I have been a member of One Voice Chorus almost since its beginning days. A part of our logo says that we "sing(ing) the beauty and power of diversity," but we do more than that. We sing it, we model it and we embrace it. Singing the various styles of music--classical, jazz, and spirituals-- can sometimes be a challenge, but it's such an enjoyable one! Best of all, however, is working to meet that challenge while sitting amidst a group of folks who genuinely believe in and mirror our mission of racial reconciliation. Our mere presence and interactions at rehearsals and in performances speaks volumes.
Anyone who sings with one other person understands the joy when their two voices become one, and they know the closeness of their voices brings a closeness of heart. Although we are named One Voice Chorus, we usually sing with our four soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices. However, as a result of our One Voice, we all dwell in one heart. I leave each rehearsal with greater musical knowledge, an increasing closeness with my fellow tenors, and growing friendships with all my fellow singers. Our conductors, Frank Williams and Glen McCune, remind us always that music is a joy we can never turn back and a joy we return to y’ all who come sing and to y’ all who come listen.
My wife and I heard One Voice about 6 years ago. I called Glen McCune the next Monday to ask about joining and have been with the group ever since, now on the Board. I love all music, but choral music is my favorite to hear and perform. I'm not blessed with the greatest of voices and the "y'all come" nature of OV is an attraction. However, the mission of promoting racial reconciliation using music as the medium is what drives my passion for the group. If we only represented an opportunity for this reconciliation, we would be performing a great service. To offer that opportunity with truly outstanding music is a blessing beyond compare.
I have enjoyed this setting for singing, and as a byproduct, developing relationships between races and people from other backgrounds.
Singing with One Voice Chorus is the perfect solution for someone like me who loves singing but does not have the voice to participate in a professional group. I find this to be a wonderful group of diverse people who bring the vision of One Voice Chorus to life. I am honored to be part of this group. I know that our concerts are a gift to the community.
Being a part of One Voice Chorus is a remarkable gift -the opportunity to combine my personal beliefs with what I love to do - experience uplifting music and promote racial understanding in Richmond in the company of people whom I genuinely enjoy. Each week as we are reminded to "introduce ourselves to someone we don't know" I see the community I live in reflected in the singers around me. People of different races and religions from all over the city and surrounding communities who might have always remained strangers, I now value and appreciate as friends. This is no ordinary chorus learning simple tunes - we work hard! - under the spirited, dedicated direction of Glen McCune and Frank Williams and the commitment of our board. We are sustained and encouraged by our mission as we strive to bring beauty and brotherhood to all who see the diversity of our faces and hear our single message.
As a former professional singer and arts administrator, I am amazed at the level of musical and organizational excellence achieved by One Voice with non-auditioned singers and a part-time staff. The social mission of racial reconciliation is what makes this chorus so special. Singers are attracted to the group not only because of their love of music, but also their desire to connect with people in a personal, non-threatening way. As we focus on making beautiful music, we become a metaphor for community - very different voices pursuing a common purpose in harmony.
I have been involved with One Voice for five(5) years and I have not sung with any other group that I have enjoyed more than One Voice. The directors are truly patient and encouraging each one of us to strive to learn the music and enoy it in the process. You want to sing you best and put on a great concert for the joy of the audience.
This choral group of 100+ achieves a socially responsible community mission of bringing together a diverse group of people (different ages, different ethnic backgrounds, different singing abilities!), and provides a gathering place for people to come together to practice and perform great music. At the same time, it provides a comfortable environment where we learn to appreciate other remarkable human beings that we wouldn't ordinarily have the opportunity to know. OneVoice Chorus is a musical gem of a choir, where anyone can join and sing and feel at home.
I have been involved in Richmond activities promoting tolerance and dthe values of diversity since i moved here over 38 years ago. I joined One voice several years ago. Singing with this special group has been a joy personally and I often hear from audience members how very important our music is to them and to Richmond as we all work together toward a healthier community.