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About Musae

Musae is a women's vocal ensemble based in San Francisco. The group takes its name from the original "ladies of song," the classic nine Muses of Greek mythology. Since its founding in 2004, Musae has performed diverse and accessible music throughout the Bay Area, and continues to stretch the boundaries of traditional repertoire for women's voices.


Musae functions as a musical collective in which each singer identifies as a leader and soloist contributing actively to the artistic process. The group's singers are trained in the choral tradition, but not bound by it. Each singer may sing a range of voice parts based on the aesthetic demands of the music, and the group performs largely without conductor.


Musae has established itself as an up-and-coming member of the Bay Area music community. The group has worked with acclaimed vocal ensembles Kitka and Chanticleer, performed at charity events, hosted a series of open houses, and produced a full schedule of concerts. Whether in Berkeley, Marin, on the Peninsula, or in San Francisco, Musae offers its audiences a new experience of women's voices with a repertoire including sacred chants, baroque masterpieces, choral standards, chamber pieces with string quartet, spirituals, folksongs, jazz, bossa nova, and popular music from five continents.


In 2005, Musae released its debut album, From Argentina to Appalachia, featuring music from North America, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. Alegría y Placer: A Musae Christmas followed in 2007, showcasing local composer Conrad Susa's "Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest" for women's ensemble, harp, marimba, vibraphone, and guitar. Musae celebrated its 5th Anniversary Season in 2009 with the release of Five, a collaboration with San Francisco-based bossa nova band Bossa Five-O. The group's third studio album features the bossa nova classics of Baden Powell, North American folk music, and Musae's 5th Anniversary Composition Competition winner "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be" by Graham Meyer.


In 2012, Musae welcomed Ben Johns of Chanticleer as its artistic director. Musae performed at Chanticleer's 35th Anniversary Gala and participates in the New Music for Treble Voices Choral Festival held annually in Palo Alto. With the 2013-2014 season, Musae celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season, continuing to perform around the Bay Area and produce music of the highest caliber.


In 2016, Laney McClain Armstrong became Musae's new artistic director. She is a singer and conductor who has made choral music and choral music education her life’s work. As a conductor and educator, Dr. Armstrong strives to cultivate a love of music in each singer through quality programing, building skills and musicianship, and devotion to the music and texts.

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