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Voices of Women Program Notes

Link to Home Page for this Concert Program (with list of tunes performed, and archival promotional materials)

Composers in Order of Appearance

“Music exists in an infinity of sound. I think of all music as existing in the substance of the air itself. It is the composer’s task to order and make sense of sound, in time and space, to communicate something about being alive through music.”
--Libby Larsen

Libby Larsen (born 1950) is from the Midwest and describes her upbringing as typical. She learned to play piano and sang in the choir as all kids did at the time. Libby was always drawn to rhythm and words and the ability to notate both. She did not have an idea about being a composer until she was in college and learned that there were many ways of constructing pieces to express emotion and energy.

One of America’s most performed living composers, she has created a catalogue of over 220 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral and choral scores. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over 50 CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles and orchestras around the world, Libby Larsen has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.

As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen cofounded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a difficult, transitional time for American arts. Currently the holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. She is currently completing a book, The Concert Hall That Fell Asleep and Woke Up as a Car Radio.

For more information about Libby Larsen, check out www.libbylarsen.com.

Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell is a native of New York, now living in Washington, DC where since 1979, she has performed with the internationally acclaimed a cappella quintet, Sweet Honey in the Rock. A vocalist with a range of over three octaves, she appears on more than twenty-five recordings with Sweet Honey as well as other artists. In her first year with Sweet Honey, she provided leadership in making the group’s concerts accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing through sign language interpretation.

The daughter of a violinist, Dr. Barnwell began her 15 year study of the violin with her father at the age of 2. She holds graduate degrees in speech pathology and public health, a Ph.D. in cranio-facial studies, and the (Honorary) Doctor of Humane Letters.

After coming to Washington, DC, Dr. Barnwell founded and for three years directed the All Souls Jubilee Singers where she began composing and arranging music for vocal ensembles. Barnwell composed and arranged music on more than 14 recordings on labels including Flying Fish, EarthBeat!/Warner, Music For Little People and Rykodisc/Palm Pictures, Sony Classical. She has worked as a commissioned composer on numerous and varied projects including Sesame Street, Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh, David Rousseve’s Reality Dance Company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Women’s Philharmonic of San Francisco, Redwood Cultural Work, The New Spirituals Project , The Steel Festival of Bethlehem, PA, The Plymouth Music Series and numerous choirs—all outgrowths of her combined understanding of creative arts inextricably bound to society.

For 20 years now, Barnwell has conducted THE WORKSHOP: Building a Vocal Community - Singing In the African American Tradition where throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia she has utilized African and African American history, values, cultural and vocal traditions to worked with singers and non-singers alike. Babethandaza is a song she teaches in this workshop.

More information is available on her website at www.ymbarnwell.com.

“I hate silence when it is a time for speaking.”
--Kassia /Kassiane /-ni /Casia /Icasia

Kassia is the most prominent woman composer and hymnographer in the history of Byzantine music and has the distinction of being the earliest woman composer for whom there is preserved music. She precedes her Western musical counterparts by over two centuries.

Kassia was from a wealthy aristocratic family in Constantinople that moved in the circle of the imperial court. Like other aristocratic young girls of the court, Kassia, received a private education that was influenced by classical Greek studies and which can be observed in her verse and writings.

Kassia’s documentation in Byzantine chronicles and the popularity that has made her a legend in Byzantine folklore is a result of her participation in the bride-show of Emperor Theophilos, who reigned from 830 to 842. The following description of the incident was written by the historian Edward Gibbon. With a golden apple in his hand he [Theophilos] slowly walked between two lines of contending beauties; his eye was detained by the charms of Icasia, and, in the awkwardness of a first declaration, the prince could only observe that in this world, women had been the occasion of much evil [in reference to Eve, the first created woman]; “And surely. Sir,” she [Kassia] pertly replied, “they have likewise been the occasion of much good” [in reference to the Virgin Mary]. This affectation of unseasonable wit displeased the imperial lover; he turned aside in disgust; Icasia concealed her mortification in a convent, and the modest silence of Theodora was rewarded with the golden apple. Kassia’s pertinent and bold response to Theophilos was in defiance to the Byzantine tradition of silence and obedience to male supremacy. The Byzantine saying addressed to women was “Silence is an ornament.” Kassia paid dearly for her boldness and quickness of wit by losing the opportunity to become empress.

Since Kassia had forfeited her chance to marry and become empress, she accepted the monastic life. In 843 she was said to have founded her own monastery on the seventh hill of Constantinople. There she spent the remainder of her life as the abbess, composing music for the services in her monastery and writing her liturgical and secular verses.

Of the over 50 compositions attributed to Kassia, only about 24 are considered to be genuine compositions, while the remaining are of doubtful authorship. For the latter, it is believed that the original melodies and texts of these were by Kassia but that other composers either embellished or varied her preexisting melodies with their own interpretation.

Other information on Kassia and women composers in Byzantium can be found at www.geocities.com/hellenicmind/dianeII.html.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a remarkable woman, a “first” in many fields. As reported by Paul Halsall in the Internet History Sourcebook Project (www.fordham.edu/halsall), “at a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as ‘Sybil of the Rhine’, produced major works of theology and visionary writings. When few women were accorded respect, she was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She is the first composer whose biography is known. She founded a vibrant convent, where her musical plays were performed. Although not yet canonized, Hildegard has been beatified, and is frequently referred to as St. Hildegard. Revival of interest in this extraordinary woman of the middle ages was initiated by musicologists and historians of science and religion.... Her story is important to all students of medieval history and culture and an inspirational account of an irresistible spirit and vibrant intellect overcoming social, physical, cultural, and gender barriers to achieve timeless transcendence.

“Hildegard was born a “tenth child” (a tithe) to a noble family. As was customary with the tenth child, which the family could not count on feeding, she was dedicated at birth to the church. The girl started to have visions of luminous objects at the age of three, but soon realized she was unique in this ability and hid this gift for many years.

“Music was extremely important to Hildegard. She describes it as the means of recapturing the original joy and beauty of paradise. According to her before the Fall, Adam had a pure voice and joined angels in singing praises to god. After the Fall, music was invented and musical instruments made in order to worship god appropriately. Perhaps this explains why her music most often sounds like what we imagine angels’ singing to be like.”

Translations of some of Hildegard’s writings can be found through the website Other Women’s Voices (home.infionline.net/~ddisse/index.html), which links to passages from over 125 women writers dating before 1700.

Hildegard’s poetry is the text for the composition Ideo by Naomi Stephan. The specific piece from which the lyrics are taken is On The Blessed Mary: Antiphon.

“My mission is to transform poetry of highest quality into choral and vocal music which inspires, enlightens and elevates the spirit. I want listeners to feel connected to their source, to reflect on the poetic message and thereby find meaning and connection to their lives.”
--Naomi Stephan

Naomi Irene Stephan, Ph.D. received two Fulbright scholarships in Voice, and her B.A. in Voice from the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and subsequently was awarded a German government grant to write a dissertation on the songs of Robert Schumann. In the 1990’s she transitioned to composing choral music. Naomi is particularly interested in using unusual combinations of voices and instruments, combining neo-medieval styles with fugal, percussive, and rhythmic experimentation while steadfastly maintaining a modal, tonal or harmonically-based foundation to her choral writing.

Many of Naomi’s choral compositions are commissions, and/or winners of competitions. Her first composition, Spring Song, was the only one by a living woman composer to be played at the Chorus America Convention in L.A. in 1993. Naomi’s music has been performed throughout the United States, at competitions, choral festivals, and by individual choruses. She is a member of the International Association of Women Composers and ASCAP.

Naomi Stephan lives her mission to create a sound world through music and word as a composer, writer, motivational speaker, and educator. She has published a workbook companion to Fulfill Your Soul’s Purpose of which she is the author. Since 1982, she has headed her own life mission coaching practice in Ojai, California, offering consultations by telephone and individual life mission coaching intensives. She is adept at getting to the root of the most hidden talents and helping identify clues to your mission.

For more information about Dr. Naomi Stephan, check out www.naomimusic.com.

“I once thought I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose - there has never yet been one able to, and why should I expect to be the one?”
--Clara Weick Schumann

Clara Wieck Schumann’s life spanned most of the 19th century (1819-1896) and her music career covered more than 60 years. She was one of the foremost pianists of her time and performed over 1,300 recitals; her popularity rivaled that of her male contemporaries including Franz List and Anton Rubenstein. Due to the popularity Clara came to know as a virtuoso pianist, she was able to begin to perform some of her own compositions in her recitals.

Married to Robert Schumann, Clara considered herself first an interpreter, an artist; secondly a mother, and third a composer. The mother of 8 children, she did not believe that her life should center around motherhood and home life. In fact, she continued to perform through all her pregnancies. Most of Clara’s compositions were written from 1836-1853. At age 59, she became a full time piano teacher at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. Clara never considered herself a gifted composer and felt inferior to her husband’s talents. In spite of this, she managed to compose 66 pieces. Clara’s works are just recently being studied and played after almost 100 years after her death.

For more information on Clara Weick Schumann, check out the Clara Schumann Society’s website, ClaraSchumann.net, and www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/1945/WSB/clara.html.

Amy Beach (1867-1944) was the most widely performed composer of her generation and the first American woman to succeed as a creator of large-scale art music. Almost all of her more than 300 works were published soon after they were composed and performed, and today her music is finding new advocates and audiences for its energy, intensity, and sheer beauty.

Born Amy Cheney in New Hampshire in 1867, she soon displayed musical precocity: at the age of one she knew 40 tunes accurately, and quickly learned to improvise alto parts against her mother’s soprano. She began composing (mentally, at least) by the age of four. She gave her first public recitals as a pianist at age seven and at sixteen made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

When Amy married Dr. H. H. A. Beach at age 18, she deferred to his wishes that she not perform extensively in public. She was a prolific composer and concentrated on composition during their 25-year marriage, until his death in 1910. Thereafter she actively promoted her works and resumed her performing career. She was recognized as a virtuoso and was greeted with great respect and admiration in Germany when she spent time there between 1911 and 1914. When she returned to the USA, she was recognized as a dean among American composers. She lent her name and reputation to leading organizations like the Music Teachers National Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the Society of American Women Composers, which she helped to found. During her lifetime she was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and her will stipulated that after her death royalties from performances of her works were to be given to that organization.

Many of works are songs, and one of them, Ecstasy, op. 19 #2, was so popular that she was able to buy land on Cape Cod from its profits. Song, and the general trait of melodiousness, has been identified as one of the cornerstones of her musical style in whatever genre she wrote. Beach also composed sacred choral music regularly for St. Bartholomew’s Protestant Episcopal Church in New York. As a virtuoso pianist, she contributed extensively to the piano repertory as well. Although later in her career she began some harmonic adventurousness that moves outside the common practice of tonality, her music remains accessible.

For more information on Amy Beach, check out the Women of Notes website at www.ambache.co.uk (follow the links to women composers), or see the full-length critical biography of Beach’s life or comprehensive critical overview of her music, Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian, The Life and Work of an American Composer, 1867-1944, by Adrienne Fried Block (Oxford University Press 1999).

Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944) wrote prolifically, and nearly all her approximately 400 compositions were published in her lifetime. Although she wrote orchestral pieces (including the successful piano Conzertstucke, and flute Concertino, a symphony and a ballet), her most popular works were her piano pieces, most of them character pieces, and more than 125 melodies. The music is tuneful and highly accessible, with clear textures and mildly chromatic harmonies, with a typically French wit and color. She made extensive concert tours as a pianist, performing regularly in England, including as a welcome guest of Queen Victoria. Many Chaminade Clubs were formed in the USA around 1900, and in 1908 she made a tour of twelve American cities. The later 20th century disparagement of late-Romantic French music meant that interest in her music died after her death.

For more information on Cecile Chaminade, check out the Women of Notes website at www.ambache.co.uk (follow the links to women composers)/

“I want women to turn their minds to big and difficult jobs; not just to go on hugging the shore, afraid to put to sea.”
--Ethyl Smyth

Ethel (or Ethyl) Smyth (1858-1944) was the most important female composer in early twentieth-century English music and one of the few significant English composers of opera of either sex. In addition to six operas, composed between 1894 and 1925, she also wrote chamber ensemble works and the Mass in D (1891). Born into a military family, Smyth grew up as a tomboy. Her family traveled back and forth from England to India during her childhood, an experience that developed her love of travel and adventure. In defiance of her father’s wishes, at age nineteen Smyth fought to be allowed to study music at Leipzig, where she became friends with Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Clara Schumann, and Grieg.

Women musicians were subject to such discrimination that she was forced to rely on influential patrons, such as the Empress Eugenie, to get her music performed.

Smyth’s class privilege made it easy for her to be an unapologetic lesbian. At the end of the nineteenth century and early in the twentieth, the cult of the creative artist was very much alive in European culture, and sexual flamboyance was tolerated, or even expected of such sensitive souls. Smyth’s love life was a series of grand lesbian passions. Many were fully reciprocated, while others—such as the deep crush she developed in her seventies on a much younger Virginia Woolf—probably were not. Smyth’s passion fueled a determined feminism. She fought tirelessly for women in music, urging female musicians and composers to “swear that unless women are given equal chances with men in the orchestra and unless women’s work features in your programmes , you will make things very disagreeable indeed.” She became a key figure in the fight for women’s suffrage and composed The March of Women, the anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union. With her movement sisters, Smyth spent two months in Holloway prison for smashing the window of the Colonial Secretary during a suffragist demonstration. Thomas Beecham recounted seeing “the noble company of martyrs” marching round the prison courtyard singing Smyth’s March, while she conducted them with a toothbrush from her cell window.

Typically, she fell passionately in love with suffragist leader Emmeline Pankhurst, and there is some evidence that this love was reciprocated.

Smyth’s love for women was integral to her passion for female equality, and both her political work and lesbian desire are reflected in her operas and other compositions.

For more information, see www.glbtq.com/arts/smyth_e.html and www.ibiblio.org/cheryb/women/dame-ethel.html.

“We are a First Nations women a cappella trio that sing music in the many styles and languages of our ancestors in the western hemisphere. We do not call ourselves “Native American” because our blood and people were here long before this land was called the Americas.

“We are older than America can ever be and do not know the borders. Our brothers and sisters run from north to south and into and under the waters for miles and years back.”

Ulali features Pura FÈ (Tuscarora), Soni (Mayan, Apache, Yaqui), and Jennifer (Tuscarora.) In ancient times a Tuscarora woman carried the name “Ulali” for her beautiful voice. “Ulali” is a songbird (wood thrush). Founded more than 15 years ago, Ulali is the first Native women’s group to create their own sound from their strong traditional roots and personal contemporary styles.

Known for their unusual harmonies and wide vocal and musical range, Ulali’s sound encompasses an array of indigenous music including Southeast choral singing (pre-blues and gospel) and pre-Columbian (before the borders) music. With their beautiful yearning and powerful voices, they drum, rattle and stomp. Breaking the stereotypes of Native women, Ulali is political, romantic, and humorous. Their live performances, which uniquely address Native struggles and accomplishments, are energetic, informative, and educational. The group added their distinct voice to the Indigo Girls recording “Shaming the Sun” and opened for and performed with the Indigo Girls in several cities in 1997. Ulali was featured on the soundtrack of the Miramax film “Smoke Signals.” They performed at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival in support of “Smoke Signals” which won the “Audience Choice Award” and “Filmmaker’s Trophy.” Ulali recorded on the sound tract for the Turner documentary series “The Native Americans.” They subsequently had two of their songs, Mahk Jchi and Ancestor Song, featured on Robbie Robertson’s album, Robbie Robertson and the Red Road Ensemble.

For more information on Ulali, check out www.ulali.com.

Nancy Telfer is a Canadian composer who received her formal education at the University of Western Ontario where she concentrated on music education, composition, piano and voice. She now works full time as a composer.

Since 1979, she has composed more than 300 works for soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, bands and choirs, over 150 of which are published in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her music is performed in a number of different countries and she has been commissioned by many fine performers. In recent years she has given workshops to conductors in Canada, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Argentina, Korea, South Africa, Israel, Germany, Italy, Costa Rica and Guatemala. She is also in demand as an adjudicator and guest conductor.

Nancy’s reputation for creative experimentation is linked with the belief that all music should delight the ears, capture the imagination of the mind and feed the soul. In each of her pieces she has attempted to bring some new kind of experience to the performers so that their lives might be more meaningful and more enjoyable.

Ms. Telfer has always been interested in the outdoors and has often drawn inspiration from the beauty of natural environments. She lives with her two sons in the country near Port Perry, Ontario.

For more information about Nancy Telfer, check out www.musiccentre.ca/abo.cfm.

Ruth Huber has won acclaim from the Austin Songwriter’s Competition and the Kerrville Folk Festival for her lyrical, heartfelt music. Classically trained and eclectically inclined, she has written hundreds of songs and released four recordings. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano from the University of Maryland (1970) and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Texas at Austin (1979). As a founding mother of Tapestry Singers (the Austin Women’s Chorus) in 1987, Ruth began directing, arranging and composing choral music, which has since been performed all over the country. Recent commissioned works include Rainbow Bridge for the Rainbow Women’s Chorus and GALA choruses, Carry the Spirit On for Tapestry’s tenth anniversary, And If (text by James Merrill) for Desert Voices and Rainbow Women/Comin’ Home for the Rainbow Women’s Chorus. Ruth Huber performs as a soloist, with singer/songwriter Kate McLennan, and with choruses, and she co-directs the Rainbow Women’s Chorus with Lynne McLaughlin. Her new solo CD, Spirit of Nurture, produced by the legendary June Millington and featuring a new arrangement of Joan of Arc (a chorus favorite) can be previewed at the Internet Underground Music Archive at www.iuma.com. She lives in San Jose with her partner of 14 years and eight cats. For more information about Ruth Huber, check out www.rainbowwomen.org.

Libby Harding grew up in Southern California in a home surrounded by Latin American music and culture. Her father, Tim, is a renowned professor of Latin American history and music and a multi-instrumentalist, and her mother, Pan, taught Mexican dance; both are fluent in Spanish. She quickly developed a love and an uncanny facility for this music, especially the lively son jarocho of Veracruz, Mexico. The former Oakwood School student later studied recording engineering at the Institute for Audio Research in New York City, graduating in 1980. Libby joined her sister Cindy’s group Sabi in 1982; Sabi toured the U.S., Canada and Central America extensively through the ’80s, and released three acclaimed albums. Libby was the songwriter and co-lead singer of Sabi, composer of numerous songs that have been performed and recorded by many other artists. In 1985 she received a Special Award of Recognition from the University of Veracruz in Jalapa, Mexico, for her work in the promotion of jarocho music in the U.S. Libby studied music at L.A. Valley College, receiving a NARAS Musical Achievement Award in 1986.

For more information about Libby Harding and Conjunto Jardin, check out www.conjuntojardin.com/thegroup/about/

“When I started studying music composition I was the only female composition major at my university. In my music history classes, we didn’t study any women composers of the past or present. I started to wonder what had happened. Had women ever composed significant music? If so, why aren’t the pieces in the history books? If not, why not? So I started to do research about women composers, and I found that there were many significant women composers, but they had been left out of the history books written by men about male composers, for many of the same reasons that women are written out of general history books."
--Lynn Gumert

Lynn Gumert holds a D.M in composition, with minors in music theory and women’s studies, from the renowned music school at Indiana University in Bloomington, and teaches as Gettysburg College. She is the founder and artistic director of Zorzal, an early music ensemble in which she sings soprano and plays recorders and percussion. She has composed numerous pieces on commission and her compositions have won several competitive awards. Her compositions include orchestral works, instrumental chamber music, choral works, and works for solo voice with instrumental accompaniment.

She composed Stepping Westward, which the chorus performs in this concert, when she was in graduate school and discovered “a disturbing trend: About 50% of the undergraduate composition majors were women, about 25 percent of the Masters level composition students were women, and there was only one female doctoral composition student. I asked myself why... and I became very interested in finding texts by women writers about the experience of overcoming prejudices and obstacles.

“What I particularly like about this poem is that the poet takes as a starting point negative and stereotypical ideas about women (which are often contradictory)—they are inconstant; they aren’t open to change—and turns them into positive statements. Good! She says— I ebb and flow; I hold steady. And the burdens themselves become nourishment for her on her journey.

“There were two streams that came together in writing the music. First, the structure of the poem gave the structure to the vocal parts. The sentences give the larger divisions; smaller images from the text are painted in the melodies, for example, ‘ebb and flow’ is syncopated because I was thinking about waves, and although there is a larger constant pattern of ebb and flow, the individual waves vary. ‘If her part is to be true’—here the rhythms are squarer because I imagine her as a bulwark of strength. Everyone sings the same rhythms for ‘There is no savor,’ because that is so much the heart of the poem; I wanted the words to be stressed, and that is why the rhythms sometimes seem to go against the meter (hemiola). In the ‘What, woman’ section, I wanted to have the sense of asking a question and being answered, so the question and answer bounce back and forth between the voices. In the last section, ‘If I bear burdens, ‘it pulls on some of the elements from all the other sections, to tie it together.

“The other stream is the piano part, which, in all honesty, I would probably do differently if I were to write the piece now. Where did it come from? During my last year of undergraduate studies, and continuing into the gap before I started graduate work, I studied counterpoint with a retired professor. He and his wife became like a family to me, and he was very encouraging of my composing— said he liked how “spicy” it was. He died as I was starting to work on this piece, and the piano part became an homage to him through its use of counterpoint.”

Lynn has served on the board of directors of the International Alliance of Women in Music and is currently its journal’s production editor as well as a CD and book reviewer. She is also a member of the Society of Composers, International, and the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society.

Annea Lockwood was born in 1939 in Christchurch, New Zealand where she received her early training as a composer. She did graduate studies in composition at the Royal College of Music in London, the Darmstadt Ferienkurs fur Neue Musik, the Musikhochschule, Cologne, Germany and in Holland. Returning to London in 1964, she freelanced as a composer-performer in Britain and other European countries until moving to the USA in 1973. There she continued to free-lance and teach and is now on the faculty of Vassar College, NY.

During the 1960s she collaborated frequently with sound-poets, choreographers and visual artists, and created a number of works which she herself performed, such as the Glass Concert (1967), later published in Source: Music of the Avant-Garde, and recorded on Tangent Records, then on What Next CDs. In this work a variety of complex sounds were drawn from industrial glass shards and glass tubing, and presented as an audio-visual theater piece. In synchronous homage to Christian Barnard’s pioneering heart transplants, Lockwood created the Piano TranspIants (1969-72), in which old, defunct pianos were variously burned, “drowned” in a shallow pond in Amarillo, Texas, and partially buried in an English garden.

During the 1970s and ’80s she turned her attention to performance works focused on environmental sounds, life-narratives and performance works using low-tech devices such as her Sound Ball (a foam-covered ball containing 6 small speakers and a radio receiver, originally designed to “put sound into the hands of” dancers). World Rhythms (l975), Conversations with the Ancestors (1979, based on the life stories of four women over 80), A Sound Map of the Hudson River (l982), Delta Run (1982, built around a conversation she recorded with the sculptor Walter Wincha, who was close to death), and the surreal Three Short Stories and an Apotheosis (l985, using the Sound Ball) were widely presented in the US, Europe and in New Zealand.

She turned to writing for acoustic instruments and voices, sometimes incorporating electronics and visual elements, in the 1990s. Thousand Year Dreaming (1991) is scored for four didgeridus and other instruments and incorporates slides of the cave paintings at Lascaux; Ear-Walking Woman (1996), for pianist Lois Svard, invites the pianist to discover a range of sounds available inside the instrument, using rocks, bubble-wrap, bowl gongs and other implements.

For more information on Annea Lockwood, check out www.lovely.com/bios/lockwood.html and see the interview on the New Music Box website, www.newmusicbox.org.

Rachael Hazen is a member of the Denver Women’s Chorus. She says ”I’ve been an on-again, off-again member since 1988, but I can’t ever seem to shake the women—just the rehearsals! I’m a transsectional singer, currently doing time with the Alto I’s, but most people know that it’s the Alto II part that rumbles in my belly. It sucks that I can’t hit all the notes any more. My loves include house, Home, dogs and cats, epiphanies, eBay, old Nancy Drew, new Harry Potter and, most recently, cows.

For more information about Rachel Hazen, check out www.denverwomenschorus.org/home.html.

“ I don’t start out crafting and making something up. I start out listening to what wants to be next. If I stay true to that process, then things flow easily. Composing is really a spiritual thing for me—deep listening.”
--Joan Szymko

Joan Szymko has over 20 years of experience as a choral conductor, teacher and performer. She is the director of the Aurora Chorus in Portland, Oregon and a choral composer of renown.

As resident composer for Do Jump! Movement Theater, Szymko performed on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, and at LA’s GeffenPlayhouse. Her work was showcased at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association. OPENINGS, a CD of original vocal compositions, features Viriditas, a chamber ensemble Szymko founded and directs. SBMP and Treble Clef Music publish her music. For more information about Joan Szymko, check out www.szymko.com.

An excellent source of sheet music by women composers is Treble Clef Press, and their website has biographical sketches (www.trebleclefpress.com).

For biographical, repertoire and performance information celebrating 250 years of music by 34 women composers, see Women of Note, Diana Ambache’s web site at www.WomenofNote.co.uk.

For more information, see Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found, by Diane Peacock Jezick (Feminist Press, 1993).

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