About Us

WHat we sing 

Links To Recordings Coming Soon


Introitus from Requiem by Matsuura (United States Premiere Performance, First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, November 2016) Performed with Rosewood Ensemble Chamber Orchestra
Vier Gesänge für Frauenchor mit zwei Hörner und Harfe by Brahms (Sheldon Ballroom, November 2014) Performed with Chamber Music Society of St. Louis
Dominus Vobiscum by Narverud (560 Music Center, April 2016) 
Agnus Dei by McCoy (First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, November 2016) 

commissions/world Premieres

Poema by Melfi/Bianco - WHCSL Commissioned Arrangement by Maness (Sheldon Concert Hall, March 2017) Performed World Premiere with Cortango Orquesta
Theater of Night and The Solder's Soldier from Theater of Hope - WHCSL Commissioned New Work by Maness/Miller (Link Auction Gallery, October 2015) Performed World Premiere with 442s and guest soloist Erin Bode
Grace by Alexander (Ethical Society of St. Louis, May 2017) - WHCSL Commissioned Arrangement, World Premiere Performance; Erika Cockerham, soloist


Over the Rainbow by Arlen/Harburg Arr. by Hayes (Sheldon Concert Hall, May 2016)
Till There Was You by Wilson Arr. by Shaw (Sheldon Concert Hall, May 2016)
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home? by Cannon Arr. by Gilpin (Sheldon Concert Hall, May 2016) 


Still I Rise by Powell (Ethical Society of St. Louis, May 2017) Performed with Mayor Taylor; Lori Hoffman & Beth Davey, soloists


No One Is Alone from "Into the Woods" by Sondheim Arr. by De Sorgo (WHCSL Commission - World Premiere Performance, Sheldon Concert Hall, March 2017) Performed with Cortango Orquesta
For Good from "Wicked" by Maguire/Schwartz Arr. by Snyder (Ethical Society of St. Louis, May 2017) Performed with Mayor Taylor; Sarah Shulman & Amanda Keene, soloists


Angel Band by Haskell/Bradbury Arr. by Genensky & Rose (Ethical Society of St. Louis, May 2017) Performed with Mayor Taylor, Dan Rubright guitar soloist
Cedar Swamp by Broeker (560 Music Center, April 2016) 


Somewhere In My Memory and Star of Bethlehem from "Home Alone" by Williams (Purser Auditorium, Logan University, December 2016) Performed with St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra 
Jingle Bells by Pierpont Arr. by Snyder (First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, December 2014)
The Christmas Song by Torme & Wells Arr. by Shaw (First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, December 2014)
Silent Night by Gruber/Mohr (First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, December 2014)

WHAT others are saying

  • "....a highly polished vocal ensemble with impeccable intonation, diction, and balance. The voices are clear and warm, and their tone and presentation are a delight to the audience."
- Dr. Robert Hart Baker, Conductor, St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra

  • "The exceptional talent, the professionalism of the performers, and the philanthropic efforts of this group have taken community choir music to a new level. The Chorale is breaking down barriers and creating communities of people who strive to make a difference in our city and our world."
- Rachel Ebeling, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Angel Band Project

  • "The US premiere of 'Requiem' by Masa Matsuura exceeded all expectations. The depth of feeling and expert singing of this ensemble was stellar. Our community is blessed to count the Women's HOPE Chorale among it's top singing ensembles."
- Bill Stein, Director of Music Ministries, First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood

  • "The performance of Masa Matsuura's 'Requiem' was superb, and the Chorale's moniker "Singing to Inspire" certainly nails it on the head."
- Joseph B. Dence, Ph.D.

Would you like to sing in the chorale?

The Women's HOPE Chorale welcomes singers of diverse backgrounds, experience and ability levels. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about membership in the WHCSL.

  • When and where are rehearsals? 
Our season starts in September and ends in May. The first rehearsal of Season 23 (2017-18) will be on Sunday, September 10, 2017. The last rehearsal and performance of season 23 will be on Sunday, May 6, 2018. Rehearsals are held on Sunday evenings, 6-8:30 pm, at Maryville University in Auditorium Room 1423.
  • When and where are performances?
We usually have 3 concerts per season. Our concerts for Season 23 (2017-18) are scheduled for Sunday afternoons at 3 pm on the following dates: November 12, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, March 18, 2018 at Christ Church Cathedral, and May 6, 2018 at Maryville University. Other frequently used venues include the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Ethical Society of St. Louis.
  • What would be my financial obligations?
We do not charge dues to sing in the Chorale. Consequently, every member is asked to promote our concerts and sell tickets to our events. Singers may also be asked to volunteer their talents, skills, and resources to support the Chorale. Participation in this manner is always voluntary but always appreciated! We use black folders during performances which singers have to supply or purchase themselves. Our concert attire is usually all black; we do not require singers to purchase a specific dress or outfit. 
  • What are the audition requirements?
For general membership in the Chorale, new singers will be asked to:
- sing one a cappella solo (a hymn, art song, folk song, or aria); the solo does not need to be memorized
- Sing scales to determine range
- Repeat simple melodic patterns to determine tonal memory skills
- Sight-read to determine music reading skills
The Chorale also has 4-5 paid positions in the form of Young Artist Awards. Our Young Artists also function as our Section Leaders. A Young Artist must have or be pursuing a degree in music and must be in the early stages of her career. Candidates must be above average sight-readers and have choral and solo singing experience. Interested candidates must perform from memory two contrasting solos: one in English and one in a foreign language.

The Chorale is currently scheduling auditions and would love to hear from you! Contact the Artistic Director, Leanne Latuda, artisticdirector@womenshopechorale.org to schedule your audition.

Musical Staff

leanne magnuson latuda, artistic director & conductor

Leanne Magnuson Latuda has been performing professionally, directing and teaching for more than 25 years. She has a Master of Music Degree from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Augustana College, where she was a Presidential Scholar and graduated cum laude.

Leanne is a gifted mezzo-soprano who has sung professionally with opera companies, musical theaters, and choral ensembles. She has performed locally as a soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, The Bach Society, and the Masterworks Chorale and has been directing WHCSL since 2012.

ruth stith, Accompanist

Ruth Stith is an adjunct faculty member of Saint Louis University and the Community Music School of Webster University, where she teaches class piano, piano ensemble, and applied piano lessons. She is an accompanist for the St. Louis Children's Choir and is director and accompanist for the children's choir at Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton. Before moving to St. Louis in 2004, Ruth was an adjunct artist teacher of piano and theory at Vanderbilt University, as well as staff accompanist.

Ruth has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville and a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Vanderbilt University.

Young Artists



 Erika Cockerham has a BFA in musical theatre; has her own private studio where she teaches voice, piano, and acting; and plays the piano each Sunday for Overland Christian Church. In 2016, Erika made her operatic debut as Harriet in Gateway Opera's production of The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret, was a finalist in the internationally renowned Lotte Lenya Competition, and is continuing operatic roles this season. 



 Beth Davey, the vocal music teacher at Iveland Elementary in Overland, holds a degree in Choral Music Education from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She regularly performs with St. Louis Pro-Arte, an early music chamber ensemble, and holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association, the Missouri Music Educators Association, the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and the National Association for Music Education. 



 Sarah Shulman graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will receive her Master of Music Therapy degree from Maryville University after the completion of her thesis and internship hours. In November, Sarah begins her internship working with children with disabilities at the Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative. 



 Jessica Tobin attends Maryville University, completing her internship for music therapy at Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative, working mainly with children diagnosed with autism. Jessica received the Excellence in Music Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at Maryville and hopes to continue working in school districts to help children with special needs reach their full potential through the work of Music Therapy. 



 Lori Hoffman received her Master of Arts in Music from Webster University, and currently teaches piano and voice lessons. Favorite past performances include masterclasses with Christine Brewer and chorus roles with Union Avenue Opera. She currently sings with Bach Society, St. Louis Symphony Chorus, and Second Presbyterian Church of St. Louis, and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota and NATS. 

Young Artist Awards


We have 4-5 paid positions in the form of Young Artist Awards. Our Young Artists also function as our Section Leaders. A Young Artist must have or be pursuing a degree in music and must be in the early stages of her career. Candidates must be above average sight-readers and have choral and solo singing experience. Interested candidates should memorize two contrasting solos, one in English and one in a foreign language. Contact Leanne Latuda, Artistic Director, for more information and to schedule an audition.


  • Richard Shaw, President
  • Veronica McGee, Vice President
  • Cynthia Deffenbaugh, Secretary
  • Mary Wittry, Treasurer
  • Christine Alsop, Member
  • Courtney Arndt, Member
  • Mary Lou Calzaretta, Member
  • Susan Kissinger, ex officio
  • Leanne Latuda, ex officio
  • Judy Rosen, ex officio
  • Mary Ann Shaw, Member
  • Barbara Washington, Member