“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  –Aesop

Official slogan of VOENA

Since 1994, Annabelle Marie has directed the internationally recognized Benicia’s VOENA Children’s Choir.  This acapella children’s vocal group has performed here in Benicia and neighboring municipalities, as well as places further afield, like the White House in Washington D.C., the 2012 Olympics, Japan and China. In 2018 the group even traveled to Abu Dhabi to sing for the Interfaith Alliance to combat Online Child Abuse. Their unique music perspective and talents have been recognized for years now, and even though in-person concerts were cancelled due to the pandemic, their performances were, and continue to be, available virtually.

Four Voena singers singing

The pandemic was particularly devastating to the performing arts which don’t translate well to the small screen and mediocre sound systems. Annabelle persevered by teaching voice online and arranging classes via Zoom; not an easy adjustment for teacher or students. In spite of the difficulty of the pandemic and the loss of over half of her students, Annabelle is determined to rebuild the choir bigger and better than ever. She now has a new place to rehearse, the historic former Congregational Church on West J Street, where in-person tutelage has resumed. She is working with a generous volunteer to make specially designed singing masks for her students so that they may practice and perform safely.  With new space and a growing student base, Annabelle is ready to perform for this holiday season.

VOENA will be performing LIVE in several nearby locations.  These events are exactly what many of us need to shift from our pandemic doldrums to this holiday season.  Below is the schedule of upcoming performances.  For further information please visit voena.org or call 707.751.1515.

Voena singers singing wearing Victorian dresses

VOENA 2021 Holiday Concerts:

Sunday, December 5 – Voices of the New Season (with Victorian Costumes)

Venue – First Presbyterian 1874 Victorian Church, 1333 3rd St., Napa, CA

94559, 5pm concert

Thursday, December 16 – Windham Hill artist, Barbara Higbie and her band, performs “Windham Hill 35th Anniversary Winter Solstice”

with guest artist VOENA.

Venue – The Green Center, 1801 E. Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

7:30pm performance. Check theater Box Office for tickets.

Friday, December 17 – Windham Hill artist Barbara Higbie and her band, with guest artist VOENA. 

Venue – Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94704

8:00pm performance. Check theater Box Office for tickets.