Catherine Roma (born 1948) is an American organizer and founding member of the women's choral movement. She founded the feminist Anna Crusis Women's Choir in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1975.
Catherine Roma Wikipedia
Catherine Roma was born in Philadelphia on January 29, 1948. She attended Germantown Friends School, a Quaker School. Roma earned degrees in music and choral conducting at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and became involved in lesbian and feminist politics while studying there. While in Wisconsin she worked with historian Ann D. Gordon to identify music by and about women throughout history, creating the folk opera American Women: A Choral History for the United States Bicentennial. After returning to Philadelphia in 1975 to teach music at Abington Friends School, she formed the Anna Crusis Women's Choir, which performed American Women: A Choral History at a number of colleges throughout the northeast.
By starting Anna Crusis, the first feminist women’s choir in the United States, Roma became one of the founding mothers of the women's choral movement. Her beliefs in feminism, social justice, and Quaker models of leadership fundamentally shaped the mission and direction of Anna Crusis. Decisions were often made through a process similar to Quaker consensus, in which all members had a voice.
Roma left Anna in 1983 to pursue a graduate degree in music at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, receiving her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 1989. In Cincinnati Roma founded MUSE (Cincinnati's Women's Choir). She has also helped to establish the UMOJA Men's chorus at Warren Correctional Institution. and the interdenominational World House Choir. The name is taken from a reflection by Dr. Martin Luther King in which he likens the modern world to a house that we must live in together.
In 2008, Roma won the Governor’s Arts Award from the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation for her involvement in community development and participation. Roma received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses in 2012. She received the University of Cincinnati Alumni Association Mosaic Award in 2014 for her use of "music as a means of inclusion and understanding".