The annual giving of more than 300 individuals, corporations, and family foundation funds has been critical to advancing the mission and artistry of the Orange County Women’s Chorus. All of our singers and board members are also donors to the OCWC, giving not only financial resources to the best of their ability, but also their time and talent. Every dollar makes a difference, and these are some of the ways in which your gifts make an impact:
- Your $30 gift will allow two deserving students to experience live choral music for the first time.
- Your $160 gift will provide two weeks of rehearsal space.
- Your $250 gift will support a singer who would otherwise be unable to make music with us.
- Your $1,000 gift will underwrite concert expenses to help us keep music affordable and accessible in Orange County.
- Your $2,500 gift will underwrite a conducting internship for a promising young woman conductor.
- Your $5,000 gift will underwrite a commission to create new music for women’s voices!
We are deeply grateful to those of you who donate annually to ensure our success. While we are unable to list all of our supporters here, we extend our deepest appreciation to each and every one of you. Donors are recognized in the giving categories below in our concert programs throughout the season, and in our annual report.
Dame Ethel Smyth’s Suffragist Army (Gifts of $2,500 and more)
Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) loved music so much that in her early years, she went on a hunger strike to persuade her father to allow her to study composition in Leipzig. There, she met Clara Schumann, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky, and began her career as a composer of operas and choral works. In 1903, her opera Der Wald became the first opera by a woman to be performed at the Met. A leader of women, Dame Ethel was a fierce advocate for women’s suffrage; she also possessed a solid sense of humor, once conducting her own suffragist anthem in prison with her toothbrush after she and her fellow protesters were arrested.
Clara Schumann’s Musical Family (Gifts of $1,500 to $2,499)
Recognized as one of the most gifted pianists in Europe from her early youth, Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896) was also a noted composer, performer, and advocate for the piano works of her husband, Robert Schumann. Clara Schumann raised seven children and was the breadwinner in the Schumann household, supporting her family as a concert artist and managing the family’s finances. A multi-talented musician, a devoted wife and mother, and a lifelong friend and artistic muse to Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann was a sustainer of artistic excellence with a strong practical sense.
Hildegard von Bingen’s Community of Vision (Gifts of $500 to $1,499)
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), also known as the Sibyl of the Rhine, was a theologian and a gifted composer who realized her mystical vocation early in life. After gaining deeper understanding of scriptural teaching in a moment of profound mystical insight, she was elected to head the community of women where she was trained. A visionary, Hildegard saw music as a way to recapture the original joy and beauty of paradise.
Fanny Mendelssohn’s Musical Salon (Gifts of $150 to $499)
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847) was a brilliant young woman from a prominent Jewish family who was educated in music alongside her brother, Felix. A highly talented composer for voice and piano, Fanny was discouraged by her family from pursuing her own career in music, and many of her early songs were published under her brother’s name. Still, since she was a young woman from a leading family, domestic concerts remained within her purview, and she soon became recognized as one of the leading cultural lights in Berlin for her musical salons, held in the Mendelssohn family home.
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’s Chorus (Donations up to $149)
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602-c.1678), the Abbess of the Convent of Santa Radegonda in Milan, led a group of nuns widely acknowledged to be the best singers in Italy. An accomplished composer and choirmaster, she defended women’s music-making before her superiors within the Church, and was a powerful and effective advocate for women’s music and women musicians.