As Speech Flows to Music

Produced by: 
Anna Crusis Women's Choir & Scribe Video Center
Year: 
1995
Duration: 
6 min

Diane Poitus

The feminist choir featured in this video takes its unusual name from the Greek word "anacrusis," a word used in music to describe an "upbeat" or "feminine" entrance to a phrase. The Anna Crusis Women's Choir finds the phrase fitting for the purpose of defining themselves in relation to music, a philosophy of feminism, and the joy of performing. The choir performs music from classical and renaissance traditions as well as music which is more experimental in nature, including forays into pop, jazz, reggae, folk, gospel, Balkan, and country styles, and in many different languages.

The 16-minute video, which was edited from 8 hours of footage, features the Philadelphia-based vocal ensemble, performances by soloists Heather Sampson and Shelley Krause, and personal anecdotes from founder Cathy Roma, music director Jane Hulting, and other past and present members of the choir. The video, which is still being screened by the Choir more than a decade later, most recently as a teaching tool at the University of Delaware in March 2006, shows the members of the Anna Crusis Womens Choir as feminists who believe strongly in the choir's mission - to speak politics through beautiful music.

The Anna Crusis Women's Choir , founded in 1975, is the country's oldest feminist choir and has been honored for its community service in the Philadelphia area. The Choir acts as both an agent of social change and a premier performing arts group by empowering its audiences on important issues of the day affecting women, youth and disadvantaged populations.

Press: 
Noted briefly in August 12, 1999 issue of Chestnut Hill Local as part of upcoming Street Movies screening.
 
Public Screenings, Broadcasts and Festivals: 
February 16, 1995 - Premiere at International House's Neighborhood Film & Video Project
(Philadelphia, PA)
June 3, 1995 - Part of Anna Crusis 20th Anniversary Concert (Philadelphia, PA)
August 13, 1999 - Part of Street Movies screening at Montessori Genesis School (Philadelphia, PA)
March 2006 - University of Delaware Women's History Month events (Wilmington, DE)