March 9, 2017
Vox Femina gave a cabaret performance at the home of councilman Thomas Small last Saturday night. With a Valentine’s day theme, seven women from Vox Femina sang various love-themed tunes while the audience revelled in the fun. Special guests included Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells, who gave an impromptu performance of “Pennies from Heaven”, and Matthew Alexander from the Gay Men’s Chorus. They ended with a sing-along of “My Funny Valentine”which was a real crowd-pleaser and the perfect song to end the night. Vox femina is a choral group of 40 women that gives women of all races and sexual identities a voice. They recently performed for a crowd of 750,000 at the “Women’s March LA” at Pershing Square, and continued to lead marchers through song as they made their way to city hall. Their upcoming performance “Sacred and Profane” will be held at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles on March 19th. The Founder and Artistic Director, Dr. Iris S. Levine described the evening as a throwback to the Romantic Period when most music was heard in salons in the same cabaret-fashion. In comparison to large concert halls a cabaret takes place in a more intimate setting, which lets the individual voices of Vox shine. Vox Femina sings all genres of music from pop and musical theater to classical, in which Dr. Levine describes as “eclectic”. The singers all come from various backgrounds such as rocket scientists, to musical theater stars. Rhonda Dillon, a member of Vox Femina for three years, always knew she wanted to sing, ever since she joined her father’s church choir at the age of three. She toured with Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and now teaches a class of “Music Appreciation at Cerritos College. She received a voice degree from USC and got her master’s in Choral Conducting as well. Missy Nieto, in her eighth year at Vox Femina, discovered her love for singing when she was offered a solo at her eighth grade graduation and fell in love with singing straight away.
She studied performing arts and history in college and she wanted to find a women’s chorus to be involved with in her free time. So she google searched “LA women’s chorus” and Vox Femina popped up. As one of LA’s few elite all-women’s choruses, Vox was an obvious choice for Missy. Councilman Thomas Small built his house specifically to hold recitals and performances in his parlor. He is a big lover of music and the arts as he was once a tenor for Yale’s Russian Chorus in college. For Saturday’s performance they used the balcony overlooking the living room to display their singers, and even incorporated his spiral-shaped stairs too. In conclusion, the love themed night was wonderfully intimate and I really felt the singers singing their hearts out. From classic love songs to witty musical theater pieces I loved seeing all of the individual voices shine. Cassidy O' Connor is a correspondent for KSM Kid Scoop Media. http://www.kidscoopmedia.org