|A New Season, A New Home and New Music
MUSE looks into a bright new future
MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir's 33rd season is going to be challenging and busy. We intend this new chapter of MUSE to be very meaningful and impactful, not only to the lives of others but our own as well, and we hope you will join us again this year.
Plans for the year include a move in August to our new home base at Community Matters in Lower Price Hill. Our new office and rehearsal space will be housed in their newly renovated facility that can also serve as a small performance venue.
In addition to our new home, MUSE is working hard on updating our vision and mission statements. We believe in what and where we sing; we desire to remain current and relevant and wish our vision and mission to continue to reflect that. We are excited about making a difference through musical excellence and look forward to sharing all that work with you.
Likewise, we are excited about our concerts. Our fall concert - Rivers Valleys Mountains - will feature Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers Blue Grass Band. We will sing about preserving the earth and a very important topic, displacement (when people are forced out of their homes and neighborhoods often due to greed or development) is a message for us all to share.
This winter we are collaborating with MyCincinnati (Music for Youth in Cincinnati), the new inspiring youth orchestra from East Price Hill. Like MUSE, these young people work to make a difference in their community through music. In addition to this collaboration, we will take concerts to Berea College and Earlham College.
MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir appreciates your continued patronage. Your financial support allows us to continue to sing for social change. Donate today. I appreciate that you continue to give until it feels good! Together we make a difference!
I hope that your summer is one of renewal and filled with making new memories.
"Where words fail, music speaks"
Hans Christian Andersen
Excited to make Lower Price Hill our new home
Over the past years MUSE has grown and developed on many levels, including choir membership, operational complexity, and community connections. We've grown so much, in fact, that we've outgrown our current rehearsal and office space at St. John's Unitarian Universalist Church.
Now, after more than a year of searching, we are happy to announce that we have found a new home:
Saint Michael campus
in Lower Price Hill. We will move into our new office in late August, and begin rehearsing at Community Matters in September.
We are very excited to partner with Community Matters, whose goals of removing barriers to opportunity and developing community fit so well with
's dedication to social change. You can learn more about Community Matters and Lower Price Hill in the article below.
Thank you to the many people who have been involved in this relocation effort, particularly to Relocation Committee members Rachel Gaspar'raj, Janet Neidhard, Julie Brock and Samara Carpenter.
We also extend a heart-felt thank you to the staff and congregants, present and past, of St. John's, who have generously allowed MUSE to be a part of their community for almost 30 years. We look forward to finding new ways to work together with you in the pursuit of peace and social justice.
Artistic Director President, Board of Directors
A Place to call HOME!
I look at MUSE's move to Community Matters in Lower Price Hill as the dawn of a new era for the choir. As a member of MUSE's Social Change Committee as well as a resident of Lower Price Hill, I know there are plenty of ways we can partner with Community Matters and the residents of the neighborhood that will have a positive impact on us all.
Community Matters was formed in 2014 as a sister organization to Education Matters which was formerly the Lower Price Hill Community School. Together the two organizations work hand-in-hand with residents to strengthen the community and remove barriers to opportunity. Thanks to state and federal tax credits plus private donations, the organizations are nearing the end of the renovation of their five-building campus including the space known as The Sanctuary that was formerly St. Michael's Parish. Not only will The Sanctuary serve as MUSE's rehearsal space and occasional performance space, but it will also be used for a variety community events plus is available for private events. There are numerous other spaces and services that will make up the vast campus.
While many of the longtime residents of the neighborhood are Appalachian, in recent years the population has become more diverse including numerous Hispanic immigrants from Guatemala. This diversity is sure to inspire MUSE as we interact more and more with the residents of Lower Price Hill. We encourage you to plan a visit to our new neighborhood and be a part of this exciting new chapter of
Julie Brock, AI
Auditions for 33rd Season
August 15, at Community Matters
Please mark the audition date in your calendar now.
Before auditioning, we encourage women to read our history and philosophy.
Click here to complete an Audition Request Form. Shortly after you submit a request form, you will receive an email from our Membership Circle with audition information.
What is the audition like?
Auditions are scheduled in 10 minute increments. When you arrive for your audition, there will be a small group of singing members who will meet you. They are there to answer questions and get to know you before your vocal audition. This informal interview is also considered part of your audition.
For your vocal audition, you will do a vocal warm-up and be asked to sight-sing a portion of another song. Additionally, you will sing with other singers to hear your voice blend. Finally, you will be expected to select and sing one piece. This piece can be any style you are comfortable with. You can sing your solo accompanied, (an accompanist is provided and please bring a copy of the music for the accompanist), a cappella or you may accompany yourself (guitar, tape, etc). Memorization is optional.
How many singers is MUSE looking for?
MUSE always strives to represent diversity within our membership and we encourage all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, sexual preferences, and musical styles to audition. The choir tries to maintain membership at 60-70, with balanced voice parts. On your audition day, we will know better which sections we are filling.
If you are asked to join the choir, there will be a new member orientation soon after that date.
The Amazing Judy Herbold
Judy Herbold has been blessing MUSE with her wisdom and beautiful voice for 23 seasons. Judy recalls, "I auditioned for MUSE 23 years ago to see if I had the courage to do it...and because when I heard MUSE for the first time at Grailville, I knew that's where I needed to sing. MUSE sang
from their hearts, music with a message, and the audience loved them. And of course, I cried."
Some Fun Facts about Judy:
- Judy's first home was a Quonset hut on the Lighter than Air Naval Base in Southern California.
- She was later raised on the shores of Lakes Superior and Erie.
- She loves snow.
- Judy has one sister who is her best friend & confidant. Judy quips, "She's younger and I'm wiser!"
- She has two children, four grandchildren, two Shetland Sheep Dogs, and a partner of 48 years.
- Judy's hobbies include gardening (perennials and vegetables), swimming, bike riding, camping, and kayaking.
- Bing Cherries are her favorite food.
- The last book she read was Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
- Judy's favorite word depends on the feeling she is having...but ultimately it's "Beloved."
When asked what animal she would choose to be, Judy thoughtfully answered, "I would rather be a Mockingbird because she sings everyone's songs from the top of telephone poles & houses. I especially love hearing her at midnight when her song fills the silence of darkness."
In response to the question "What does MUSE mean to you?" Judy replied, "MUSE is my musical home...a place that has challenged my psychological and musical abilities...and from which I have come more into myself. My most meaningful memory was MUSE's trip to England where we had lots of time to get to know one another. We did a concert in London with Holly Near to raise money for a women's clinic in Kosovo. Then we went to a conference in Manchester where we did a concert and workshop to teach some of Ysaye Maria Barnwell's Spirituals. There were lots of tears and we were asked how we could sing this music and not cry. We laughed and assured them that tears were all part of the lesson of singing Ysaye's music."
We love having Judy as a member of the Soprano II section and as a spiritual guide. May she sing with MUSE for another 23 seasons!
Amy Arnold, SII, Membership Co-Chair, Board member