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Sacramento Women’s Chorus marks 25 years with March 9 concert

Sacramento Women’s Chorus will celebrate its 25th anniversary Saturday, March 9, with gala concert performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Both performances of the group’s Celebrate! 25th Anniversary Concert will take place at the Sacramento Waldorf School, 3750 Bannister Road in Fair Oaks. The concerts will include special guest performances by the highly acclaimed Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus. A commemorative 25th anniversary reception, open to the public, will follow the 2 p.m. performance. Concert tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and groups of 10 or more, and $12 for children ages 5 to 18, available at sacramentowomenschorus.org or at the door.

The March 9 concerts will feature an eclectic mix of show tunes, tender ballads, hot jazz, and a few old favorites. With a record 54 chorus members and some returning past directors and former chorus members, this historic concert promises fun for all, as SWC looks back in time—and ahead to its next 25 years!

The chorus was founded 25 years ago as an “ad hoc” choral group, says Mary Nikakis, a chorus member since 2006 who has served several terms on the organization’s board of directors. “The chorus was founded by two friends who wanted to have music for a startup women’s wheelchair basketball league benefit,” Nikakis says. “Like many men’s and women’s choruses, in the beginning we were philosophically driven rather than musically driven. We have a commitment always to perform for groups and events that support peace, justice and equality for all.”

The Sacramento Women’s Chorus repertoire includes songs about women’s work and culture, including women’s music from Ireland, Africa, Bosnia and other parts of the world. “We have always tried to represent the totality of women’s experience,” Nikakis says.

Throughout its history, the chorus has performed for numerous women’s history events, Take Back the Night rallies, the California Commission on the Status of Women, the California State NOW Conference, the YWCA, WEAVE, CARES, Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center, Placerville Season for Nonviolence, World AIDS Day, PFLAG’s Services of Remembrance and Kaiser Hospice programs. In 2012, the chorus partnered with the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California Council to teach music and singing to the Scouts, participating in joint concerts at Cal Expo and the State Capitol. The chorus is affiliated with the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA), with whom it has participated at GALA festivals in San Jose in 2000 and Montreal in 2004, and with the Sister Singers national network of women’s choruses, with whom it participated in the Sister Singers festival in San Diego in 2006. The chorus also has shared the stage with such stars of women’s music as Holly Near, Judy Fjell, and Irina Rivkin.

Membership in the chorus is open to any woman who wishes to sing or get involved with the group’s volunteer support crew. For more information about the organization and Celebrate! 25th Anniversary Concert, visit SacramentoWomensChorus.com.

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