“Women’s Choir” changes to “Treble Choir” to promote inclusivity


Addie Welch

Treble Choir, formerly known as Women’s Choir, rehearses in the auditorium. Choir students advocated to change the name of the choir to include members of all gender identities and emphasize music theory.

Addie Welch, Staff Writer

The South ensemble formerly known as Women’s Choir changed its name to Treble Choir last week. The name change was brought up by choir members last year, but it wasn’t until recently that the name was officially switched.

In the past and present, singers in Treble Choir have not all identified as women. Instead, the members are linked by the treble clef they sing in. The name change is “making [choir] more inclusive and making it actually reflect the people who were singing with us,” Viola Onikoro-Arkell, a sophomore and a member of Treble Choir, commented.

“I think it’s important to be more gender neutral as a person who doesn’t use gender specific pronouns,” Tyler Jacobson, a sophomore and a member of Treble Choir, said. “Now we understand what we’re singing,” Jacobson addressed the choice of “Treble Choir.”

Laurie Meyers, director of the choir and the vocal program at South, echoed that the name “Treble Choir” seems to “more accurately reflect the instrumentation [of the choir] and de-emphasizes who it is that is singing the music.”

Onikoro-Arkell and Jacobson agreed that the response to the name change has been generally positive. The choir applauded when Meyers broke the news.

Onikoro-Arkell hopes that the name change will positively impact the diversity of the choir in terms of gender, sexuality, and race. “Just because we changed the name to something more inclusive, I think very much symbolizes that we’re inclusive in other ways too,” Onikoro-Arkell commented.

The name change has prompted talk of changing the newly offered Men’s Choir to “Bass Clef Choir.” According to Meyers, members of Men’s Choir have shown more resistance to the idea. Many members of Men’s Choir are new to choir and, “have some ownership and some loyalty to that name…they find safety in that,” Meyers expressed.

However, Meyers has a vision for the future of Men’s Choir. “I would see it in a year being called Bass Clef Choir and being open to everybody who sings tenor, baritone and bass just like Treble Choir is open to anybody who sings soprano and alto,” she stated.

Meyers extends an open invitation to join choir and that “there’s a place for everyone,” experienced or not. “Standing next to people and singing with them is truly a way to discover the humanity not only in ourselves, but in our classmates,” Meyers stated.