Indianapolis Women’s Chorus Marks 30 Years of LGBTQ+ Empowerment

The 'Seasons of Love' Concert spotlights social advocacy
Indianapolis Women's Chorus performing

Indianapolis Women’s Chorus (IWC) marks its remarkable three-decade journey with a jubilant celebration encapsulated in the “Seasons of Love” concert, scheduled for May 18 and 19. This milestone event promises a harmonious blend of diverse musical genres, featuring R&B, folk classics from luminaries like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, as well as vocal jazz, gospel, and a selection of choral pieces.

A highlight of the anniversary celebration is the debut of “Fire-Flowers,” a composition crafted exclusively for IWC by acclaimed composer Tyler Secor.

In its early years, during the early 1990s, IWC emerged alongside the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus. It was conceived as a nurturing haven for gay and lesbian vocalists. At a time when LGBTQ+ individuals faced scant opportunities for self-expression and acceptance, IWC’s founding principle was to provide solace through music.

Reflecting on the genesis of IWC, former Board Member Kaye McSpadden said, “Born out of the crushing personal experiences of societal and family rejection, systemic discrimination, and the horrors of the AIDS epidemic, the dream of forming a gay-friendly musical organization was precious. The group would be a much-needed sanctuary for its members and provide a positive way to work for change through music.”

Indianapolis Women's Chorus joyfully singing

While societal landscapes have evolved and IWC has matured over the last three decades, its mission remains unwavering: fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. Today, the chorus comprises 100 individuals spanning a spectrum of gender identities, including women, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and transgender individuals. Diverse in age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ability, and musical expertise, they collectively infuse IWC with vibrancy and richness.

Meagan Johnson, Artistic Director of IWC, underscores the chorus’s commitment to amplifying marginalized voices and championing social causes. We are intentional about sharing songs that affirm the experiences of those whose voices often go unheard, highlighting the music of women, LGBTQ+, feminist, and BIPOC composers or arrangers,” said IWC Artistic Director Meagan Johnson. We also work to raise awareness about social and environmental issues and support the work of others engaged in creating a more just, peaceful, and inclusive community,” she said.

Since its inaugural performance in 1994, IWC has welcomed 480 singers from across Central Indiana, each contributing to its legacy of musical excellence and social advocacy. As IWC prepares to mark this significant milestone, “Seasons of Love” promises to be a celebration of resilience, diversity, and the transformative power of music.

The concert performances take place on Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 3 p.m. at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis. Tickets are $20 through April 30, $25 from May 1 to May 18 at noon, $30 at the door and Children aged 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at Pay-what-you-can tickets are available on May 1 at this link.

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