Celebrating diversity is at heart of WCPA’s mission, and part of that commitment to diversity is providing a safe place where all singers feel welcomed. Because of that commitment, one of WCPA’s choruses has a brand new name. The treble chorus, formerly known as Aria: Windy City Women’s Ensemble, is now Windy City Treble Quire. The new name reflects the reality that this chorus encompasses singers who self-identify as female, male, straight, gay, transgender, and bisexual. Quire, an old-English spelling of choir, also gives voice to chorus members who identify as queer.
Another vital part of WCPA’s mission is their commitment to creativity, and this is reflected in a brand new logo. The logo is a six-pointed rainbow–colored star which Chicagoans will immediately identify as the star from the city’s flag. The rainbow has been embraced, not only by the LGBTQ community, but by society at large, both as a symbol of diversity and pride. Various shapes and sizes of circles make up the star, representing the many voices of individual singers coming together to make a united and beautiful whole.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I drive into a new city, one of the first things I do is look for that round green sign with the mermaid. Before I even see the first “S” I usually spot the mermaid and know that my coffee salvation is right around the corner. That’s the power of a great logo. You know exactly what you’re getting when you see the red bull’s eye or the giant yellow arches.
Hopefully, that’s what will start happening when people see our new WCPA logo popping up around the city. The rainbow-dotted six-pointed star will make you say, “OMG…that’s the incredible chorus I’ve been talking about!”
Over the past few months, a team of chorus members came together to work on a re-branding of our organization. After many hours of conversations, the team came up with a design brief to present to potential graphic designers. We wanted something that said “Chicago”, but wasn’t too obvious. Something that had rainbow colors, but wasn’t too “gay.” Something that represented people, but wasn’t just a bunch of faces. It was a tall order to hand to a designer. But after looking through many proposals, the team decided to work with Stephy Miehle (blindingstars.com), a Chicago-based designer, who came through with flying colors.
The new logo is a six-pointed rainbow–colored star which Chicagoans will immediately recognize as the star from the city’s flag. Historically, the rainbow colors have been associated with the LGBTQ community and are seen as a sign of “pride.” More recently, the rainbow flag has been used by more and more people as a symbol of diversity in general. Various shapes and sizes of circles make up the star, representing the many voices of individual singers coming together to make a united and beautiful whole.
At the same time the logo team was getting together, there was another group of singers from the “Group Formerly Known as Aria” exploring options for a new name for their chorus.
One of the great strengths of “Aria” is that is has always been a place where singers of different genders and sexual orientations have felt welcomed. Many singers did not feel the name “Women’s Chorus” reflected this reality. So, this summer, a group of “Aria” members met and discussed possible new names for the chorus. They dug deep into questions of gender identity and queer politics, and then presented their recommendation to the Board of Directors. Their proposal? Windy City Treble Quire (WCTQ).
“Windy City” connects the chorus with the rich legacy of Windy City Performing Arts and Windy City Gay Chorus. “Treble” identifies the chorus as a group of soprano and alto singers, without being gender specific. And the word “Quire”? It comes from the Old English spelling for the word “choir”. Some members of WCTQ proudly identify as “queer” and this spelling of the word acknowledges that. It was a long process, but WCTQ now has a name that matches their identity.
So while we have a new look and a new name for our new season, you can rest assured that it will still be the same fabulous music you’ll hear at our next concert! See you there!