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"Questions About Angels" Concert by Melodia Women’s Choir Features Premiere Choral Composition for 10th Anniversary

Melodia Women’s Choir celebrates 10 years of singing beautiful classically styled choral music in "Questions About Angels," on Sat. Nov. 17 at 7:30 pm in Chelsea and Sun. Nov. 18 at 4:00 pm on the Upper West Side in New York City. Tickets on sale now.



(NEW YORK, NY) – Melodia Women’s Choir of New York City, conducted by Artistic Director Cynthia Powell, celebrates a milestone 10th anniversary season with “Questions About Angels.” This musical journey of rare and premiere works for women’s voices brings together medieval, classical, sacred and contemporary compositions in one exuberant concert showcasing the talent, diversity and joy that has become the hallmark of Melodia Women’s Choir.

At the center of Melodia’s performance, and the inspiration behind the program’s title, is the world premiere composition “Questions About Angels” for voices, marimba, piano and double bass by New York-based composer Sally Lamb McCune. Winner of the second Melodia Women’s Composer Commission Competition, this work is in three movements and features a unique blend of angel-inspired poetry by the 15th-century mystic Bianco da Siena, English poet Christina Rossetti, American poet laureate Billy Collins, African-American spirituals and Shaker hymns.

“I’m thrilled to be conducting Sally Lamb McCune’s new work for Melodia’s 10th anniversary season,” said Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director. “The work starts in an ethereal mode and moves into a sultry jazz feeling in the second movement, set to one of my all time favorite poems by Billy Collins. The last movement is fast and exciting -- her instrumental and vocal writing makes the piece virtually fly off the page.” Powell, as founding conductor, celebrates her 10th anniversary with the group.

The varied program is rounded out with a sampling of songs in anticipation of the December holidays, including John Tavener’sThe Lamb” with poetry by William Blake, and a collection of sacred songs of early America arranged by the renowned women’s a cappella group, Anonymous 4. Closing the program is a selection of medieval works arranged for women’s voices, recorders, violin and percussion, arranged by the U.K.­­-based ensemble, The Mediaeval Baebes.

The program also features Allison Sniffin’s “Punch!” a tour-de-force instrumental work featuring world-class marimba player Haruka Fujii, who joins Melodia from her home in Canada, and award-winning pianist Taisiya Pushkar.

A video concert preview offers the spirited feel of this 10th Anniversary Concert.

Melodia Women’s Choir has been called “riveting” by the New York Times and was named one of the top choirs in New York by Time Out New York. Melodia has been heard on radio stations WQXR and WNYC, seen on WNBC-TV, and has performed at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Surrogate’s Courthouse as guest artists at the Women’s History Month Celebration for the New York City Comptroller.

“Questions About Angels,” by Sally Lamb McCune (b. 1966)
“Punch!” (instrumental interlude), by Allison Sniffin (b. 1960)
“The Lamb,” by John Tavener (b. 1944)
Sacred Songs of Early America, arranged by Anonymous 4
Medieval Selections, arranged by The Mediaeval Baebes

Performers include Melodia Women’s Choir, Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director, Taisiya Pushkar (piano), Haruka Fujii (marimba), Barbara Merjan (percussion), Wendy Powers (recorder), and Eleonore Oppenheim (bass).


Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 pm
Church of the Holy Apostles
296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street, New York City
Buy now at Brown Paper Tickets 
*Reception following concert

Sunday, November 18 at 4:00 pm
West End Collegiate Church
368 West End Avenue at 77th Street, New York City
Buy now at Brown Paper Tickets 
*Reception following concert

Tickets are $20/advance, $25/door ($15/advance students and seniors)
Visit or call Brown Paper Tickets: 800-838-3006
Information: 212-252-4134

Melodia Women’s Choir - Founded by Jenny Clarke, Executive Director, in 2003 and now celebrating its 10th anniversary season, Melodia Women’s Choir is a fresh voice on the New York choral scene. An ensemble of 32 singers, Melodia explores and performs rarely heard music for women’s voices in many different styles, and nurtures emerging women composers through commissions, residencies and performances. Under the direction of Cynthia Powell, founding conductor and Artistic Director, Melodia has performed at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in collaboration with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, and the Surrogate’s Courthouse as guest artists at the Women’s History Month Celebration for the NYC Comptroller.

Cynthia Powell - Melodia’s Artistic Director and Conductor since its inception, Powell is an active conductor, pianist and organist in the New York area. Powell conducted a new choral version of Meredith Monk’s “Book of Days” at Merkin Hall in 2007 and conducted choral portions of Monk’s “Songs of Ascension” at the BAM Next Wave Festival in 2009 and has toured with Monk’s opera “Atlas” and “A Celebration Service” in Europe, at the Spoleto USA Festival, the Walker Arts Center and Lincoln Center Festival. Powell also serves as Music Director at West End Collegiate Church, NYC, and is Artistic Director of the Stonewall Chorale.

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 New York City
 women’s music
 November 17
 November 18

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