Our Short But Glorious History
Voices Rising was born in February 2004 in a living room full of women who wanted to sing together. We were fortunate to have singers in all vocal ranges, lots of enthusiasm, vision, and many willing people to do the work of starting a new chorus. To our delight, Leora Zimmer agreed to be our Artistic Director and we began rehearsing on February 17. Temple Israel in Boston provided us with a welcoming home, and we are grateful to them for their support.
We began performing as a group at Emmanuel Church in Boston at a rally for same-sex marriage in March, went on to open Boston's Gay Pride week with a performance at Faneuil Hall in June, and ended that week singing at the Pride Interfaith service at Old South Church. Later in June, we produced our first full concert in collaboration with Another Octave: Connecticut Women's Chorus. In July, many members of Voices Rising and Another Octave traveled to Montreal where we joined 6000 other singers at the quadrennial international GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of) Choruses festival. We performed in two concerts – our first time on an international stage! In August, we launched a small ensemble of wedding singers, providing the music for a lovely wedding in Newburyport, MA. We have a repertoire at the ready and we look forward to future engagements. In January, 2005 we joined 12 other Boston choruses and raised $13,000 for Tsunami Relief, we sang for other people's lives.
We had a remarkable first 12 months of life. In September, we grew from 32 singers to over 50. To support our growing organization, we have sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts, peddled tee shirts, had a yard sale extravaganza, written grant proposals, sold program advertisements, as well as relied on our members and supporters contributions to keep us going. Our success is entirely due to the wonderful efforts and enthusiasm of these members and supporters and we thank each and every one of them!
We've continued to grow as a chorus and as a fixture in the LGBT community. Voices Rising has been thrilled to continue performing at Pride Events since our inception.
In 2005 we raised money and awareness for breast cancer in our concert "Hope Is the Thing" performing the New England premiere of Diane Benjamin's "Where I Live" (A Breast Cancer Oratorio), which benefited the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition.
A highlight of our 2006 season was performing at Cutler Majestic Theater as guests of the Boston Gay Men's Chorus, with whom we continue to build a strong relationship.
2007 was an exciting year. We recorded our first CD. It features "Song of Wisdom" by Joseph Martin (text from Douglas Wood's award winning children's book, OLD TURTLE). In the summer of 2008, we returned to the GALA Choruses Festival which was held in Miami.