A capella choir to fill Presidio La Bahia with music from Rhianna to The Beatles

May 20, 2011 at 12:20 a.m.

Musical numbers ranging from Simon & Garfunkel to Rihanna will fill the sanctuary of the 232-year-old Our Lady of Loreto Chapel at the Presidio La Bahia on Saturday.

The Wellesley Widows, Dressed to Kill Since 1949, a 12-voice, all-female a cappella group from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, will be in concert in the Spanish colonial church. The 62-year-old women's music ensemble is one of the nation's oldest collegiate ensembles.

"We are truly excited about having this outstanding group," said Newton Warzecha, longtime director of the Presidio. "The Widows have recorded 12 albums and toured the world from coast-to-coast to the Caribbean; from the Woodstock Chilifest to the White House, as well as the Smithsonian Museum and Boston Symphony Hall."

Attendees can expect to hear Rihanna's "Disturbia," Marina and the Diamonds' "I Am Not a Robot," The Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" and La Roux's "I'm Not Your Toy." They will likely sing hits by Justin Timberlake, The Beatles, Kelly Clarkson, Yael Naim, Phil Collins and a girl group medley that salutes The Shangri-Las, Betty Everett, The Dixie Cups, The Supremes and Nancy Sinatra.

"Their repertoire, which crosses several genres, specializes in popular music from the 1950s to the present," Warzecha added. "It should be a delightful and appealing evening for a diverse audience. The Widows are an impressive, enjoyable and entertaining ensemble."

What began as an octet in 1949 now has a living legacy of more than 200 Wellesley Widows worldwide, many of whom have performed with a cappella groups nationwide, and many of whom have started new groups after their own graduation.

The women perform in all black, in keeping with their name, which derives its connection to the nickname for the wives of golf players, "golf widows." The Widows had a tradition of opening performances with "We are the College Widows," a song borrowed from the Yale Whiffenpoofs' "Mimi the College Widow."



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