About Us

Our Mission

The members of Bread & Ross are devoted to developing and enjoying musical skills, sharing them with each other and the community, and providing a community of women who deliver messages of peace and justice, protection of our fragile environment, diversity, women’s empowerment, and acceptance for all.

Our Singers

Bread & Roses is a diverse group of around 25 women of varying ages, from various backgrounds.  We are based in DeKalb, but members travel from many surrounding areas including St. Charles, Kirkland and Huntley.  It’s true, we’re a collection of very different individuals, but we come together every Sunday night because we share a love of music and singing, and we love to share our talents with anyone who will listen (even if it’s only each other).

Our Director

We are currently looking for a new leader for this lovely group!  If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact us and let us know!

Our History

Bread & Roses was formed in 1995 as a result of a regional women’s choral festival at NIU. Our gratitude goes to Toni Tollerud and Linda Slabon – if not for them, we would not have even begun. Our name was inspired by the poem “Bread and Roses,” written by James Oppenheim, set to music by Mimi Farina. This song’s key phrase, “Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses,” has become our mantra, so we sing it at every rehearsal, and concert. Through the enjoyment of our music, we give our audiences reason to think, laugh, and even cry, and we pride ourselves on donating the majority of our concert proceeds to local charitable organizations.

Our Director Emerita

Words can not describe how much we owe to our fearless and dedicated former director of 28 years, Peggy Safford, and how much she means to us.  Founding member, and 2007 recipient of the “Woman of Achievement” award, Peggy has spent many waking (and sleeping) hours of her life on Bread & Roses.  Nearly three decades of Sunday nights were given to transforming us into a tight, harmonious, performance-ready chorus.  She worked tirelessly behind the scenes arranging, transposing, re-arranging, purchasing and organizing both our music and concert programs – including what we say between pieces at the performances.  Peggy chaired our music committee – helping to select the songs we sang, and participated heavily in our Steering and Concert committees.  Peggy was our rock.  She encouraged us when we “almost got it” and let us know when we needed to get our heads out of our . . . music.  She was a wonderful director, mother to one of our members, and friend whom we will miss leading us into the next chapter.  Thank you!