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Concord Women’s Chorus showcases women composers

The Concord Women’s Chorus rehearses for Saturday’s concert at Trinity Episcopal Church, where the ensemble will be joined by the Concord-Carlisle High girls’ chorus.

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The Concord Women’s Chorus rehearses for Saturday’s concert at Trinity Episcopal Church, where the ensemble will be joined by the Concord-Carlisle High girls’ chorus.

As Jane Ring Frank, artistic director of the Concord Women’s Chorus, sees it, a women’s chorus shouldn’t only connote women singing.

It should also mean music written by and specifically for women.

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Fortunately, scouring music libraries for examples is a challenge that Frank has long embraced.

Saturday afternoon, the Concord Women’s Chorus presents its spring concert, “For a Dream’s Sake: Giving Women Voice.” The program showcases “Les Sirènes,” by Lili Boulanger, who in 1913 was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome, as well as music by contemporary composers Abbie Betinis (“Be Like a Bird”), Libby Larsen (“Canticle of Mary”), Eleanor Daley (“Rose Trilogy,” “Child with the Starry Crayon,” and “A Hymn for St. Cecilia”), Beth Denisch (“Facial” and “Oh Strange and Lucid Moment”), and Ruth Watson Henderson (“The Path of Light”).

“Finding credible and beautiful and complex music for women’s voices has always been a challenge,” said Frank, who has headed the 53-year-old Concord Women’s Chorus for the past two decades. “A lot of music for women’s voices is an arrangement of something that was not specifically written for them.

“My personal goal is always to find music, both historical and contemporary, organically written for women’s voices. And since women composers have won the Pulitzer Prize for music in two out of the past four years — Jennifer Higdon in 2010 and Caroline Shaw in 2013— it seemed like the right moment to highlight women composers.”

The Concord Women’s Chorus traveled to Philadelphia this spring to perform the same program.

A special addition to this weekend’s concert will be the participation of the Concord-Carlisle High School girls’ chorus, reflecting the group’s commitment to promoting music in younger singers.

“Just as we have been inspired by the composers who came before us, part of our mission is to inspire the next generation of musicians,” said Kathleen Chapman, chairwoman of the ensemble. “It has been increasingly important to our group to pass the torch on and encourage young singers to love the music we love, particularly pieces by women, which do not get performed nearly as often as those by their male counterparts.”

And the 60 women, who come from Concord and 20 other nearby towns, hope that their very presence teaches the high school singers something about the role of music in an adult’s life as well.

“We want them to see that music can be a lifelong pursuit, not just something you do in middle school or high school,” said Chapman. “Those of us in the Concord Women’s Chorus have continued this throughout our lives simply because we love singing so much.”

The Concord Women’s Chorus, joined by the high school singers and accompanied by Boston pianist Scott Nicholas, performs Saturday at 4 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm St. in Concord. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students, and $10 for children 12 and under, and can be purchased at www.concordwomenschorus.org. For more information, call 978- 852-4239.

MORE CHORAL MUSIC: Harvard Pro Musica, a nonaudition community chorus founded in 1969, performs “Into the Light: Music for Our Times” on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, 435 Central St., Acton.

The program includes music by Benjamin Britten, Morten Lauridsen, and Tarik O’Regan, whose composition will be accompanied by a nine-member string ensemble from the Orchestra of Indian Hill, a Littleton-based ensemble.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $16 for seniors and students; under 12 free. For details, go to www.harvardpromusica.org or call 978-456-5309.

ART IN THREE COLORS: The Belmont Gallery of Art is presenting “Green/Yellow/Blue — A Thumbtack Show” through Sunday in its exhibition space on the third floor of the Homer Building, part of the Town Hall complex in Belmont Center.

All of the works in the show include one or more of the title colors, and are hung with either thumbtacks or clips — no frames or mats allowed.

“Green/Yellow/Blue” features work from artists living in Belmont and surrounding communities, and represents a variety of media. A closing reception with the artists will take place Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Homer Building gallery, 19 Moore St.

The exhibit space is open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Go to www.belmontgallery.org for more information.

CLASSIC BALLET: Dance Prism presents “Don Quixote” Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 56 King St., Littleton.

A reception with the principal dancers follows the performance. Tickets are $18 for youths and seniors, $24 for adults; call 978-371-1038 or visit www.danceprism.com.

TEEN DRAMA: The Freelance Players ensemble presents “Mob Scene,” an original musical set in the Roaring ‘20s, complete with speakeasies and flappers, this weekend at the Park School, 171 Goddard Ave., Brookline.

The cast members, all ages 12 to 16, come from 12 communities. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Suggested donation at the door is $10 for adults, $5 children.

For more information, call 617-232-1175 or visit www.freelance­players.org.

POETRY BY NIGHT: Poet and performer Cheryl Perreault hosts “Wake Up and Smell the Poetry” Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham.

Normally a Saturday morning program at HCAM Studios in Hopkinton, the show offers a special prime-time opportunity to experience live poetry presented by a lineup of popular local spoken-word artists.

Tickets are $15, or $14 for students and seniors, and $12 for Amazing Things members. For advance tickets or more information, go to www.amazingthings.org.

Send ideas to nancyswest@ gmail.com. Please include the date of the event in the subject line.

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