MPower Voices is a non-auditioned choir for adults with disabilities.
Our mission is to provide a safe social environment for individuals with disabilities to express themselves through choral singing. By performing we seek to build public awareness of the disabled community and validate their artistic expression.
Our choir members are adults, so the only age restriction is that they be 18 or over. Most have cognitive or learning disabilities, but we make no delineation based on disability. Personal care attendants commonly accompany the individuals to rehearsals and performances, depending on the needs of the person.
Our philosophy is that we must discover the expressive aptitude of each individual. Once we know their ability we strive to provide an appropriate avenue to highlight their talent and make sure each person is held to the highest expectation of their ability. The focus is on discovering ability and validating expression.
Our Season is made up of a Holiday concert series in the fall semester, and a staged performance on the Missoula Children’s Theater stage in the spring. Holiday concerts are usually performed at Southgate Mall, Opportunity Resources, and one or two other venues. The spring performance has developed from a themed cabaret into a minimally staged concert performance of a musical. In 2019 we collaborated with Missoula Children’s Theater in an adapted version of their touring show ‘The Wizard of Oz’. In 2020, we will again work with MCT to stage “Alice in Wonderland”.
Our History: Formerly the VSArts choir, MPower voices is the continuation of a program established in 1998 by Alayne Dolson with VSA Montana. An affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center’s Education programs, VSA Montana ceased operation as a non-profit organization in 2017. The choir program was transferred to the auspices of Missoula Community Chorus.
Alayne Dolson, former director of VSA Montana, secured funding and developed a choir program in 1998, to give people with disabilities an opportunity to develop musical skills. Alayne has degrees in English and Music, with additional study in early childhood education, and has spent most of her adult life working in education and the arts. Alayne continues to volunteer as a mentor with MPower Voices, do some consulting with Missoula Children's Theater on inclusion of people with disabilities. She continues to teach piano, specializing in children with disability.
Links to videos of our performances: