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In This Issue
December concerts celebrate Strangest Moment in History
Check out our new website!
Meet our new Conducting Intern!
New! Silent auction at December concerts
Eliza Rubenstein joins OCC faculty
Introducing new Board members
December Concert Tickets on Sale Now!

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Special support for our December concerts is provided by the
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Greetings!

Welcome to the first electronic issue of Music and Muses, the periodic newsletter of the Orange County Women's Chorus. We are excited to share our new look, here and in our redesigned website, our concert announcements and all of our communications. We've redesigned everything to provide easier access to all you need to be an ongoing part of our lives. Thank you for your support during our first decade. We look to forward to our next decade together!

Eliza Rubenstein                                                     Mary Langsdorf
Artistic Director                                   President, Board of Directors
December 12th & 13th Concerts Celebrate "The Strangest Moment in History"    

Strangest Moment in History The Magnificat is, as one author puts it, "a hymn of praise by a young woman chosen for perhaps the strangest moment in history." In other words, it's the moment at which the Virgin Mary, in Christian tradition, discovers that she will give birth to a savior. We'll rediscover her words of wonderment, fear and joy through the wildly different works featured in the December program.
 
In his mystical setting of the Magnificat, Vaughan Williams casts a solo mezzo-soprano (the fabulous Deborah Winsor Williams in our performances) as the astonished Mary; the chorus as the angel delivering the news; and a solo flute (our own Sandy Hilger) as the Holy Spirit that weaves enigmatically through the work. A new Magnificat setting by Christine Donkin puts a different spin on the mystical elements of the text, while Z. Randall Stroope captures the sheer ecstasy of the moment in his piece for soprano solo, chorus, and four-hand piano.
 
Joan Szymko, whose "Ave Maria" was a hit at our 10th anniversary concerts, has created a new women's-chorus edition of her luscious "My Soul Magnifies the Lord" just for the OCWC. We'll premiere it on our December concerts. You'll also hear a stunning work by Los Angeles composer Paul Chihara, a lively, jazzy setting by Gwyneth Walker, and many more.
 
It may seem "strange" to make a whole program of Magnificats, but we're confident that this is a story worth hearing more than once. Get your tickets, invite your friends, and prepare to be amazed!

Saturday, December 12, 2009 ● 7:00 p.m.
Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 798 Dover Drive, Newport Beach
 
Sunday, December 13, 2009 ● 3:00 p.m.
St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church, 18631 Chapel Lane, Huntington Beach
 
Introducing the New OCWC Website

OCWC Logo and photo The brand-new OCWC website debuts this month. Go take a look and let us know what you think! It's now much easier to find concert information, join the e-mail list, buy a ticket or make a donation.
 
The OCWC would like to thank Arts Orange County and the Orange County Community Foundation for a grant supporting the website's development. Carol Garner designed the updated look and Tom Lewis served as the website designer. 

Meet Our 2009-10 Conducting Intern,
Ariel May

 Ariel May
For the past five years, the OCWC has invited a promising young choral conductor from a local university to assist Artistic Director Eliza Rubenstein as a Conducting Intern. The intern works with the chorus for an entire year, sharpening her conducting skills and learning about the inside operations of a non-profit choral organization. Past conducting interns have come from UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton and Chapman University. After her work with the OCWC, each woman has gone on to put her choral conducting skills to use, conducting choirs in schools, churches, synagogues and communities--and sometimes all of the above! 
 
This year's Conducting Intern, Ariel May, is a senior at Chapman University's conservatory of music. She was introduced to classical music and jazz at a young age in a family that valued music (her father was a jazz bassist). She studied piano, flute and guitar while growing up, but discovered that choral music was her calling. Her major is music education with an emphasis in vocal and choral studies. In her first semester at Chapman, she co-founded the University's premier a cappella group, "Sound Check," serving as executive officer, arranger and director of music. Ariel is now serving her second term as President of Chapman's student chapter of the American Choral Directors' Association. Besides singing in Chapman's renowned University Choir and University Singers, she also performs with the Chapman Jazz Combo, gives private voice and piano lessons, and tutors music theory. In 2008 and 2009, she worked at the Idyllwild Summer Arts Choral Program as an alto section leader and chorus member. We're thrilled to have her, and excited to introduce her to you at our December concerts! 
 
First-ever Silent Auctions at December concerts!

Donate to our silent auctions, and bring your friends to shop!

Do you love to cook, travel, or sail? Do you have knowledge about gardening, wine-making, or rock climbing you could share? Perhaps your business has a service or item you could donate. Tickets to local arts and cultural events, movies, gift cards for local restaurants and bottles of wine are always popular. Join the fun today! If you would like to make a donation to our upcoming silent auctions, please download a silent auction form or email Lisa Claborne, our silent auction chairperson. The deadline to contribute is December 1, 2009.  The Orange County Women's Chorus operates under 501(c)(3) non-profit status. 
Eliza Rubenstein Joins Full-Time Music Faculty at Orange Coast College         
 Eliza at tenth anniversary
The OCWC's Artistic Director already maintains a busy teaching and conducting schedule in Southern California...and it just got busier! Eliza Rubenstein became a full-time member of the music faculty at Orange Coast College this fall after teaching part-time there last year.
Dr. Ricardo Soto, Chair of OCC's
Music Department, said, "I have been following Eliza's career for many years and always loved the sound of her choruses. I had the opportunity to see her before a concert and I just loved the way she spoke to her singers, the respect she had for them and for the music. I wanted her at OCC to continue to build our choral program. Our goal in hiring Eliza was to make Orange Coast College the first choice for high school students wanting to major in music."
 
As Director of Choral and Vocal Activities, Eliza conducts the OCC Chamber Singers and the OCC Chorale, and teaches music theory and music history. OCC has a strong tradition of choral music and we know Eliza will continue to build on that strong foundation--benefitting the musical life of the students, the college, and the community.
 
Introducing New Board Members

In this and future newsletters, we'll be introducing you to a few important people who are lending their professional expertise and working behind the scenes to help the OCWC grow and prosper. We'd like to introduce you to two community members who joined the OCWC Board in 2008.
 Kent Rhodes
Kent Rhodes, Ed.D. is a core faculty member with Pepperdine's Doctoral Programs in Organizational Change and Organizational Leadership and MBA programs where he teaches courses in leadership, applied behavioral science, organizational theory and ethics. He is an entrepreneur who maintains a successful coaching and consulting practice for a variety of privately held and family-owned enterprises. He is experienced in strategic planning with an emphasis in clarification of mission, vision and cultural influences in organizations and how those factors influence branding and marketing. Kent has been invaluable in leading the Board's work in strategic planning and board development.
 
Eva M. Weiler is an Associate for the law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP. As an associate in the firm's Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Division, she works closely with expert witnesses in hormone therapy litigation and handles many aspects of discovery and case management in other state and federal pharmaceutical lawsuits. Eva also coordinates pro bono opportunities for the Orange County office. She holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Westmont College and her JD from the University of Minnesota Law School. Eva is assisting the OCWC Board in governance and concert production.
 
We thank both for contributing their time and professional expertise for the benefit of the Orange County Women's Chorus!
The Orange County Women's Chorus
Eliza Rubenstein, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
1 Mansfield Drive, Irvine, California 92620
(949) 451-8590
www.ocwomenschorus.org