Witches, bitches, spinsters and whores! Women have been slandered and attacked whenever they have dared to stand up, fight back or be true to themselves. The more formidable the woman, the more ferocious the slurs. But, as American writer and activist Audre Lord said unapologetically, ‘Women are powerful and dangerous’. In this spirit, The Fourth Choir is offering a concert in praise of self-identifying women across history, continents and all walks of life. Spanning politics, religion, journalism, science, sports and the arts, we will tell histories of both well-known and hidden women who changed our world – from Queen Elizabeth I to Lady Phyll, from Sappho to Marielle Franco, and from Nina Simone to Lyra McKee. The music we sing will be just as diverse as these amazing women are – with compositions by African-American Rosephayne Powell, Baroque nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Italian singer Barbara Strozzi, as well as music honouring women written by John Wilbye, Francis Poulenc, and a set of Mexican folk songs by David Conte. The concert will also premiere a new commission by our Composer-in-Residence, Stuart Beach, a setting of a poem by Sofia Samatar called Girl Hours – which remembers astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt who worked at Harvard in the 1890s and discovered a way to measure stellar distances using the pulsing of variable stars.