The Women’s Chorus of Dallas is one of the nation’s finest women’s choruses, known for a commitment to excellent music and giving back to the community. Once the only chorus in Texas predominantly composed of gay and lesbian women, TWCD is proud of its diverse and welcoming membership, regardless of age, race, or sexual identity.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Melinda Imthurn, in her 17th season with the Chorus, TWCD regularly performs three season concerts and multiple community events each year, including a celebration of women composers for the Voices of Women concert each Women’s History Month. TWCD performed at Carnegie Hall for the fourth time in May 2019 and has sung with many notable artists, including Demi Lovato, Hugh Jackman, the world-renowned Kronos String Quartet, 60’s pop star Lesley Gore, and Tony Award winner Victoria Clark. Local collaborations include concerts with Turtle Creek Chorale, Dallas Black Dance Theater, TITAS, Metropolitan Winds, New Arts Six, South Dallas Concert Choir, and Texas Chamber Music Project, among others.
TWCD had the distinct honor of being the first Dallas chorus to perform at the Dallas City Performance Hall, now Moody Performance Hall. The Chorus has also performed at choral festivals nationally and internationally, with an upcoming invitation to sing at Tapestry International in Vancouver.
TWCD singers use their voices to give back in many ways, including performances for clients of and to raise funds for partner agencies that serve the community in AIDS awareness, domestic violence prevention, human rights, and LGBTQ+ concerns. TWCD continues to provide free concert tickets to students and to clients of social service agencies and maintains a strong relationship with local public schools with performance collaborations and in-school master classes with the Artistic Director.
TWCD sings at Moody Performance Hall in December 2021. Photo by Radz D. Photography.
Melinda Imthurn is in her 17th season as Artistic Director for The Women’s Chorus of Dallas. Under her leadership, the Chorus has increased its performance of music by women composers, as well as the commissioning of new works, with a focus on women of color and other underrepresented voices. Notable performances include conducting TWCD at Carnegie Hall in 2019, collaborations with local arts organizations, community outreach performances, and concerts with notable artists including Demi Lovato, Hugh Jackman, Moira Smiley, Lesley Gore, Kronos Quartet, Harvard-Radcliffe Choral Society, Cornell Chorus, South Dallas Concert Choir, and Turtle Creek Chorale.
Melinda holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and the Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Texas Woman’s University, with continued studies in Contemporary Commercial Music at Shenandoah Conservatory and in Choral Music at University of North Texas. An accomplished singer, she has performed with the Denton Light Opera Company, Deep Ellum Opera Theatre, Helios Ensemble, Fort Worth Early Music Society, Casa Mañana, and in solo recitals. Her past life experiences have included middle school music teacher, corporate training and marketing, and classical music radio announcer.
Melinda is Professor of Music at Dallas College, directing the choir and coordinating vocal studies at the Eastfield Campus. In addition, she maintains a busy private vocal studio, where her specialty is working with singers referred from medical professionals to rehabilitate their voices after vocal injury and/or surgery. She is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for choruses and soloists and enjoys the role of mentor to many high school choir directors in Dallas ISD. As much as she cherishes her musical and educational endeavors, the most important role Melinda currently serves is mother to a spectacular eight-year-old, Victoria.
Also accompanist and Director of Vivacious!
Will Varner is honored to be playing for TWCD and leading Vivacious!, a small ensemble within TWCD in its 12th year. Will is also the Organist for Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church. He plays piano for children’s and church choirs, instrumentalists, singers, and musical theater.
He has written and arranged music for soloists, ensembles, church choirs, school choirs, and bell choirs. His musical career has included a variety of experiences such as teaching on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, playing gamelan for an opera, and performing for Chinese music students at the Great Wall of China.
Will has worked with students from kindergarten to college in general music, band, and choir. Will has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas and a Masters degree in Music Education from Holy Names College in Oakland, California. Will also served as the state elementary vice-president of Texas Music Educators Association.