Some may call it "history", but we lived it.
Patty Daniels and Rose Zingrone were the founding mothers of Columbus Women’s Chorus (CWC). The two planned and advertised an organizational meeting, which took place on November 2, 1989 and was attended by thirteen women. After a discussion of ideas and vision, Naomi Weinert, a charter member, reluctantly agreed to become the first Artistic Director. CWC began practicing in the homes of singers, but soon began renting rehearsal rooms in various local churches.
CWC’s first performance was March 17, 1990, at the National Lesbian Conference Regional Caucus Meeting. Soon after, we joined the Sister Singers Network and, to date, have participated in five national Sister Singers Festivals. In 1992, we began our tradition of an annual spring concert. In 2000, CWC achieved 501(c)(3) status, incorporated in the State of Ohio, and formed a board of directors, with both community volunteers and CWC member-singers.
Also in 2000, CWC was awarded the Montreal Women's Memorial Award, given by the Lesbian Business Association "to a group that has contributed to the empowerment of women in Central Ohio."
The Ohio Arts Council awarded CWC a grant to support our first commissioned artist project for the 2003-2004 season.
The 2005 spring concert, entitled Go Figure, featured self-selected chorus members posing au naturel for the program cover (in the concert, however, we were fully clothed!) and nationally known comedian Suzanne Westenhoeffer as narrator.
Since 2008, CWC’s profile has been part of the Columbus Foundation’s Power Philanthropy website. In addition to grants from them and the Ohio Arts Council, we have received grants from the Patsy Lu Foundation, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Humanities Council, Puffin Foundation West, and others.
Board presidents have included Naomi Weinert, Denise Mueller, Karen L. Oberrath, Janis Wolens, Anne Saunier, Allison Kelly, Shandell L. Jamal, and Babette T. Gorman.
Artistic Directors have been Naomi Weinert, Patty Daniels-Flechtner, Ronda E. King, Jan Zeiger, Patti O’Toole, Sheena Phillips, and Jennifer Bell, all of whom were celebrated in our 20th anniversary concert in 2009. Our current Artistic Director, Lisa Springer, joined us in September, 2015.
In addition to our yearly Friends and Family concerts in the autumn and our themed concerts each spring, as well as the Sister Singers Festivals, CWC has performed for Komen Race for the Cure, Take Back the Night, Habitat for Humanity, Amethyst, Hospice of Columbus, Ameriflora, Project Open Hand, Columbus AIDS Task Force, Ohio Lesbian Festival, Wintervisions, First Night Columbus, the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and Columbus Gay Pride events.
In May of 2015 at our concert Lady Liberty: Liberté, Egalité, Sororité, the chorus was presented with a Resolution from the Franklin County, Ohio, Board of Commissioners in recognition for our work since 1989. See the image here.
On April 28, 2019, we celebrated our 30th anniversary.
CWC is open to all women and those who identify as women, 16 years of age or older, who love to sing in the soprano or alto range. We rehearse 7:00-9:00 Monday evenings September through May at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 West Weisheimer Road, in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus.
And, though we are temporarily sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we will keep singing!