Virginia Girls Choir
(Looking for the Virginia Boys Choir? Follow this link.)
The Virginia Girls Choir, founded at St. Stephen's in 2008, is an auditioned group of girls in grades four through twelve who come from across the greater Richmond area. The girls work to sing with spirit and understanding in a variety of musical styles, with the music of the Anglican tradition taking pride of place in their repertoire. They have performed under the direction of noted choir trainer Dr. Barry Rose, and have performed with recording artist and composer Ana Hernández. Their director is Peter Hopkins.
At St. Stephen’s, the choir sings Evensong every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and during Sunday morning services. The choir has also sung concerts and worship services at Chester Presbyterian Church; River Road Baptist Church; St. Bridget Roman Catholic Church, Richmond; The First Lady’s Luncheon and for the National Association of Women in Business awards, both at the Omni Hotel, Richmond; at the Diamond for Flying Squirrels games; Epiphany Church, Danville; Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg; St. Paul’s Church, K St., Washington, DC; the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City; Washington National Cathedral; St. Bartholomew’s Church, NY; St. Luke’s Church, East Hampton, NY; St. William the Abbot Catholic Church, NY.
On tour in England in 2012, the choir sang with the Girls Choirs of Lincoln Cathedral and of All Saints Church, Northampton. They also sang at Eye Church, the East Anglia Children’s Hospice, and for the Mayor of Ipswich at the Ipswich Cultural Center.
The choir released their first CD in 2010, a Christmas recording made in collaboration with Ana Hernández, called “An Unexpected Christmas.” With 16 original arrangements of familiar carols, as well as several new tunes, the CD received airplay in both the U.S. and Canada, and led to appearances on Lite 98’s “Wake Up Show” with Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins, and WCVE’s “Virginia Currents” TV show with May-Lily Lee.
While singing in a choir of great renown is, by its nature, a reward, choristers grow in confidence, poise, self-esteem, collegiality, as well as gain deep awareness and appreciation for the disciplined study of poetry, music and the arts. To support the sense in which the founding members of the Virginia Girls Choir understand professional commitment and skill, each girl earns a monthly stipend.
While the choir is in residence at St. Stephen’s Church, choir members come from every part of the city. Some are St. Stephen’s parishioners, though many choir families come from other faith traditions and congregations.
Joining the choir
An application and audition are required, but no previous choir experience or music skills are needed.
Peter Hopkins, Director of Music
Paige Reisenfeld, Music Administrator