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Award-Winning Choir VOX Femina Focuses On The Future

VOX Femina Los Angeles is a women's ensemble dedicated to the performance of quality choral literature, with an emphasis on music by women composers.

Award-Winning Choir VOX Femina Focuses On The Future

Vox Femina Los Angeles celebrates a major anniversary by focusing on the future of choral singing, through a collaboration with local treble choir, Serenata from Los Osos High School.

Vox Femina has many reasons to celebrate! Not only is this season the first that the choir has performed live since before the global pandemic, but it is the 25th anniversary of the organization, founded by Artistic Director Dr. Iris S. Levine. With a mission to 'give women voice' through the performance of high-quality choral music, VOX has spent much of its 25 years commissioning new works by a diverse group of contemporary composers. This Saturday's concert is no different, with the premiere of a brand-new piece by L.A.-based composer Christina Whitten Thomas, with lyrics by writer Marian Partee, entitled "Resilient Voices," which focuses on women artists of the past, present, and future. The piece also offered VOX a unique opportunity to collaborate with the students at one local high school. Known for their excellence in performance and musicianship under the direction of Mrs. Bethany Encina, a singer with Vox Femina, Serenata is one of five vocal ensembles at Los Osos High School. The treble choir worked with both the composer and Dr. Levine in preparation for the performance this weekend.

"VOX is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the next generation of choral singers," says Rebecca Wink, Vox Femina's Executive Director. "To have the chance to work with a composer like Christina and a conductor like Iris, is an unparalleled experience for any singer, but particularly for those who are just beginning their training. These students have brought so much energy to this collaboration, and if there's anything that symbolizes resilience these days, it is our students, who have dealt with so much over the past two years. We are so proud of the work they have put in and can't wait for people to see this moving piece."

VOX will also perform Andrea Ramsey's "Suffrage Cantata," a five-movement piece that the ensemble produced as a film during the pandemic with the help of award-winning filmmaker Helen Mendoza, in celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The choir will be joined on stage by collaborators Jannet Galdamez of CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater, The Orchid Quartet and LA Master Chorale singer Caroline McKenzie, as well as Simone Ledman Boseman, who will act as narrator for the Ramsey piece. Other composers featured include Jake Runstead, Roger Bourland, and Rosephanye Powell.

The concert is supported by grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

For Press tickets, please contact Joanna Mitchell at vfla@voxfemina.org or call (310) 922-0025

Vox Femina Los Angeles is a women's ensemble dedicated to the performance of quality choral literature, with an emphasis on music by women composers. Through music, VOX aims to create a world that affirms the worth and dignity of every person. The chorus was founded in 1997 by Artistic Director Dr. Iris S. Levine. Vox Femina first appeared on stage as guest artists with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, and very quickly established itself as one of the premier women's choruses in the United States, with a demonstrated ability to perform a highly eclectic repertoire. The ensemble actively fulfills its mission through a vigorous schedule of performances, touring and educational outreach. Vox Femina has demonstrated its support and encouragement of living composers through the commissioning of more than 50 new works.

Dr. Iris S. Levine, Founder and Artistic Director, is nationally recognized for her excellence in choral conducting. Through her extensive experience with women's choral literature, and innovative concert programming, Dr. Levine has charted Vox Femina on an impressive 25-year journey, building its prominence in the choral community by way of numerous appearances at the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America conventions, and more than 300 appearances throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Dr. Levine is the Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Dr. Levine served as Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, Interim Dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies, and Department Chair and Professor of Music at Cal Poly Pomona. As faculty, she conducted the Kellogg Chamber Singers, taught Beginning Conducting, Choral Conducting and Music Education courses. Dr. Levine earned her Doctorate in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University in Philadelphia.

For more information about VOX, please go to http://www.voxfemina.org/ or call (310) 922-0025.

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