Written in 2015 from information provided by Shelley Sheridan
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas was founded in 1989. Its mission statement is: The Women's Chorus of Dallas promotes the strength, diversity and empowerment of women by performing high quality music to entertain, inspire and serve the community.
The Chorus was started by a group of musicians and professional women in Dallas with an initial membership of 35. The singers were mainly women who enjoyed coming together to sing all types of music, providing excellent performances, and serving education and the community with a wide variety of musical expertise. It was the only chorus in Texas that was predominantly composed of gay women, although it is for all women, whatever their age, race, or sexual identity.
The Chorus began with Cynthia Knott as its director, a well-known conductor in Dallas. She lead the Chorus for 2 1/2 years until resigning and leaving to form the well-known Children’s Choir of Greater Dallas. During those years the Chorus sang in churches and varied venues across the city. The traditions of learning all of their music by memory, making their own costumes and choreography, and raising much of their own money were begun.
In 1992 Dr. Timothy Seelig became director of the group and was to serve in that capacity for the next 9 years. During that time the Chorus grew to more than 100 members and premiered several great musical productions in collaboration with the Turtle Creek Chorale. Directors who followed Dr. Seelig have been Dana Lobaugh, Mark Stamper, and Cathy Brown. In January, 2005 Melinda Imthurn, a previous singer with the Chorus, became the director.
The Chorus presents three formal concerts each season, as well as many outreach performances. The membership is racially diverse with Anglo, Black, East Indian, Hispanic and European members. They sing all types of music, from Bach to Broadway.
The Women's Chorus of Dallas is recognized as one of the nation's finest women's choruses. The chorus has ten solo CD recordings to its credit and has performed throughout North America in such cities Montreal, New York, San Jose, Denver, Tampa, and Minneapolis. Landmark events include three concerts in New York City's famed Carnegie Hall and a command performance before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In addition to numerous outreach events, the chorus holds an exclusive concert every year for citizens living in senior living facilities, domestic abuse shelters, rehabilitation centers, and ones being served by other social service agencies. This concert is presented free of charge to all participants. It is the Chorus' way to bring the joy and healing power of music to a population that may not otherwise be able to experience live performances Dallas.
The chorus utilizes its performances to create artistic excellence and to raise awareness and funds for many important causes, including AIDS awareness, domestic violence prevention, human rights, and breast cancer research. Since its inception, The Women's Chorus of Dallas has raised tens of thousands of dollars for worthy organizations, both locally and abroad.