Trinity art student, Sonny Luna ‘16, works in the studio. Photo by Hunter Wilkins.

It’s about giving a voice to those women in San Antonio who often go unheard – that is the mission of Trinity University’s Celebration of Women’s Voices showcase, an event organized by the Trinity University Women’s Choir.

The annual event, which will take place on Tuesday, April 26 at Trinity’s Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m., will include musical and dance performances, dramatic dialogues, poetry, and artwork, all created by women or specifically intended to describe the female perspective.

While it’s not a ticketed event, there will be a free-will donation collection at the door with 100% of the proceeds supporting Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPS), whose mission is “to break the cycle of violence and to strengthen families by providing the necessary tools for self-sufficiency through the delivery of emergency shelter for battered women and children, transitional housing, education, effective parenting education, and early intervention with children and youth.”

FVPS President and CEO Marta Peláez, along with Trinity’s First Lady Kimberly Anderson, will be guest speakers at this year’s showcase.

Performers and artists this year will include Trinity’s 75-member women’s choir, student dancers, composers, actors, guest speakers, and a set of vocal works performed by visiting voice professor Jacquelyn Matava, accompanied by Zachary Ridgway.

In addition, a variety of student artwork will be displayed in the lobby, and all works of art will be in the line with the common thread of the evening – showcasing women’s art work and their perspectives.

As Matava explains about her song set:

“To have the words of women set to music by women is still a relatively new and uncommon occurrence in vocal literature. Lori Laitman’s setting of poetry by Emily Dickinson is a wonderful addition to this small but steadily growing genre of art song. Dickinson’s poetry focuses on themes of hopefulness, beauty, and individuality, traits that all women in music, whether composer or performer, should strive to communicate.” 

A special highlight at this year’s event will be poetic readings by Jenny Browne, a Trinity English Department faculty member and San Antonio’s 2016-2018 Poet Laureate. She was installed by Mayor Ivy Taylor in City Council chambers on March 28, and is the third person to hold this honorable title.

(Read more: Jenny Browne: San Antonio’s New Poet Laureate)

Members of Trinity’s Women’s Choir in rehearse in preparation for the showcase. Photo by Hunter Wilkins.
Members of Trinity’s Women’s Choir in rehearse in preparation for the showcase. Photo by Hunter Wilkins.

Celebration of Women’s Voices began in 2010, and donated proceeds from the event have benefitted such causes as FVPS and also Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving, Sharing, Inc. (WINGS), an organization that provides comprehensive breast healthcare serviced to women in Central and South Texas.

Each year, the showcase takes on a slightly different persona in order to feature the talented array of performers here in San Antonio. In 2012, the popular San Antonio-based folk group Los Inocentes was one of the guest artists, and in 2013, the showcase featured choral and orchestral works and included a collaboration with the UTSA Women’s Choir under the direction of Gary Mabry.

April is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Trinity University continues to provide robust outreach in the community, especially through its various student service organizations. Trinity students have also visited the women and children’s shelter to perform songs for them and lead sing-a-longs.

Trinity’s Celebration of Women’s Voices uses the power of artistic expression to embody the spirit and fortitude of women in the greater San Antonio area and focuses on issues that affect us all.

Trinity senior art major and dancer Nancy Li, who is organizing the artwork featured for the event, summed it up best when she said, “I feel that art has the ability to bring people of all different backgrounds together to create something beautiful.”

For more information, please call the Trinity University Music Department at 210-999-8212, contact them via email, or visit their website.

Top image: Trinity art student, Sonny Luna ‘16, works in the studio. Photo by Hunter Wilkins.

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Gary Seighman

Gary Seighman is director of Choral Activities and associate professor of Music at Trinity University.