Nashville singers use talent to help support other women

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville is full of talented singers and performers, but one group of women are using their talent as a way to support other women.

Jeanette MacCallum founded Vox Grata, which means grateful voice, in 2012 with just 16 members. The group is now 41 voices strong.

“Vox Grata, being a grateful voice as a translation, is really a descriptive term for these women. They are joyful women who have very full and blessed lives and they want to give back through singing,” she explained.

Susan Kelly is an associate director for Vox Grata, and says she loves the make-up of the group.

“It is intergenerational. I love that we have young women who are still in college or just finishing up college and singing with women who are post retirement because there are so many experiences that are there to be shared,” she said.

Vox Grata is so much more than a group of women who sing and perform. MacCallum has set up their concerts as benefits.

Photo: WKRN

“All of our concerts are done as benefit concerts for women’s organizations in Nashville – nonprofit organizations that serve various needs in our community for women,” she explained.

The women put on two major concerts a year, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the beneficiary organizations.

They’ve donated to Thistle Farms, The Hope Clinic, Mending Hearts and The Next Door to name a few.

This year’s concerts on May 9 and May 18 will benefit End Slavery Tennessee.

Vox Grata member Anna Horne said this benefit show has helped her learn more about human trafficking.

“I was not aware until recently that Nashville is one of the main human trafficking ports in the nation, so it’s raising awareness for an issue that hits really close to home. So I think especially for women, because a lot of women are the ones being trafficked, it’s really important for us to raise awareness for that. To be aware of it going on in our backyard and to help make other people aware of it so we can end the problem, this is kind of a unique way to raise awareness for that.”

Photo: WKRN

MacCallum and her ensemble said they chose the songs and program to reflect the significant work that’s being done to eradicate human trafficking.

“We are going to be singing works from Composer Elizabeth Alexander, and the work is entitled reasons for the perpetuation of slavery, so it is a piece that directly addresses the issue of slavery in all its forms throughout history and even into the foreseeable future. So we hope that will really speak to our audience and really raise awareness about the significant issue of human trafficking. It’s really special to be a part of a mission like that and it makes, i think, our ensemble, more fulfilling for the singers,” MacCallum said.

The May 9 concert will be held at Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

Admission is free, but attendees will have a chance to make a donation to End Slavery Tennessee.

For more information, click here.