Every Friday, we highlight three great shows from local performing artists that you can see this coming weekend.

Women’s Voices Chorus: The Long Bright
Friday, May 16th at 8PM at UNC Hill Hall Auditorium


The Women’s Voices Chorus occupies a very unique niche: it performs choral music for women only, with as much work by female composers as possible. This might seem restrictive, but it’s actually led to one of the most unusual and diverse repertoires around, as the group unearths forgotten or lesser-known pieces for its concerts. And it must be working; this year marks the group’s 20th season.

Their concert this weekend centers on The Long Bright, a cantata for women’s chorus and soprano solo by composer Andrea Clearfield. But there’s another connection to women’s lives, too: it was commissioned by the writer David Wolman, and based on his poems about his late wife Anni Baker’s struggle with breast cancer. You might expect a gloomy dirge, but instead Clearfield has written an elevating tribute to life. 

And in addition to their musical contribution, Women’s Voices is using the concert to bring attention to two great local cancer centers: UNC’s Lineberger Center and Duke’s Cancer Institute. It’s a special commingling of arts and advocacy, all centered around female voices.


The Acoustic Bandits
Saturday, May 17th at 3PM at 140 West Franklin Plaza

Acoustic Bandits Brown photo

The new plaza at 140 West Franklin Street has become a go-to performance space in Chapel Hill, presenting terrific local musicians and other artists every Friday night. But every so often, the organizers add on a special bonus concert, like this Saturday’s afternoon with The Acoustic Bandits.

Andrew Barnes and Dan Ouimet (the aforementioned Bandits) seemingly play every last thing with strings. Guitar, banjo, mandolin – you name it, they play it. And they’ll be exploring the full range of acoustic string music with their set on Saturday. They’ll cover classics from rock, folk, blues, americana, and country, ranging across the musical map for your entertainment and delight. So bring a lawn chair and settle in for an afternoon of string virtuosity in beautiful downtown Chapel Hill.


Pops In The Park
Sunday, May 18th at 3PM at Cameron Park in Hillsborough


The Durham Symphony Orchestra has standards; they also have fun. Under conductor William Henry Curry, they’ve marshaled their potent mix of professional players and talented amateurs to play challenging music at a high level. And they have deep roots in the Triangle, making for an ensemble truly dedicated to its hometown.

But it’s not all Beethoven and tuxedos. Sometimes, even a skilled classical orchestra wants to break out the movies and show tunes. That’s why they’ll turn to Stars Wars and The Sound of Music for their annual free Pops in the Park concerts this weekend. Sunday, that brings them to Hillsborough’s Cameron Park for an afternoon of fun and exciting music. And if you’re still a little intimidated, why not come half an hour early to meet the instruments at a special “Petting Zoo?” It’ll help to demystify the orchestra, though this local institution does a pretty great job of that on its own. 

For more on these and other great activities, visit our full event calendar, or click here to sign up for our newsletter and get “Ten Things To Do In Chapelboro This Weekend” delivered every Thursday to your email inbox.