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In This Issue
February Concert Celebrates The Roots of Rhythm
It Takes A Village...
Inspiring The Next Generation
Introducing New Board Members
February Concert Tickets on Sale Now!



The Miracle Foundation Fund of the Orange County Community Foundation provided special support for the February concert, enabling the OCWC to produce the concert at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and to secure the services of percussion soloist
Angie Tabor.
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February 27th Concert Travels the Globe to Celebrate The Roots of Rhythm

One Night Only at the Irvine Barclay Theatre
Roots of Rhythm graphicWanderlust meets dance fever! Cast off the winter doldrums, pack your bags, and put on your dancing shoes for February's very special concert: The Roots of Rhythm. We've got a spectrum of folk and folk-inspired music from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas to perform for you, with the assistance of outstanding percussionist Angie Tabor and two special guest ensembles.


This is a concert that's all over the map, quite literally--but with the common threads of rhythm, dance, love, and local color. From Serbia and Slovenia come rollicking wedding round-dances; from Korea, a bittersweet tune about a flowing river; from Argentina, an unforgettable lullaby sung by a mother exhausted from her work in the fields. Donald Patriquin gives us arrangements of two traditional Canadian tunes, a Huron chant and a capricious Québécois romp about a monk who refuses to dance. An ecstatic Kenyan praise song, traditional Indian and Tamil works, and the beloved American tune "Down in the Valley to Pray" (you may know it as "Down to the River to Pray," made famous by the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou) round out the journey. And from OCWC favorite Joan Szymko comes a rousing new work called "It Takes a Village to Raise Our Children."


We're especially excited to feature, for the first time ever at an OCWC concert, two talented guest ensembles from local high schools. The women's choruses of Sage Hill School, directed by Megan Eddy, and Valley High School, directed by Karen Bluel, will share the stage with us-and what a stage it is! This will also be our first regular-season concert at the beautiful Irvine Barclay Theatre, where there's lots of room for you and all the friends you've been meaning to bring to an OCWC concert. This one's a real let's have a crowd and enjoy the journey!


Saturday, February 27, 2010 ● 7:00 p.m.

Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive in Irvine

Buy your tickets now!  
It Takes A Village...

OCWC Logo and photoIn the spirit of our February concert, we'd like to  invite you to take a moment to help other members of our global human community who are in need today. If you haven't done so already, please contribute to the Haiti earthquake relief effort. There are many highly-rated charitable organizations meeting the needs of Haiti's people.  We hope that you will take a moment to find an organization especially attuned to the needs of the women and children, one that speaks to you personally and will help you respond in a way that is most meaningful to you.  You can find information about organizations responding to the crisis in Haiti by visiting Charity Navigator at
Inspiring the Next Generation
Sharing the excitement of choral singing with young, talented singers is a high priority for the OCWC and Artistic Director Eliza Rubenstein. Our February concert, The Roots of Rhythm, is a great illustration of how the OCWC is addressing that goal. 

Taking the stage with the OCWC for this performance will be two women's choruses--one from Valley High School in Santa Ana and the other from Sage Hill School in Newport Coast. The ensembles were selected for the quality of their conductors and their choral programs. Both schools' choirs have consistently garnered superior ratings at regional choral festivals.


The 40 singers of the Valley's Women's Concert Choir, representing grades 9-12, will be participating in the OCWC concert. Karen Bluel has led the choral program at Valley High School for the past 24 years. When asked about what she hopes her singers will gain from the experience, she said, "I am hoping that they will grow as musicians by being exposed to the mature voices of the OC Women's Chorus; that they will realize that their opportunities for singing do not have to end after high school; and that they will bond as choir members and have a whole lot of fun!"


The choral program at Sage Hill has been blossoming since Megan Eddy joined the faculty in 2003, expanding from two to five performing groups. The 30 singers--all tenth- through twelfth-graders--who will be performing with the OCWC are a combined ensemble of the Treble Choir and the girls of the Concert Choir. Eddy expressed her excitement about the international repertoire in the concert, and the camaraderie of the three ensembles. "I am hoping that the girls enjoy the size of the combined choruses, as we are such a small school and rarely enjoy the larger ensemble feel," she said. "In addition, being surrounded by a women's chorus the caliber of OCWC will be a memorable experience. It's good for these kids to know that there is a choral 'life' after high school and college!"

We're thrilled to welcome these talented choruses and their directors! Who knows how many future OCWC members might be among their ranks?
OCWC Welcomes Edward Maclary
Dr. Ed Maclary

In March, renowned choral conductor Dr. Edward Maclary will travel from Maryland to visit the OCWC as a guest clinician. "Besides being one of the leading choral musicians in the nation, Ed was the teacher who inspired and encouraged me to become a conductor," says Artistic Director Eliza Rubenstein. "What a gift to be able to share his wisdom with this chorus I love so much-and vice versa!" 


This is Dr. Maclary's third visit in four years, so he's had the opportunity to see the organization's progress over time. "The artistic growth has been most impressive. I love the ensemble's sound, its demeanor, its work ethic and its artistic aspiration."  We asked him about what keeps drawing him back to work with the OCWC, and he replied, "The thing that excites me most about working with the OCWC is the group's seemingly limitless capacity for hard work with good cheer. That's very rare these days, and it's a quality to be highly prized."


Maclary became Director of Choral Activities at the University of Maryland in 2000 and was named Professor of Music in 2006. He leads the graduate studies program in choral conducting and conducts the University Chorale and the Chamber Singers, two of the School of Music's seven full-time choral ensembles. Prior to joining the University of Maryland faculty, Maclary served on the faculties of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (where he and Eliza crossed paths!) and Bowling Green State University. He is highly regarded as a clinician and teacher and maintains an active guest conducting schedule around the country.  He holds a doctoral degree from Indiana University and a graduate degree in musicology from Boston University.  He has worked on many projects with Robert Shaw and has studied and collaborated with Helmuth Rilling, Margaret Hilles and Robert Page.


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 members who joined the OCWC Board in 2009.


OCWC LogoMarjorie A. Beale, Ph.D co-chairs Marketing and Development for the OCWC. She has been a singer in the OCWC since 1999. She is the Director of Foundation Development for the University of California, Irvine, and has worked as a fundraiser for UCI and the Orange County High School of the Arts since 2000. She served on the board of Long Beach Opera and volunteered as their special projects manager, coordinating educational and special events, developing staging concepts and writing program notes. Prior to her professional fundraising experience, Marjorie was an assistant professor of cultural history and critical theory at UCI and directeur d'études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Marjorie holds degrees in history and literature from UC Berkeley and Harvard. She can be reached at


Ted SpenceTed Spence serves as the Chief Information Officer for Electronic Entertainment Design & Research in San Diego. Ted has extensive experience as a technology officer in several companies, and has developed internet strategies for several businesses. He holds a degree in philosophy from California State University Fullerton. Ted can be reached at    


We thank both Marjorie and Ted for contributing their time and professional expertise for the benefit of the Orange County Women's Chorus!

The Orange County Women's Chorus
1 Mansfield Drive, Irvine, California 92620
(949) 451-8590