The Woodlands Show Chorus has provided an outlet for women to share their passion for music through barbershop chorus and quartet singing since 2011.
There are 77 women who sing in the chorus—a charter member of nonprofit Sweet Adelines International, which unites more than 25,000 women worldwide who participate in choruses and quartets.
The idea to create a group in The Woodlands was conceived in the wake of a personal tragedy for Director Betty Clipman while standing in her kitchen with longtime friend and fellow singer Sally Ison.
“Her husband had just passed away, and I was with her the week after it happened so she wouldn’t be alone, and she had obviously been thinking,” Ison said. “Sitting in the kitchen, she said, ‘What do you think about creating ‘The Chorus of The Woodlands?’”
The pair jumped up and down in excitement at the idea, Ison said, and the chorus met for the first time in summer 2011. Since its inception, the group has won first place in its region at competitions between fellow Sweet Adelines groups. This fall, the women will travel to Las Vegas to compete against 31 other groups from around the world for the international title.
Women of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to join, Ison said. The process begins by attending any of the group’s weekly Monday night rehearsals. From there, Clipman helps new prospects practice and eventually audition.
“We wanted to start a chorus where we could have a weekly night of joy and music together and create something the community would be proud of,” Clipman said.
Aside from competing, the chorus also performs once or twice a year in The Woodlands and is available for hire to perform at family, corporate or charitable events. Members of the chorus also receive ongoing singing instruction so that they grow as individuals, Ison said. For her, Monday night rehearsals are an opportunity to spend time with 77 of her best friends.
“We have women from age 23 to 70 laughing and carrying on as if there’s no age barrier,” Clipman said. “These are women who, most of them, sang in their glee clubs and choir, and this is kind of like show choir. Keeping the music in their lives is a constant fulfillment [for me].”