Kay Louise Gardner

February 8, 1941 - August 28, 2002 

            A woman of physical and spiritual beauty and immense musical talent

            A woman of courage and vision for radical change

            A woman of passion and will, creativity and humor

            An intellectual, a composer, a priestess, a mother 

            She became our leader – our mentor – our sister – and our friend,

                 helping us to find our voices and our power.

            She is the point of light at the source of our spiral.

            She lives in the harmonies we sing and the healing energy we raise

            And always and forever, her music helps us find our way home.

Kay gave us the musical and spiritual support upon which to build our sacred singing circle: Women With Wings. From the beginning it was obvious that we would not be a traditional women’s chorus but a flexible, fluid singing circle with spiritual healing and expression as its loving intent. Kay had the vision and courage to move beyond her sophisticated world of classical music to the transformational simplicity of chants and songs that are accessible to everyone. She loved working with those who loved to sing – trained or untrained – and taught us how to create a sacred space where every woman could find her voice and affirm her personal power.

Although she had recorded many CDs and toured extensively, Kay was content to be part of the informal, ever changing group of women meeting in the vestry of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bangor, Maine each Thursday evening. She encouraged us, prodded us, challenged us and wrote music for us. But most of all she loved us and let herself be loved by us as we became the local musical community that she had longed for. Some misunderstood and assumed that Women With Wings was Kay Gardner but she, herself, knew that she was there to plant a seed and nurture a new way of experiencing music as medicine before she had to move on to a new project or musical dimension.

Kay’s gift was envisioning the impact of the healing energy of sound vibrations and loving intent created by circles of women singing and dancing the cycles of their lives. She held us until we could see ourselves as singers and songwriters, dancers and healers, and then tired, she stepped back so that we could continue her work of encouraging women to heal themselves by doing something as natural as singing simple, life-affirming chants and melodies. She was the spark and Women With Wings is the flame.

May our music warm your heart and melt your sorrows so that your pain flows away and there is room for new life and spirit to blossom. May you experience the miraculous change that comes from hearing the sound of your voice singing the songs of your life echoed by women doing the same.  May you come into our circle and sing with us and may we give thanks for spiritual teachers like Kay who come to open the door of new beginnings and re-memberings so that we can take our places in a circle that never ends.

Colleen Fitzgerald      

Kay Gardner - Wikipedia Article

Kay Gardner - Kaygardner.com