The William and Mary Botetourt Chamber Singers will perform two concerts in April.
Jamie Bartlett, director of Botetourt, said the group sings a cappella because they will perform in a lot of tight spaces, like the Wren Building’s Great Hall, where an accompanying instrument won’t fit.
“The challenge for me is finding chamber music for a small a cappella group,” Bartlett said. “The nice thing about this group is they're such good musicians they have an easy time maintaining pitch.”
Their first concert of the month on April 7, is “100 Years of Women,” which will feature music written by female composers. Songs will range from Icelandic folk music to works by a composer from Philadelphia.
“(The concert is) a real mixed bag of all different kinds of music, but it’s mostly western forms of classical art music,” Bartlett said.
She said with this performance, the students realize they’re part of a bigger cause and feel like they’re connected to the college.
“This year knowing every piece that we’re doing is by a female composer is really kind of eye-opening to know there’s so much music,” Bartlett said.
The second concert on April 17, is with the Williamsburg Music Club. Bartlett said her group sings with the club every three or four years.
“What was fun for me was knowing we had this great theme, it’s called ‘Cecilia Sings’ which has been a great way for music teachers in the area to come and hear a concert of all-women’s music,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett said she hopes the concert encourages music educators to put more female-composed music in their programs, which she said is even hard for her.
“The biggest challenge for me was finding all this music — it's not necessarily published music,” Bartlett said. “I’ve written to a lot of these composers and gotten permission from them.”
Want to go?
“100 Years of Women” begins at 2 p.m. April 7, in the Wren Building’s Great Hall, 111 Jamestown Road. Free.
The Williamsburg Music Club performance is at 11 a.m. on April 17, Bruton Parish Church, 331 Duke of Gloucester St. Free.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.