The majority of the songs that we sing at our gatherings come from Carolyn McDade’s and Norma Luccock’s original music. We also sing songs from other songwriters whose messages inspire love, peace, hope, courage, mindfulness, and spiritual depth.
Carolyn is a singer, songwriter, social activist, spiritual feminist, inspirational mentor, and change leader. Throughout her lifetime, she has worked for economic justice, environmental protection, and the rights of women. She names herself simply a woman of faith seeking with others to touch what matters. Her passion: to free women’s generative energies to act as social, planetary, cosmic beings on behalf of ourselves, one another, and the well-being of the whole.
In her own words, Carolyn McDade is a lover of language and sound. A writer of sound, she is committed to the power of the human voice singing and speaking truth to move society to just and liberating transformation. For over 4 decades, she has brought circles of women in the United States and Canada together to sing songs rooted in women’s experiences. Through song and singing, she helps us deepen human consciousness and understand ourselves as part of a living planet. A social activist, she weaves together the spiritual and the political—integrating personal, social, planetary, cosmic.
Carolyn’s recorded music dates back to the early 1970s and, over the years, there have been 15 recording projects that grew out of her singing circles. Each project involved activist women and a growing body of gifted and accomplished professional musicians. Thousands of women have touched into these circles and projects. The depth of their living—profound and ordinary—stirs and sustains this music.
Carolyn writes songs from her own experience with integrity, vision, and wholeness. She values being in authentic community, and is committed to enacting change through listening to and sharing stories, and through singing together songs of freedom, peace, hope, and truth. The women of Sacred Web Singers are grateful to be part of Carolyn’s network of singers, and feel privileged to share the powerful words and music of her songs with our own communities.
Norma taught music in North Vancouver schools for several years. She led Ruah for 12 years, then directed Vancouver’s Sacred Web Singers for 13 years (1998 until 2012). Since 1998, Norma has worked closely with Carolyn McDade, developing song arrangements and directing singers across the continent for Carolyn’s recording projects. Her poignant song “Peril and Promise” is on the My Heart Is Moved CD.
Norma really came into her own as a conductor and arranger during the last two recordings (My Heart Is Moved, 2007 and Widening Embrace, 2011). Her conducting motivated singers through her passionate expressive dancing, and gentle encouraging leadership. For Norma, “working with women’s choruses, especially the Vancouver group, has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”
Since stepping down from leadership of the Vancouver Sacred Web Singers in 2012, Norma has continued to compose choral arrangements of original songs, setting to music the powerful writings from international poets such as Mary Oliver, David Whyte, and Rumi. Her songs address our relationship with the earth and each other, our desire to make new beginnings, and to nurture hope. She has conducted workshops across Canada and in the United States, sharing her new songs with other women’s choirs. In 2014, Norma released a 5-song CD featuring the singers of Elektra Women’s Choir and Pandora’s Vox Vocal Ensemble.
The women of Sacred Web Singers are grateful for Norma, for her leadership, her inspiration, and her kind gentle ways. Carolyn McDade shares, “Norma is an extraordinary musician, as well as an experienced beloved song leader and choral director. A composer and arranger of depth and beauty, she is emerging as one of our songwriting treasures, one whose songs open the heart and touch the soul. From her years of teaching and leading groups in many settings, she also brings an ever-widening repertoire of songs from a variety of sources. Her leadership is supportive, collegial, and energetic. Over years as friend and colleague, I have had the honour to experience her in many varied ways. She is a shining spirit among us.”