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Wrong Debbie Nordeen?

Debbie Nordeen



HQ Phone: (304) 744-4642

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P.O. Box 11666

Charleston, West Virginia 25339

United States

Company Description

Womansong of Asheville is a seventy-five member community chorus and village of women who sing together to nurture and uplift ourselves and our community. Founded in 1987 by Linda Metzner, we have been directed by Debbie Nordeen since 1994. Our MISSIO ... more

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Background Information


Music Education degree

Northern Illinois University

Web References (25 Total References)

Womansong Asheville - Home [cached]

Founded in 1987 by Linda Metzner, we have been led by our fabulous director, Debbie Nordeen, since 1994.

Directors - Womansong Asheville [cached]

Artistic Director: Debbie Nordeen

During her career she has directed & performed in professional musical theatre and has been a featured soloist performing in major cities across America and abroad. Debbie is a vocal coach and offers private voice lessons. She began as Director of Womansong in 1994, where she combines her theatrical flair with a compassionate heart and exceptional community building.
My heart is so full. Love does come in many forms, and one main form is music . . . you all are the instruments for the soul to express itself, through the magical, divine art of music and song. I feel so fortunate to be in this symphony of life together. Debbie Nordeen

Videos - Womansong Asheville [cached]

The video above features our Director, Debbie Nordeen, directing the Sky Mass Chorus at Sister Singers Network in Champaign, Urbana, Illinois.

Debbie Nordeen, Director of ... [cached]

Debbie Nordeen, Director of Womansong

Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Suzanne Tannehill, Debbie Nordeen & Ruthie Rosauer.

Womansong of Asheville, NC: Joyful Voices, Open Hearts [cached]

"I always tell members, 'Songs are like medicine for your soul,'" says Womansong director Debbie Nordeen.

For her, this is significantly more than a charming adage. While hospitalized some years back, Nordeen drew great comfort from a certain traditional ballad, titled "How Can I Keep From Singing? Written in 1864 by Anne Warner, the song - perhaps rooted in N.C.'s Iredell County - was resurrected in 1957 by one Doris Plenn, who, with the McCarthy hearings in mind, added the following verse: "When tyrants tremble sick with fear and hear their death knells ringing; When friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing? In prison cell and dungeon vile our thoughts to them are winging; When friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing?"
To Nordeen, the added verse seemed shiveringly applicable to a host of current social ills, prompting her to christen her chorus' latest performance after the song.
And while group members' median age hovers in the late '40s, Womansong is by no means an exclusive club, Nordeen maintains.
"[Womansong members] feel free," Nordeen reports happily. In fact, one former reluctant - previously the group's shyest member - will perform a solo at the upcoming show.
Besides traditional folk arrangements and ethnic songs (the group has long catered to a world beat), many of Womansong's pieces are written by members themselves, or their friends and family members. The director's sister, a professional singer and songwriter, is a regular contributor. "Our songs come to us," Nordeen admits.
Certain tunes are performed a capella, but members' drums, cellos, harps, guitars and other instruments often lend added resonance. And while song arrangements may vary, Womansong's one sure endeavor is to be of service to other women: Proceeds from their upcoming performances will benefit both Helpmate and Womansong's own New Start Fund.
"The New Start Fund offers small amounts of money for [emergencies]; for example, someone who might be getting their electricity turned off," explains Nordeen. Members have been known to meet recipients in grocery-store parking lots on Christmas Eve with emergency funds, she reveals.
The group's rising popularity in Asheville and beyond required Nordeen to schedule two performances for their upcoming show. "We've had attendances of 400 in the past, and Diana Wortham Theatre only seats 500," Nordeen points out. "We have people coming from all over - Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina - to see this show, and I didn't want any of them to be that 501st person."
Nordeen is naturally pleased that Womansong is drawing so many admirers. But her own memory reminds her that the songs the chorus shares with its fans work even greater miracles in times of private need. "When I was sick, and I sang ["How Can I Keep From Singing?"] to myself, it gave me strength," she recalls, adding emotionally, "I know a woman who survived Hurricane Hugo in a root cellar, singing that song while the roof blew apart over her head."

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