Tahoe Sisters in Harmony | Creating Community Around Song

From left to right: Joanne Tallarigo, Carla Sakrison, Heather Cotanch, Emily Hammond, Lisa Ascher, Peggy Lindquist, Susan Giacobazzi, Sarah Monson. | Courtesy Tahoe Sisters in Harmony

The ritual of women gathering together occurs in many forms around the world and has for centuries. Historically, women collected food, cooked and came together in full and new moon ceremonies to heal and support one another.

Monday | 6:30-8 p.m.
Muse Gallery | Tahoe City

Tahoe locals Peggy Lindquist and Susan Giacobazzi are inspired to gather women through song in their group Tahoe Sisters in Harmony.

“My inspiration for starting this group here in Tahoe City has been the feeling of joy and connection I experienced when I was part of a song circle in Santa Cruz,” says Lindquist. She views the group as an opportunity to bring women together and start conversations through song.

“Participants just need a willingness to use their voices to connect with others. It is amazing how great we sound. There is no formal training or experience needed.” —Peggy Lindquist

“We sing songs that have been passed down to women through many years and many song circles. We are a group that gets together to share our love of singing. Susan and I created the women’s singing circle to create community. Participants just need a willingness to use their voices to connect with others. It is amazing how great we sound. There is no formal training or experience needed,” she says. “Susan has more experience singing.”

People who feel like they can’t sing because they’ve been told they can’t carry a tune or sing in key are those both Lindquist and Giacobazzi say they’d like to help. Women can overcome that stigma and fear and show how beauty can be attained by singing in harmony. These circles are an opportunity to let go of the fear of singing.

Susan Giacobazzi and Peggy Lindquist co-founders of the Tahoe Sisters in Harmony. | Courtesy Tahoe Sisters in Harmony

“I am amazed at how many people have been told they shouldn’t sing,” says Giacobazzi, who leads the circles. “Music has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up singing in choir. My dad was always singing and humming. We do call and response. There is no reading notes on a page. We teach the harmony parts.”

Giacobazzi loves all types of music. She listens to rap with her kids, bluegrass, choral, opera and funk. The group sings ancient African songs and new songs, as well. There are no instruments; it is all a cappella.

“These songs uplift and bring joy, highlighting our deep connection with others,” says Lindquist. She opened the MUSE art reclaimed gallery in Tahoe City this past summer, where the singing circles are held.

“Through opening yourself up with song you can explore different aspects of your life. The consistency of the singing circles creates a support system. It’s like meditation,” she says.

Giacobazzi stresses of the importance of the circles: “We learn to use our voice, especially as women. It’s about our need to be heard and saying what we need. I’ve seen people come in and start timid and by the end they’re singing out.”

When the room is filled with women singing, Giacobazzi admits she gets chills.

“A warmth occurs when we harmonize. A connection is felt that you can’t create on your own, it only happens when we come together,” she says.

The group meets every Monday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $20. “Special things happen. You just have to show up and be ready for it. In the end it’s about finding your voice,” says Lindquist.

If you love to sing or have always been afraid of opening up musically, this is an opportunity to free your voice with abandon and let go of worrying about how you sound. | [email protected]