3 Questions With

3 Questions With

March 9, 2017
Categories: Seattle Women's Chorus

 

SWC takes the stage at Cornish Playhouse March 17-19 with A Woman's World. Let's meet a handful of the soloists.

 

Cole Eckerman

Is there something in the concert that is particularly meaningful to you?
"I Am Woman" is easily my favorite song in this show. When I was maybe 6 or 7, my dad and I were at a thrift shop in my home town, and he got me a copy of the Helen Reddy album. When we got home, we must have listened to that song a dozen times. I remember him telling me that I might be his medium-size girl (I hated being called little!) but I was also a strong woman. I come from a long line of strong women; Rosie the Riveters, abolitionists, blue-stocking suffragettes, and champions of choice. When we sing "I Am Woman," I feel I am singing for all of them and keeping their memories alive. 

What woman, historical or contemporary, is your idol?
Historical: Margaret Sanger. Did you know Margaret Sanger was the first person to use the term "birth control?" The organization she started continues fighting for and providing access to family planning services for millions of women across the country to this day; you know it as Planned Parenthood. Having access to contraception has allowed women to become masters of our own destiny. We have Margaret Sanger to thank for that.

Contemporary: My best friend Annika. This woman is fierce! She is whip-smart, funny, and amazingly talented with everything she touches. She is remarkably successful in her field, but hasn't allowed her work ethic to turn her cold. She is such a strong and beautiful person. I am constantly inspired by her, and am so lucky to have her as my BFF. 

What aspect of the show or rehearsing it makes you laugh the most?
Everything makes me laugh. Seriously, ask anyone in the chorus. Before people knew my name, I was just known as "That First Soprano With The Laugh." Now I've graduated to "Cole, ya know, the one with the laugh."

 

Diana Gard

Is there something in the concert that is particularly meaningful to you?
Young girls forced to grow up too soon in the storm of world events. It brings out the lioness in me. These songs opened me to the amazing circle from despair to deep and powerful hope. When I took my 6 year old friend to Moana, the experience of joy and pride I felt for her was all the deeper because of these songs we are singing.

What does a woman's world look like to you?
A woman’s world is inclusive. All things are considered in the concept of success, the least of which is gain of power or money, the greatest of which is personal growth that grows everyone and everything in equal measure.

What aspect of the show or rehearsing it makes you laugh the most?
There is so much of this, and I’m so grateful for that! Most of the time, Paul’s southernness, all aspects of it - his drawl, his elegance, his embarrassment when we hear something dirty in his innocent words - these interchanges bring me to such happy places!

 

Jane Maranhas

Why did you join SWC?
After moving to Seattle in 2005 I wanted to become more involved with the GALA Choruses movement. That same summer I worked with the Boston Gay Men's Chorus on a tour to central and eastern Europe and had one of the most impactful 10 days of my life. When I returned to my new home I knew I wanted to more directly contribute while also getting back into singing after taking a few years off to focus on my career. SWC allowed me not only the ability to use my passion for singing to bring the important work of our choruses to our community and beyond, but also has given me the most important friendships I have made since moving to Seattle, friends that are my family. 

Is there something in the concert that is particularly meaningful to you?
The song, "Msilale Wanawake." There is the small fact that I have the luck of singing this solo, but I also love the message...women, lead the way! Women, you can lead the charge! Women, you can be the change! The power of women lifting each other up, pushing each other forward, and serving others cannot be matched. We have seen this over and over, but I've been inspired by the work of women in Rwanda to rebuild their nation, their government, their culture. While all problems are difficult in their own way, the work of women in Rwanda to lead, to be their change despite overwhelming odds must be an example we can all follow in our lives! 

What woman, historical or contemporary, is your idol? 
I wouldn't use the phrase idol, but what Chelsea Handler is doing with her fame is something my generation hasn't seen in a contemporary. Following in the footsteps of Jane Fonda, using her fame to shine light on issues that directly impact women, children, people as well as our planet in a way that engages a whole new audience is impressive. I also admire her commitment and passion around her friendships, especially those with women. She is a public figure that I continually see lift UP the women in her life, which was a conscious choice she made after starting her career bringing them down for the sake of a joke. Her ability to own her mistakes, take action to self correct and do even one better and champion is something I admire and strive for myself. 

I would also say my sister, Anne Morano. My sister is an outstanding friend, partner and the type of mother that I can only hope to be when my baby girl arrives in June. Anne has overcome health and social challenges since the age of 1 to become one of the most focused and determined people I know, but almost most importantly, she stands in herself like no one I have every met. She is assured of what she wants, what her family needs and while like us all she may struggle to know exactly how to get there, her tenacity to see her way through is something I will forever keep as a guiding principle for myself. 

 

Eden Nordby

Why did you join SWC?
I joined SWC this quarter to expand my opportunities to sing and to connect with people in the chorus community.

Is there something in the concert that is particularly meaningful to you?
I'm really happy to be singing about Queen Liliuokanlani, the last queen of Hawaii. I took hula dance lessons for 6 years when I was younger and learned about her then, but I didn't understand the significance of her sacrifice until much later. 

What aspect of the show or rehearsing it makes you laugh the most?
Paul! He's hilarious and makes us all laugh during every rehearsal with his "southern-isms." 

 

Victoria Williams

Is there something in the concert that is particularly meaningful to you?
Well, I love Sondheim and Barbra Streisand so "Everybody Says Don't" is a joy to sing, but the lyrics are a lighthearted reminder  that we have to stop listening to the cacophony of naysayers and instead listen to the voice that says "this woman can."

Why did you join SWC?
Because I have to sing; there is something absolutely primitive and restorative about collective voices. I also hadn't sung with a women's chorus since I was at school quite some time ago now, so discovering SWC, their reputation and mission was exciting and made me want to go out on a limb to audition. 

What woman, historical or contemporary, is your idol?
I'm not really one for idolatry, of any person or thing. There are plenty of women whose role in history, influence in society and work I admire: Mary Wollstonecraft, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Hepworth, Skin, Jessica Ennis Hill...it's a fairly U.K.-centric list! I suppose I should also add Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.