Founded in 1995 by Joanne Connolly, Voices from the Heart is a 200-voiced women’s alternative chorus located in Portsmouth, NH. The community of women from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts come together to rehearse, perform and share the joy that comes from making music together. In addition to their spring and fall concerts, they perform in small groups for special community events, and for memorial services honoring Voices members who have passed away. “We knit comfort shawls for members going through challenging times, we raise money for charitable causes, we share news through our monthly newsletter and we get together for hikes, parties and community celebrations. We talk, we laugh and we cry together in an environment of trust and friendship.”
Voices from the Heart has embarked on three international trips to carry their message of goodwill and celebration to Ireland, Croatia and Cuba with another trip to South Africa scheduled for July, 2018. In advance of each trip, the group raises funds for a non-profit in the countries where they tour. They are currently raising funds for MusicWorks in South Africa.
Joanne Connolly was inspired to start Voices after attending a workshop with Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Connolly says, “It was amazing to do away with written music, and work together with other women to learn parts and create such soulful sounds! I wanted to recreate that experience in Portsmouth, NH. The response to the group has far exceeded my wildest dreams! These women and their singing have given me great joy!” Her vision has grown to include Con Tutti World Music Chorus, a mixed group founded to sing and celebrate a range of seasonal multicultural music from many traditions. The choir collaborates with various guest artists and the group, Drumamma, a drum ensemble founded nearly a decade ago that accompanies the chorus on nearly every concert.