspiring Youth program, which gives young composers an opportunity to create new music based on the poetry of children who have won Berkeley’s River of Words competition. She describes as “magical” the times when Grammy-award winning composer Libby Larsen comes in to work with the young composers and the chorus. “I feel honored to be a part of that process,” she says.
She loves singing traditional music, but has also learned that contemporary pieces can grow on her, sometimes becoming her favorites. “The more you learn about a piece, the more you understand it. It is a great feeling to perform a challenging piece well!”