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No. 199 : Joyful VOICES’ Newest Groupie, C’est Moi


I had the opportunity to attend an electrifying vocal concert in Paris last weekend.

As you have probably gathered, I love the performing arts and I try to support my children, my friends, and my friends’ children whenever possible. Last Friday was no exception, but it turned out to be exceptional.

Late as usually, I zoomed down to the Marais to support my friend Andrea in her new choral home: VOICES Choir International. And, boy, am I glad I did. Aside from Button’s run in Pasek and Paul’s EDGES last spring, this was the most inspiring and glee-inducing performance I have seen in France.

VOICES Choir International has been around since 1989 and is headed up by the dynamic Bonnie Woolley, an American vocalist and choral director, who exudes the kind of passion and love for her craft that is almost disarming in the often serious world of choral music. Her smile and wit (even en français) is contagious. With her are 40 talented singers from around the globe who give their all. Their repertoire consists mainly of Negro Spirituals and popular and contemporary Anglo-Saxon music. On Friday, it was dedicated exclusively to Spirituals.

I have never seen a group of musicians enjoy themselves and each other so much. I sat there thinking, “Is this much fun legal?” Together in song, they made it impossible for the audience to sit still. I was reminded of the few times I have attended a Baptist church service in the South. They just needed some fabulously bright and ribboned Sunday hats, and I could have been sitting in the pew with my dear friend Sarah in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Do you know the saying: “Live like there is no tomorrow. Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one can hear you. Laugh like no one is listening.”

Well VOICES does all of the above, but amplified.

I’m not sure if the Spirit moves them, but JOY certainly does.


Look them up the next time you are in Paris or the next time you need to smile and remember the good. You’ll be delighted you did.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Robert Perkins #

    I am happy to realize that what we “insiders” have known since 1989 is finally finding a well-deserved tribute in the social media. Thanks, indeed, to the writer for recalling the witnessing of a choral concert among the most exceptional! Well done, and truly merited.

    April 13, 2014
    • Thank you. I wish I had discovered them when I first arrived in France. What an amazing group of VOICES…truly a gift to the Paris music scene.

      April 13, 2014
  2. I have this saying posted on my refrigerator! Merci, too, for visiting & following my blog. Bonne journee.

    April 22, 2014
  3. Great photo of the choir!

    June 4, 2014

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