About Us

Once upon a time...a woman attended the 1993 Gay Pride Festival, and heard the Harrisburg Men's Chorus sing. She was so inspired, she asked to join. Chorus leaders offered to join her in founding a women's chorus... A year later, the Central Pennsylvania Womyn's Chorus debuted at the same Festival.

The Central Pennsylvania Womyn's Chorus brings together a diverse group of women, united by the joy of singing, to celebrate and empower women and to affirm a positive image of lesbians and feminists.

We strive for musical excellence in a wide range of styles, including classical, folk, jazz, a cappella, chants and rounds, show tunes and popular songs of most decades of the twentieth century, and music recently composed.

Our concerts offer a safe and enjoyable environment for lesbians, feminists, gay men, human rights supporters, lovers of choral music, and our families, friends and neighbors to come together and celebrate our diversity as well as our common goals.

We are a Pennsylvania nonprofit organization and recognized as a charitable organization under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code: contributions to the chorus are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. Our board, singers, and other volunteers contribute their time, talent and dues. Many members and supporters make an ongoing commitment through a monthly pledge that can be direct-deducted from our checking accounts. Other finances are raised through various fund-raising events throughout the year, including spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfast, and volunteering at concessions stands for events in the state farm show building.

 

Our Director, Jordan Markham


Jordan R Markham studied at The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. He is a classically-trained lyric-baritone with the ability to glide into the tenor range with the same warmth and lush tone as his lower register. He studied under the Grammy-winning baritone, William Sharp, and soprano Susan Solomon Beckley of Bucknell University. For two years he was a chorister at The National Cathedral, a chorister and soloist with The Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, and a chorister and soloist in The Händel Choir of Baltimore. While with the Händel Choir of Baltimore, he sang the tenor role of Apollo in Händel’s Semele, the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy (both with full orchestra), and the tenor solo in Brittan’s Rejoice in The Lamb. Prior to this he sang the baritone solo in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Peabody Singers and most recently, has been heard singing the baritone solo in The Seven Last Words Of Christ by Théodore Dubois, accompanied by a full orchestra at Palmyra First United Methodist Church.
Throughout the past decade, Mr. Markham has performed at The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall with The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, The Boston Symphony Hall, and The Jackie Gleason Theatre. He has been active in the musical theatre scene for the past decade directing, accompanying, and acting in theaters throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. Mr. Markham has most recently been seen as “Peter” in Phantom Theatre Company’s production of Bare: A Pop Opera and as “Chip” in Little Theatre Mechanicsburg’s production of The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, for which he was also the music director and who’s cast received a nomination by Broadway World for Best Ensemble. He has also performed onstage with the Peabody Opera in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Così fan tutte, Verdi’s La Traviata, and Leoš Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen.
Mr. Markham spent a year as the artistic director of The Harrisburg Men’s Chorus and is currently the artistic director of The Central Pennsylvania Womyn’s Chorus. He is also proudly serving as the Director of Music & Organist at Trindle Spring Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

 

Our History

eighth note collaborated with the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women's Network in our spring 2007 concert, Land of Our Dreams
eighth note wowed our choral sisters at the Sister Singers Festival in San Diego in 2006 (photo album)
eighth note performed for more than 2000 people in Montreal's premiere concert hall as part of the GALA Festival 2004 (photo album)
eighth note performed in the state capitol building each December since 2003 for the diversity holiday celebration of the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women's Network
eighth note performed at Unity Day in October 2003, a celebration of diversity on the occasion of the premiere showing of the documentary Jim in Bold at the State Museum theater
eighth note produced United We Sing! in August 2003, a joint concert with the Harrisburg Men's Chorus and the Metropolitan Community Church of the Spirit Gospel Choir
eighth note raised more than $1000 for The Mautner Project and The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition at our spring 2002 concerts, Singing for Our Lives.
eighth note raised $472 at our fall 2001 benefit concert for the rights of Afghan women (the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan).
eighth note performed benefit concerts for:
  • breast cancer prevention and treatment
  • AIDS programs
  • Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
eighth note sung for:
  • women's studies programs
  • the ordination of the woman pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church
  • the gay and lesbian alumni association of Shippensburg University (Ship)
  • the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered student association at Ship
  • the 20th anniversary celebrations of the PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV)
  • the 25th anniversary of PCADV
  • the annual women's conference at Bloomsburg University
  • the Pennsmen
  • the Harrisburg Pride Festival
eighth note performed with, and as guests of:
  • Anna Crusis Women's Choir in Philadelphia
  • New Wave Singers in Baltimore
  • Diva, as part of Philadelphia's month-long Pride celebration
eighth note opened and sang backup for Judy Collins at her Christmas 2000 concert, with the Harrisburg Men's Chorus
eighth note performed the world premiere of Song of the Dying Amazon, a piece commissioned for us by a member of the chorus and conducted by the composer
eighth note produced numerous full-length concerts, introducing audiences to songs by and about strong women, and a variety of music intended to inspire, soothe, amuse, and heal.

Our Mission Statement

The Central Pennsylvania Womyn's Chorus brings together a diverse group of women, united by the joy of singing, to celebrate and empower women and to affirm a positive image of lesbians and feminists.

Our Purpose

The purposes of the chorus are:
  1. to provide musical training and worthwhile performance experience for its members
  2. to present diverse music with the highest standards of excellence for its audiences
  3. to provide an opportunity for lesbian/gay advocates, feminists and their friends to build community spirit and
  4. to present a positive lesbian/gay/feminist image
  5. to perform music that reflects women’s experience and women’s culture, and that honors our heroines.


I sing because I love music, and I sing with the CPWC because I really believe they are my sisters in song.  We're a support system for each other, and that makes sharing the joy of singing in concerts together even stronger.