Bella Voce was founded in the mid-1980’s by a group of women in the community who loved to sing and who called upon Dr. Michael Cleveland, chair of the UNR Music Department at the time, to nurture it to maturity. When Dr. Cleveland retired from the group in 1997, the ensemble became more independent, achieving non-profit status and developing its own management and fiscal activity. Jennifer Tibben was hired as Artistic Director in 1997 and success with grant applications and fund-raising activities has allowed the group to become even more stable.
In addition to two regular concerts performed every year in December and May, Bella Voce has participated in a variety of community events over the years. These range from performing Stabat Mater by Pergolesi with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and Holts’s The Planets with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra to singing the Star Spangled Banner at Reno’s minor league baseball park, the Hot Air Balloon Races and the opening of the Nevada Legislature. Bella Voce has also performed concerts during Reno’s July cultural festival known as Artown. In 2009, Bella Voce went on its first international concert tour to China, performing in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and culminating with a competition in the World Choir Games held in Shaoxing, where they were awarded a Silver Diploma in the Women’s Chamber Choir category of open competition.More History
Bella Voce performs a variety of existing and newly-commissioned sacred and secular works for women’s voices. In addition to a diverse selection of classical and contemporary music from the United States and around the world, the ensemble has performed numerous pieces especially commissioned for Bella Voce by such composers as Clifton Noble, Emma Lou Diemer, Susan LaBarr, David Montoya, Jocelyn Hagen, and Joan Szymko.
Bella Voce has also participated in several holiday concerts with the Sisters of the Carmelite Monastery in Reno, which has included original works by Sr. Claire Sokol.