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VIDEO: San Diego Women's Chorus experiences unprecedented growth

SAN DIEGO -- As the San Diego Women's Chorus (SDWC) prepares for its 25th anniversary concert to be performed in May, the group has welcomed nearly 25 new members to its ranks.

Chorus leaders say the group's size has nearly doubled since its Spring concert two years ago, with 75 members now performing.

“The amount of growth we’ve experienced is astonishing — nearly 200% in the last four years," chorus president Carin Scheinin said. "Despite the fact that we are a non-audition chorus, we’ve been attracting exceptionally talented and dedicated women, which speaks highly to the hard work and talent of our artistic director, our singers, our board and our volunteers.

"This chorus has been a small but mighty fixture in San Diego for a quarter-of-a-century, a unique, grassroots community chorus. As we enter this next era, we will continue to honor that legacy while harnessing the momentum of the last couple years as we continue to evolve into an even more vibrant and high-quality organization that serves to entertain, educate and inspire our expanding audiences,” she said.

Because of this rapid growth, the chorus had to find a larger performance venue for the 25th anniversary concert, "Heart and Harmony," scheduled for May 5-6, 2012, and currently in rehearsals.

The chorus has traditionally only held two performances of the popular Spring concert, and plans to add a third performance in upcoming years.

“These are all great problems to have,” said Heather Robert, a board member and the group's outreach coordinator. “We’re also enjoying an increase in requests for community performances and finding ways to leverage this increased visibility into opportunities to collaborate with other local organizations.

"While we’ve been a steady organization since 1987, we’ve been a bit under the radar. It’s thrilling to see a future where we can bring our music and message to an ever-increasing cross-section of the San Diego community," Robert continued. "This is simply a very exciting time to be part of SDWC."

This season, in addition to the “Heart & Harmony” concerts, chorus members have plans to participate in community and outreach performances, a music-intensive weekend retreat to Julian, and a women’s self-defense fundraiser.

In July 2012, the largest delegation in SDWC’s history will travel to Denver to participate in the ninth International GALA Festival, along with over 180 groups from around the globe.

GALA Choruses is the 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization serving the GLBT choral movement. The mission of GALA Choruses is to support GLBT choruses as we change our world through song. Through workshops, festivals and ongoing networking and administrative support services, GALA Choruses fosters the continued artistic and organizational growth of its member choruses.

About the San Diego Women’s Chorus

The San Diego Women's Chorus is a non-auditioned, lesbian-allied community chorus that welcomes all women who love to sing. For almost 25 years, SDWC has been creating quality music and fostering a place for women to share their voices through song.

The chorus has grown from a group of women who gathered in members’ homes in 1987, to a talented and diverse chorus of fifty women who are dedicated to the chorus' mission to encourage women's creativity, celebrate diversity, and inspire social action.

For more information about the San Diego Women's Chorus, click HERE.

Scenes from the San Diego Women's Chorus' Viva La Diva concert in 2011: