Melinda Imthurn with The Women’s Chorus of Dallas
The Women’s Chorus celebrates with ‘Voices of Women’ concert
RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
Things are feeling back to normal for Melinda Imthurn. The artistic director of The Women’s Chorus of Dallas has been readying the singers for their next show later this month. And that’s a good feeling since this show has been on the books for a while.
“We’ve had to postpone this twice due to COVID, and we’ve been wanting to work with this composer, and it’s finally happening,” Imthurn said by phone this week. “It’s really a dream of a concert for us.”
On March 25, TWCD will perform Voices of Women 8: Spiritual Sojourns at Moody Performance Hall. Imthurn calls this a star-studded show — and she’s not wrong.
The show will feature the Texas Women’s University concert choir, women singers from the St. Luke’s Community Church Chorale and student singers from Dallas Independent School District. And all of them will perform the world premiere of “Let’s Celebrate Us” by Dr. Rosephanye Powell, the composer, singer, professor and researcher who has been hailed as one of America’s premier composers of choral music and who will also be in attendance at this concert.
“The opportunity to work on her music is exciting,” Imthurn said. “It’s gonna be a big party.”
Not only is Powell’s piece being performed for the first time, it also has special meaning to the chorus: She wrote the
piece using words by TWCD singers.
Imthurn said that it will be a special moment for her to conduct the piece Dr. Powell created for them.
There is additional meaning to the performance. The director talked about the messages that will come with the concert
— messages that feel timely.
“In the first act, it reflects the future for me — dreaming about a better world and reaching out to people who can help
you,” Imthurn said. “The world we dream about is up to us to make it happen.”
It’s a world right now that isn’t always so fun. What goes on politically and socially certainly affects art, Imthurn agrees.
But TWCD is certainly intent on doing its part to keep art alive and vibrant.
“That’s something we’ve been reflecting on for a lot of years,” the director said. “One of the things we want to commit
to — which can be a challenge and is not a unique idea — is how do we really put our money where our mouth is when we submit this DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] statement? How can we make our chorus reflect the Dallas community? We don’t want them to be empty words.”
It’s a path that’s perhaps perpetual. But TWCD is getting its full strength back after the pandemic. Membership has
returned to pre-COVID numbers. In that, Imthurn acknowledges the cross section of representation within the chorus.
“It’s not about the numbers but about being a women’s chorus. That helps put us in a position to represent all kinds of
women or nonbinary people who want to sing with us,” she said. “We want to represent all those women’s issues and even conductors and composers.”
Like Powell’s works: The concert will also include other spiritual pieces she has written.
For more information and tickets, visit TheWomensChorusOfDallas.com.