The Women's Chorus connects women experiencing severe poverty and homelessness with the healing power of music.
Launching in fall 2018, the group will rehearse twice weekly at Women's Lunch Place. Performances will raise funds in support of causes that members select.
It is our goal to form a permanent Chorus made up of women who are experiencing homelessness. By providing up to two rehearsals a week, free voice coaching and a schedule of performances to be determined, we believe that the Chorus will become a vessel for building a sense of community and artistic skills. Importantly, the Chorus will be able to make a contribution to others through their performances and their ability to draw attention to the plight of the homeless in Boston.
This new group will be launched under the Eureka Ensemble umbrella and grow into its own entity.
On May 12 a concert was produced by the Eureka Ensemble of music entirely by women composers. One of the pieces was a new composition entitled “Sheltering Voices”, based on a poem about the experience of homelessness for women.
Two months prior to the concert, the Eureka team auditioned a small group of women from homeless shelters in Boston and Cambridge to learn how to sing in a choir and to learn the new piece. Each singer was called a Fellow and was to be paid a stipend for singing in the performance.
Ten days before the performance, with the support and encouragement of Maritsa Rosario, GM of TWLP, more singers were auditioned at The Women’s Lunch Place, many of whom were both capable and enthusiastic. It was too late to teach them the whole piece, so Eureka invited those who wanted to sing in the concert, sit in the front two rows and sing “Amazing Grace” as an encore.
The concert was a great success and the courageous women singers of the encore were rewarded with a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience.
Follow up conversations uncovered a strong interest by all parties to build on the experience by creating a new permanent chorus made up of homeless women sourced from The Women’s Lunch Place, Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place.
There is a critical need for those experiencing poverty and homelessness to bring their voices to the public discourse, to increase their access to the performing arts, and to expand public awareness about the realities of homelessness. Our work offers a direct link to the performing arts and a chance for each singer to learn about and experience their own creativity and growth. This ensemble also serves as a unique therapeutic approach to healing and empowerment.