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Chorus Member Profile



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Spence Ingerson


Westwood Superwoman Conceals Identity as May Festival Chorus Member

Spence Ingerson is a superhero. Over her thirty years of singing with the May Festival, there have been many occasions when she has rushed to her car just as the first claps of applause began, did a quick change into her scrubs in the parking lot, and made it to her night shift at Good Samaritan Hospital just in time.  

“Sometimes the rush of performance will follow me to work, and I just float through my shift on that wave of energy.”

Helping others is a part of Spence’s DNA. In addition to caring for her patients at the Hospital, Spence volunteers at Westwood United Methodist Church to host families experiencing homelessness through the Interfaith Hospitality Network. She also spent 25 years lending her voice to the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) interpreting the Sunday morning funnies aloud on their radio show. Most recently, Spence began her work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, representing foster children as they move through a complicated and scary system toward their permanent homes. She’s currently into her third month of work with her first foster child.

Not all superheroes wear capes, but it’s clear that Spence deserves one for all she does.

Spence first joined the May Festival after moving back to the States from England, where she sang with the London Symphony Chorus for several years. Upon arriving in Cincinnati, she contacted the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to find her next choral home. The next audition for the May Festival was in just two days, and although they didn’t “need” altos at the time, Spence persuaded them to accept one more, using her talented voice and aforementioned superhero powers.

While in London, Spence developed a love for the work of English composers. So, one of her favorite memories as a member of the Chorus was their performance of Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at the Taft Theatre. Regardless of the material at hand, Spence enjoys being a part of a group that reflects our community’s broad spectrum of identities and the friendships she’s made through May Festival.

“I enjoy singing with very diverse political and social people, all of us united in making perfect music.”

To support the Chorus Member experience for neighbors like Spence, consider making a gift to the May Festival. To learn more about how you can contribute, click here.

Hear some of Spence’s favorite choral works from her time with the May Festival here.