Trailblazing: Kansas City Women’s Chorus
The harmony isn’t just in the voices. As the organization’s mission statement states, “The Kansas City Women’s Chorus is a catalyst for change, pushing ourselves and our audiences beyond what is thought possible. Simply singing is not enough.”
KCWC was founded in 1999 by Stephanie Henry. Today, the Chorus includes more than 100 members. Emily Marrin, executive director, stated, “As an arts organization, we have the opportunity to give a platform to and amplify the voices of other non profits in our area. We enrich their mission and events through our outreach performances and giving them tables in our concert lobby and musical collaborations on our stage.”
“We know that our everyday actions are a reflection of what we do as a chorus,” said Marjie Siegfried-Stuber, board vice president. She added, “At every board meeting, we address ways we can increase our impact in the Kansas City area – and by extension, the world itself – through our music, our volunteer efforts, and our partnerships. These partnerships aren’t just something that happen; they are an intentional and integral part of what KCWC is as an organization.”
Some of the organizations that KCWC has partnered with and/or provided services and support to include the Women’s Equality Coalition, Veronica’s Voice, Gilda’s Club, Amethyst Place, Harvesters, Sheffield Place, in addition to the Kansas City Girls’ Choir and the Kansas City Kansas Community College Chamber Choir. KCWC also partners with and/or provides assistance to organizations that are focused on girls or women, in addition to underserved nursing homes and other groups.
“We can name more than 80 organizations that we support individually or collectively. Pre-COVID-19, we did approximately 12 ‘runouts’ each year, which means we had a representative small ensemble from KCWC that would provide entertainment for organizations throughout Kansas City,” said Marjie Siegfried-Stuber. She added, “We have provided cash to our partners, as well as tangible marketing by highlighting their organizations at every one of our concerts. We distribute their materials, provide free advertisement, and showcase their missions. Over the 23 years of KCWC’s existence, more than 15 organizations have received this heightened visibility, and all 80 have been listed on our website and/or in our printed program.”
A highlight from Chorus members a few years ago was partnering with a group of female high school students from at-risk situations. When these young women graduated, Chorus members sent cards and gifts, some of which were the only ones received by the graduates. In exchange, they received thank you notes filled with excitement about graduation and deep appreciation for the acknowledgements they received. Everyone involved could take pride in the work they had done together.
KCWC is always in search of committed board members, as well as volunteers to assist in “front of the house” activities at concerts. Singers are always welcome to audition.
Alice Kitchen, Women’s Equality of Greater Kansas City, said of their partnership, “It has been wonderful for us and for our members. The music KCWC creates is a tribute to all women. It’s all about women’s rights, women’s choices. KCWC contributes to our community through their music, and we are so grateful, because KCWC’s music lifts our hearts and inspires us.”
Featured in the March 19, 2022 issue of The Independent.
Photo credit: AndersonArtwork.com
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