Maggie Wheeler is best known for her work as an actress, most notably as the character of Janice on NBC’s hit series Friends. In addition to her acting and voiceover work, Wheeler is a singer-songwriter, choir director, and workshop facilitator. She has been teaching vocal workshops nationwide for the past 25 years.
She spent her childhood years at a summer camp in Vermont, run by Pete Seeger’s brother where her love of folk music was born. She later developed an interest in gospel music , spirituals, and the music of Africa.
One summer during an outdoor music festival in Washington, DC, she found herself seeking shelter from a sudden storm under a tent where the women of Sweet Honey in the Rock were leading the crowd in song. It was there that Wheeler says she realized the power of singing in community.
She went on to study with Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the late Marion Williams. Wheeler even put together her own a capella group, based in New York City, called Sons & Daughters, mentored by Barnwell. When Wheeler’s acting work required her to move to Los Angeles, she had to leave the music of Sons & Daughters. To fill that void she began teaching vocal workshops locally . It wasn't long before those workshops were full of people longing to sing together.
Maggie and Emile Hassan Dyer, both graduates of the Community Choir Leadership Training in Victoria , BC , formed the Golden Bridge Community Choir 2006 , a non-auditioned, intergenerational choir which supports local and global communities through fundraising concerts.