History

Working with the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church, the Project produced a hymnal supplement to celebrate the gifts of women.  Voices Found: Women in the Church’s Song, was published in 2003 by Church Publishing, Inc. The Leader’s Guide to Voices Found, which gives much background information followed in 2004.

While the Episcopal Church published this hymnal, it is designed for ecumenical use.  Along with the Publisher, the Project promotes the broadest possible use of the hymnal.  WSMP has presented workshops in Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; Kansas City, MO, Medford, OR; Newark, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Boston, MA; London, UK, and Frankfurt, Germany. We continue to welcome requests for demonstrations or workshops.

To further promote the awareness and use of Voices Found, in 2009, the Project sponsored a choral anthem contest to generate choral anthem settings of the music and texts in the hymnal.

The Project has also commissioned arrangements for women’s voices of two movements of Andrea Clearfield’s oratorio Women of Valor.  These have been published by Oxford University Press.  Similarly  WSMP commissioned an arrangement of a Christmas carol, Nunc Gaudet Maria, by Lesley Hopwood Meyer that has been published by Oxford. There has been a commissioning program with Temple University’s Boyer School of Music to encourage women students to write for the Church.

From 1997 until 2007 WSMP sponsored a small performing ensemble of singers with occasional instrumentalists known as The Lady Chapel Singers, because they first sang in the Lady Chapel of St. Mark’s Church, Locust Street in Philadelphia.  Performances emphasized the music of Hildegard of Bingen and other early women composers, such as Sulpicia Cesis, Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and Isabella Leonard.