C21 Women's Ensemble is an auditioned choral project dedicated to the performance of the best of choral music, from medieval to contemporary. With only six rehearsals per program and two programs per season, our mission is to provide an intensive, high quality choral experience with a focus on music by contemporary composers.
In 2014, we first started as a mixed chorus dedicated to performing the best of choral music. As the years have gone by, our ensemble has grown and changed in many ways. We are now a small ensemble of women, with a mission of women’s empowerment. When crafting our programs, we strive to reflect the work and influence of women, whether performing contemporary compositions or carrying forward music from centuries past. As women, we are informed by the past. We gain strength from the inspiration in the compositions we sing and we bring that strength into the roles we navigate daily—as professionals, daughters, mothers, partners and teachers.
We started out as the 21st Century Chorale, with the goal of highlighting contemporary compositions while celebrating the classic choral tradition. While we love that name, it no longer serves as an accurate reflection of our group or our mission. We’re no longer a chorale, but an ensemble that defines our musical expression with each concert.
It is with great excitement that we reintroduce ourselves as C21 Women’s Ensemble. This new name reflects our ongoing dedication to women’s empowerment as well as our contemporary focus. We hope you love it as much as we do!
Conductor, singer, voice teacher, and innovator, Founder and Artistic Director Martha Swisher completed her undergraduate work at Indiana University and her graduate musical training at Northwestern University. She has served on the faculty of several Chicago-area educational institutions and as musical and artistic director for numerous musical theater productions, and counts more than 10 years of service as Music Director of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park. A self-described artistic instigator, Marty Swisher believes "music is a near miracle of communication between performers and audience, and there is nothing quite so magical as the collective voice of a dedicated, unified chorus."
Our singers come from various backgrounds and walks of life. They share a love for music and a dedicated interest in singing. We believe that our ensemble is richer for the variety of voices, ages, neighborhoods, and personalities represented!
We would love to consider adding your voice to our chorus. Please click here for more information about singing with us!
C21 Women's Ensemble regularly collaborates with accompanist Peter Storms, a multi-instrumentalist who "brings an intuitive sense of music and sound and precise attention to detail to every project." His work has been heard on many stages throughout Chicagoland.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Director & President Theresa M. Schultz
Accounting/Treasurer & Legal Compliance Joan Pederson
External Relations/Secretary Muriel Reymond
Concert Relations Gloria Elam Norris
Revenue Development Barbara DeBellis Benezra
Business Management/Development Karen Barbee-Dixon
Artistic Brand Development Keanon Kyles
Website & Social Media Manager Carolyn Ten Eyck
Audio/Video Recording and Editing Jim Parks
Costume & Set Design Kate Burch
Ex-Officio Ed McDevitt