Sister Cities Girlchoir

The Girlchoir Movement in Philadelphia and Camden

In the News

South Philly Review


Young female choirs draw vocalists from the Mid-Atlantic region

The Sister Cities Girlchoir, which includes some South Philly singers, was recently recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

May 16, 2019
By Grace Maiorano
“I would always just find myself singing,” added Da’Shona Leigh, a junior at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. “And so, when I found out about an opportunity that I could actually go somewhere and sing without getting on people’s nerves, I just took the opportunity. And singing turned out to be everything to me…They really impacted me to the point that they really impacted my future and they mean so much to me. I don’t see them as friends. I see them as family, because they help me and push me and strive for me to do my greatest things.”

Read the full article here.


The Voice, magazine of Chorus America


Chorus Education Programs Today

Partnering, Collaborating, and Deepening Community Connections

Don Lee | November 29, 2018

Lee cautions choral leaders to examine their missions particularly closely if increasing diversity is a goal. She feels it’s time to move beyond commonly practiced, “paternalistic” ideas about bringing diversity to “the opera/choral/orchestral world.” People of color are still underrepresented, she says. “That has not changed in 20 years. So is that an important goal that we have multicultural orchestras? Or is the goal that we make sure that every kid has the opportunity to engage in music making that’s of a high quality and that allows them to be creative?”Read the entire article here:

The New York Times

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They Are Here

By Sara Krulwich

“Philadelphia Voices,” Tod Machover’s new work for chorus and orchestra, incorporates the sounds of Philadelphians speaking, urban bustle and sizzling cheesesteaks into a 30-minute score. For the New York premiere of the piece on Tuesday at Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra was joined by the Keystone State Boychoir, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and the Sister Cities Girlchoir (which draws participants from Philadelphia; Camden, N.J.; and Baltimore). Like similar American youth choruses, the Sister Cities Girlchoir responded to the pop singer-songwriter Alicia Keys’s call for a more equal and just world, embodied by her 2014 song “We Are Here.” That year the choir, taking up the challenge, released an inspiring video performance of the song. It’s especially moving when a montage begins showing members of the choir holding up handwritten signs: “I am here for peace,” for “joyfulness,” to “make my family proud,” to “make music.”

The Inquirer



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NYFA, Current

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Chorus America magazine, THE VOICE

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THE SPIRIT of the Riverwards

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The Star Newspaper, Philadelphia
Sister Cities Girlchoir finds a new home
by Julie Zeiglen

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Philadelphia Daily News

City girls find empowerment through song
by Helen Ubiñas

CBS 3, Philadelphia
Brotherly Love: Sister Cities Girlchoir
by Ukee Washington

The Spirit COmmuNity Newspapers
Local Girls Choir teaches social change through song
by Max Pulcini

For full story, click  here

For full story, click here

TEDx Phoenixville

A Song Can Change a Girl, A Girl Can Change the World
Alysia Lee, speaker

Courier Post

Young vocalists from Philadelphia, Camden create promising musical relationship through Sister Cities Girlchoir
By Sally Friedman

”By the Moorestown evening’s end, there was better understanding of what a Sister Cities Girlchoir can mean to pre-teen and teen girls in underserved areas, and how Philadelphia and Camden are coming together to raise their voices in harmony.”


Sister Cities choir unites Camden, West Philly and Kensington girls
By Mary Cummings-Jordan


"I've seen girls stand a little prouder, walk a little taller, care for each other and support each other," says Stacey Cruise, American Paradigm Schools CEO. Even though it's early days, she's already seeing a difference.      


Philadelphia Inquirer

Looking for girls that like to sing
By Kevin Riordan

The choir is a venue, Lee says, for music “to serve the people who need it the most. It gives children a chance to add beauty and grace to their lives, and to see the strength of their collective voice.”


TED Prize Blog

Sistema Choirs: Collaboration, Excellence & Passion
By Alysia Lee

“A choir is a phenomenal model of collaboration.  Singers are encouraged to produce their best work, individually and collectively.”