Musical Magic of moira smiley & VOCO Returns

Young Women’s Choral Festival Special Guests

The multi-instrumental, vocal magicians moira smiley & VOCO headline The Poet Sings, a celebration of women poets and composers featuring the 200-voice Young Women’s Choral Festival conducted by composer and master conductor Andrea Ramsey.

Building on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death for the theme of picfest 2016, the Young Women’s Choral Festival provided the perfect platform for turning the spotlight on women poets and composers.  With conductor Andrea Ramsey at the helm, the ASCAPlus award-winning composer has approximately 90 published choral works in print with traditional publishers such as Alliance, Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Colla Voce, G. Schirmer, GIA, Pavane, Santa Barbara and Walton. She is also venturing into digital publishing via web-based music marketplace,


How It All Began

“What began as an extension of the Shakespeare theme for our June festival week soon evolved into The Poet Sings, a celebration of women poets and composers.  Andrea offers a new setting of one Shakespeare text, but with a couple exceptions, the rest of the program introduces the audience to familiar and lesser known pieces of the rapidly expanding repertoire by women composers,” explains artistic director Peter Robb.

Moira Smiley’s compositional voice and vocal capacity for music and ethnic singing styles is both entertaining and astonishing.  “She is a master of capturing the colors, timbres and soul of ethnic music from around the world,” observes Ramsey.  “From the bel canto flexibility of western conservatory training to the wailing of a tribal invocation, Moira gives voice to the stories and culture of women everywhere.”

When she joins her band mates in moira smiley & VOCO, the multi-instrumental textures and vocal harmonies can transport the listener to another place, or excite them to the core with foot stompin’, rhythmically complex body percussion.


What to Expect for 2016

The 200-voice chorus of young women from across North America will sing a varied program and join in with the guest artists for a rousing set of collaboration.

“The level of artistry that these young singers bring to the Festival Chorus is absolutely breathtaking.  They’ve been preparing for this gathering all year,” says Robb. “Our first day together is the Fourth of July and I predict a week of musical fireworks.”

This is the second collaboration between the festival artistic team of Ramsey, moira smiley & VOCO and Robb.  “We’re all anticipating an experience of musical and personal growth that will be a bright spot in the lives of these choristers and their organizations for years to come. ” The six participating choirs from Kansas, Ontario and Washington represent three returning ensembles and three attending for the first time.

The concert venue is Main Auditorium at First Baptist Church, three minutes north of Beltline off Coburg Road.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets are available at the Hult Center Box Office – in person, online and by phone. Tickets will also be available at the door. Seating is general admission.