Women's Studies Fair

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Huntsville Feminist Chorus “Homecoming” Concert:

Reflections on 20 Years Singing at UAH

spring poster 2016 3 copy


The Huntsville Feminist Chorus (HFC) will offer its annual spring concert at UAH on Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m., in Chan Auditorium of the Business Administration Building. The concert’s theme, “Homecoming,” brings together favorite pieces from the chorus’ more than two-decade history of singing inspiring songs from diverse spiritual, folk, and social justice traditions.

A pre-concert slideshow featuring photographs of the chorus over its history will cycle for 30 minutes as audience members arrive. A reception will follow the program.

HFC Director, Pam Siegler, said this concert is “about coming home to whatever Home is: the home you grew up in, the home you find comfort in…both within yourself and around you, and the home that is your country. For a lot of women, Chorus was home for a while, and this is a chance for them to sing a song with us and be back in that home for a bit.”

The concert welcomes back former HFC members, some of whom will join in singing a favorite song. Current members are looking forward to singing with old friends. Nancy Pendegraph said, “It will be a joy to sing with them again who have been connected with us.” Betty Clemens said, “Once I’m connected to people in chorus, they are always a part of me. I always feel a special energy.”

HFC members also expressed excitement to sing again at UAH through the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. This will be their 20th Anniversary (and 21st concert) performing at UAH in honor of women’s history. According to past WGS Director Rose Norman, the chorus’ first year singing at UAH was also the first year WGS became an academic program. Two WGS faculty members sang in that concert, Rose Norman and Nancy Finley, who also co-founded the WGS Program.

LaWanda Siniard, a current chorus member, said she likes the opportunity the concert gives to “show we support the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at UAH.” Carol Dayton said the concert offers a chance to highlight “the feminist aspect of who we are.”

The chorus appreciates the diverse array of students and general public who attend the event. Martha Steele said she hopes the concert will give her daughter, a UAH student, the chance to meet other students with similar interests and perspectives. Liza Q. Wirtz said she values how this event shows UAH’s breadth of cultural and community offerings beyond engineering and research.

Carol Crosslin, a past HFC Director, said, “I enjoy the energy of the reception after. There is a cookie-fueled, buzzed, high. I get to see people I haven’t seen in a while.” Benita Hayes appreciates the positive affirmations from the audience, which inspire the chorus to keep going into the next season. Cindi Stewart said, “I feel like we are loved.”

The chorus has played a very personal role in the lives of its members. Sherri Birdsong described the impact of the group on her life: “I have received much positive encouragement! My life has greatly benefited from this support group. They were instrumental in helping me to believe in myself, and I was able to get my GED.”

Judy Guerry said, “For me, singing in the chorus has meant a ‘going home’ to my childhood through my young adult years when I regularly sang in choirs, from small church and school choirs to large graduate school a capella choirs. Since the chorus’ beginnings, I have loved singing songs with women that honor humankind in all of our different ways of being in this beautiful and terrible world—our genders, our cultures, and our spiritual understandings.”

She continued, “I love that the chorus’ mission of ‘Opening Hearts and Minds through Song’ contributes a unique texture, hue, and tone to the tapestry that is our community. It is a gift that is vital—for me, and, I believe, for our community.”

The concert is sponsored by the UAH Women’s and Gender Studies Program, with support from community sponsors, and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 256.824.6190 or email wgs@uah.edu.



If you have any questions about our upcoming events, please contact the Women's and Gender Studies Program Office at 256.824.6190 or wgs@uah.edu.