Anna Crusis Women’s Choir: women joining voices to build community - one concert at a time. Anna Crusis Women’s Choir is committed to musical excellence and social change. We sing to celebrate the diversity of women's lives and culture; to find communion; to nurture and sustain; to comfort and to heal; to open hearts and minds; and to struggle together for a just and compassionate world.
Anna Crusis Women’s Choir (“ANNA”) is the first and longest running feminist choir in the United States. ANNA takes her name from the Greek word "anacrusis," a word used in music to describe an "upbeat" or "feminine" entrance to a phrase. Physically, it may be described as the precise moment of anticipation and exhilaration which occurs as a singer takes a quick, deep breath before vocalizing. For 40 years, diverse women have joined together in song - building community, changing lives and singing out for justice.
A child of the 1970s grassroots feminist movement, ANNA’s early years were dedicated to promoting women’s music and giving gay and straight women alike a strong community where they could find their voice and live their feminist principles. ANNA was founded in 1975 by Dr. Catherine Roma, who led the choir for the next 7 years and whose influence was profound. Her passion for the music, her commitment to the peace and social justice movement, her drive to unearth unknown works by women composers, her desire to pull together women from all walks of life into this new musical family, became the model for women’s choirs all across the country.
ANNA’s vision and voice continued to mature and expand under the leadership of subsequent artistic directors, whose unique strengths and styles shaped the growing choir. In 1983, Cathy Roma passed musical directorship to Jane Hulting, who nurtured ANNA for the next 20 years, leading with untiring energy, love, musical talent and professionalism. From 2003 to 2011, ANNA was led by Jackie Coren, who continued the tradition of weaving musical excellence with social concern. In 2012, Miriam Davidson, an early member of ANNA, became the choir’s fourth artistic director. Under Miriam’s directorship, ANNA’s membership has grown to 68, a record in the choir’s history, and a testament both to her vision and leadership and to the enduring appeal of this vocal community.
For 40 continuous years, ANNA has acted as an agent of social change by empowering, challenging, and uplifting audiences with music that inspires, provokes, delights, and transforms. ANNA is a charter member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA), which is the world's only association committed to serving the LGBT choral movement and comprises over 170 choruses and more than 8,000 singers across the United States, Mexico, and Canada (www.galachoruses.org). ANNA is also a member of Sister Singers Network, a cooperative web of feminist choruses and ensembles, composers, arrangers, and individual singers working together to support and enrich the women's choral movement (www.sistersingers.net).
ANNA’s vitality and strength flow from the collective energy of her membership. ANNA's feminist sensibility is reflected in the diversity of its members and in the way the choir negotiates the life of a creative, vocal community. The women of ANNA share a commitment to diversity and inclusion; while honoring common ground, singers work to respect and learn from each other’s differences and make space for all voices to be heard. Standing on the shoulders of elders who fought for women's rights, ANNA is furthering feminism and women's music into the future.
40 Years Timeline
So many fabulous things have happened over the past 40 years, performances, commissions, singers joining, community events shared, benefits, partnerships, CDs, festivals attended and so much more. You can help fill in the gaps with your favorite memories by entering your important events in the timeline. Perhpas it was when you joined the choir, had a solo, or sat on the board. The possibilities are endless. Share your special moments below!
Some of us have taken on the rewarding responsibility of nurturing and growing our organization. We imagine ANNA as a living woman, needing susteance and care to grow and flourish. to this end, we use a metaphor of a woman's body to organize our work. The leaders of each body part are:
Breath Musical Excellence and Artistry Miriam Davidson firstname.lastname@example.org Muscle Production Laura Grassia email@example.com Hands Membership and Community Virginia Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Face Publicity Kim Singleton email@example.com Heart Board, Fundraising, Financial Mindy Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org Pulse Communication Across Groups
We are grateful for the support of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.
We use Podio, our non profit CRM platform to keep our files and projects together in one place.
Claim A Year Stories
The encore from our most recent concert - featuring soloists Nicole Conway and Kate Caffrey.