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VIDEO: San Diego Women's Chorus gears up for 25th anniversary "Heart & Harmony" concert

SAN DIEGO -- Members of the San Diego Women's Chorus (SDWC) are gearing up for their 25th anniversary spring concert, "Heart & Harmony," on Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6.

In celebration of SDWC's silver anniversary, at the concert the group will be performing songs that honor women's voices from the past and lay the foundation for a continued legacy in the San Diego community.

Song selections include the Indigo Girls’ homage to a groundbreaking feminist author in “Virginia Woolf,” gospel spiritual “Take Me to the Water,” Lady Gaga’s anthem to authenticity, “Born This Way” as well as pieces by incredible feminist artists such as Cris Williamson, Margie Adams, Holly Near, Randi Driscoll and Brandi Carlile.

"At every rehearsal, we recite the chorus' mission and then say 'Come for the music, stay for the heart,'" said Carin Scheinin, chorus president. "Our members often join SDWC looking for a place to sing music with and for women, but we find that they stay because SDWC has incredible heart and is truly a family. The title of our 25th anniversary concert, ‘Heart & Harmony,’ reflects that blend between creating beautiful harmonies and sharing our hearts with each other. The concert is emotional, heartfelt, strong, fun, and sometimes a little silly. I think it exemplifies our chorus perfectly."

In mid-April the chorus, comprising over 70 new and veteran members and led by Artistic Director Chris Allen, spent the weekend at Camp Fox in Santa Ysabel. The annual retreat focused on fine-tuning the song selections, crisping up choreography and strengthening the bonds of friendship that help bring passion and beauty to the performances that SDWC fans have grown to love.

Highlights of the retreat included exceptional new dance moves for Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” tender poetry and hilarious skits during the “Talent/No Talent” show, as well as the celebration of founding member Sheila Clark’s 75th birthday. However, the near unanimous standout moment of the entire retreat was the rehearsal of the song “What Matters,” a piece written by Randi Driscoll and inspired by the tragic 1998 murder of Matthew Shepherd in Wyoming.

Second Alto Luisa de Jesus was silent the entire retreat, due to a bout of laryngitis, but shared that “the emotion in the room was palpable. Most chorus members, including myself, were moved to tears. To hear the united voices of over 70 women harness the power of music to release and resolve the universal emotions of grief, grace and love . . .it was a gift.”

Driscoll’s recorded single of "What Matters" has raised more than $45,000 dollars for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, whose goal is to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance. The chorus is thrilled and honored that Driscoll herself will join them on stage during the May 5th concert to sing a solo during the song.

The May 5 concert will begin at 7 pm, and the May 6 concert is at 3 pm.

Tickets to "Heart & Harmony" are available for $15. Children younger than 12 are admitted free.

Individual chorus members also have tickets available for sale.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click HERE or call 619-291-3366.

The concert will take place at Mission Hills United Church of Christ, located at 4070 Jackdaw Street in Mission Hills.