Meridian Women’s Chorus was organized to develop the choral skills of women, provide opportunities for members to create music with peers, and offer quality performances of women’s choral music for the community of Northeast Georgia.
The group first came together under the leadership of Jill Crandall in 2001, who gathered women from all over Athens to make music together. After their first concert in 2002, the group achieved its 501(c)(3) status in 2003.
In the fall of 2011 Meridian welcomed Jon Arnold as their new artistic director. Jon quickly became a beloved leader as he introduced the group to more classical Western choral music. To this day the women still love to sing Jon’s arrangement of Gustav Holst’s “In the Bleak Midwinter”.
In 2017 Meg Granum took on the leadership role as Jon moved on to pursue other opportunities. Under Meg’s direction the group continued building Meridian’s focus on classical repertoire; at the same time, however, she included popular lighter fare such as musical theatre favorites and John Denver hits.
In 2019 Meg left Athens and Mark Woodcock became Meridian’s next director. Unfortunately for Mark and the group, they got to perform only one concert together as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Athens, shutting the city down in March of 2020. While the group continued some activities online, it was a difficult time for choral groups all across the world, and Athens was no different.
In the summer of 2022 the Executive Committee hired local voice instructor and choral director Stacie Court; she and the Executive Committee are currently working hard to bring the group back to the forefront of Athens choral music.
Throughout the years, Meridian has benefited greatly from the assistance of a number of very talented accompanists:
- Jonathan Klein (2003)
- Nancy Riley (2005-2008, 2009)
- Katrina Gabbitas (2008-2009, 2010-2012)
- Benjamin Pozo (2012)
- Rebecca Bonas (2013)
- Kristin Humbard (2013-2018)
- Amanda Sacchitello (2019-present)
Since its inception, Meridian’s annual Tapestry Concert has become a staple of the Athens holiday season. Each year the group performs holiday favorites in a free concert that includes other beloved Athens area performing groups such as the Athens Recorder Ensemble, choral groups from Oconee High School, various handbell ensembles, and other duet and trio ensembles. Each spring Meridian performs a concert focusing on a variety of topics, ranging over the years from 1960s pop music to opera.