One Voice Chorus of Charlotte (OVC) Artistic Director Cory Davis and Board President Brian DuBois announced March 9 the debut of “Songs of the Phoenix,” a world premiere musical presentation. The event will take place Friday and Saturday, April 1- 2, at 7 p.m. at Providence United Methodist Church (2810 Providence Rd.). Tickets are on sale now at onevoicechorus.com.

Tony Award nominated Broadway composer Andrew Lippa brought together the much-anticipated world premiere of the musical collection “Songs of the Phoenix” and Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen produced. This monumental choral work features 10 movements created by 13 different composers and lyricists, representing a myriad of musical genres, personal identities and cultures: Indigenous people, Black, Pacific Islander, Chinese,  and white; women, men, and trans; gay, straight, bi, and pansexual; opera, theater, performance art, and pop; and ages spanning more than four decades. They are (in alphabetical order): Ty Defoe, Alexandra Elle, Siedah Garrett, Joriah Kwamé, Patrick and Daniel Lazour, Andrew Lippa, Melissa Li, Ingrid Michaelson, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Diana Syrse, and Kit Yan. 

Weaving together each movement is spoken narration, contextualizing the drama of the various pieces. OVC and local community leaders will organize talkbacks immediately following both performances, providing space for dialogue about the themes presented.

The phoenix has been emblematic of the spirit and determination of the human race, and the LGBTQ population at large. The legend of the Firebird teaches us that, while no community is immune to tragedy and loss, we may rise above our shared struggle and find joy. Through individual songs with powerful messages, each creator brought multifaceted cultural, spiritual, and emotional experiences to life. The music tells the stories of hardship, rebirth, and victory –perfect for our times.

One Voice Chorus (OVC) is the LGBTQ+ and allies chorus of Charlotte. Always striving towards artistic excellence, OVC works to increase understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community . Our achievement in choral music enables us to reach diverse groups to overcome misperceptions and to grow personally, both as performers and as leaders in our community.

Since 1989, when five Charlotte residents met to form the chorus, OVC has grown into an important source of strength for our community. The 25 singers at our first rehearsal in January 1990 have become a joyous and dedicated group of more than 70 singers, support members, and paid musical staff. All are welcome in this non-auditioned group, which exists to present a public face and voice of the LGBTQIA+ community as we work toward social justice.

One of the pioneering gay-affirming choruses in the South, OVC is also one of fewer than a dozen choruses in the national LGBTQIA+ choral community where all members along the gender spectrum perform together.

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