The Pennsylvania Girlchoir (PG) maintains a repertoire steeped in the classical tradition and enhanced by music from many cultures and time periods. Established in 2004, PG was lauded as “a happy addition to the musical resources of the region.” In 2007 the Girlchoir’s stellar performance in Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia led its music director Alan Harler to declare the Pennsylvania Girlchoir as “the finest girlchoir I’ve ever worked with,” and music critic Michael Caruso said PG “sang with impressive delicacy of tone, smoothness of balance and blend, and security of projection…” The Philadelphia Inquirer lauded the Girlchoir’s debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Singers.
The 2017-18 season marks the 14th season of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and the addition of Melissa Keylock as PG’s first full-time Music Director. PG has collaborated with many important Philadelphia arts and culture organizations, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mendelssohn Club, Opera Philadelphia (for which it serves as official girlchoir), the Curtis Institute of Music, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Lyric Fest, WHYY, the University of Pennsylvania, and Network for New Music. The Girlchoir was proud to participate in two world premiere performance events in 2011 as a part of the first Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), collaborating with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in the first of these and with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Keystone State Boychoir in the second. As the touring choir of Pennsylvania Girlchoir, the Motets have performed internationally in Iceland, the Pacific Northwest, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Uruguay and Argentina. This past summer the Troubadors and Trouveres toured Sweden.
The Pennsylvania Girlchoir was the proud recipient of a 2013 Knight Foundation Challenge Grant, making possible GETMusic! – “Girls Empowered Through Music.” The Festival, a pillar of the PG 10th Anniversary Season, took place October 14, 2014, and celebrated women singers, women composers, and women conductors. Led by renowned conductor Lynnel Joy Jenkins and featuring a world-premier commission by local composer Andrea Clearfield, with words by renowned poet Sonia Sanchez, the first GETMusic! Festival was conceived by PG’s then Music Director Vincent Metallo, who in turn was inspired by writer Eve Ensler’s call for endeavors that allow girls and young women to be “their authentic selves.”
The Pennsylvania Girlchoir, its brother-choir the Keystone State Boychoir, and cousin choirs Garden State Girlchoir and New Jersey Boychoir, along with the school outreach program Find Your Instrument! and the early childhood music education program Good Mornin’ Music!, are programs of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), founded in 2001 by Joseph P. Fitzmartin and Steven M. Fisher. Over 600 young singers are served by CY, which is a non-profit organization committed to providing superior choral music education and performance opportunities for young people from diverse economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
A Sampling of Recent Performances
Pennsylvania Girlchoir office: firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about auditions: