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MSU Women’s Ensemble Performs Empowering New Song

Video provided by and copy edited from a post on the WDBM Impact 89FM radio station.

The power of music is certainly on display in this video by Impact 89 FM, the student radio station at MSU. In an effort to help spread an important message shared by the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble, the station interviewed ensemble members and filmed a performance of the song I Have a Voice, written by Moira Smiley. Filmed in Cook Recital Hall in the Music Building, it was performed near the end of the 2019 “It’s On Us Week of Action,” a nationwide series of activities held April 1-5 to raise awareness about sexual assault.

“At a time on MSU’s campus where women are not always given a voice, this song is especially important to show them that they do have a voice and that they mean something,” said Katie Huizinga, ensemble member and music education major.

Sarah Beltran, also an ensemble member and music education major, agrees. “I Have a Voice really encapsulates what Women’s Chamber is about. We have something to share through every note we sing, and that is why we do it. We have a voice, and we want to show everyone that they have a voice, too.”

The MSU Women’s Ensemble is a 32-voice auditioned choir that performs throughout the year, providing women with opportunities to sing repertoire with an emphasis on contemporary writing. It is directed by MSU Professor of Choral Conducting and Music Education Sandra Snow. To ensemble members like Beltran, the ensemble is much more than a performance group.

“Women’s Chamber Ensemble is not just a choir. It is a community of women lifting each other up, all thanks to Dr. Sandra Snow. She has created a safe space for us to be exactly who we are. Essentially, it is a home,” Beltran said. “You can feel a shift in spirit when you walk into a rehearsal. We not only sing together, but we share our voices, our stories, our triumphs, and our struggles. The power and support from Dr. Snow and the group remains despite any obstacles in our lives. It challenges us in the most rewarding ways, and we grow through sharing in these experiences with each other.”

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