About Pennsylvania Girlchoir

About Pennsylvania Girlchoir

Pennsylvania Girlchoir

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 summer the Troubadors and Trouveres will tour Sweden.

GETMusic!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 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, 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

  • Singing for Malala Yousafzai, youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, at the Liberty Medal Celebration.
  • Carmen with Opera Company of Philadelphia
  • World premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s A Charm of Moonlight at Philadelphia Museum of Art (part of 2011 PIFA)
  • world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Hope: An Oratorio with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia (part of 2011 PIFA)
  • world premiere of Kile Smith’s Two Psalms
  • Girls at Kimmel CenterPrinceton Theological Seminary
  • Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Westport, CT
  • Benjamin Britten’s St Nicolas First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
  • St John’s UCC, Lansdale, PA
  • First Presbyterian Church of Germantown
  • Joint concert with Princeton High School Concert Choir
  • PG Winter Choral Festival with Princeton Girlchoir and the Children’s Chorus of Washington, DC
  • The Hill at Whitemarsh Fort Washington, PA
  • Cathedral Village Andorra, PA
  • Carmina Burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • On the Transmigration of Souls (a Philadelphia premiere of a work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams) with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia
  • Elijah with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia
  • The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Public Broadcasting System’s President’s Dinner, honoring newscasters Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer
  • The arrival of the U.S.S. Cole at the Welcome America celebration at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia
  • Commerce Bank President’s Award Ceremonies
  • Various concert series in the greater Philadelphia region
  • The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Pennsylvania Girlchoir office: 215.247.6901. For information about auditions: pgmembership@cychoirs.org