Featured Guest Blogger: Could an Academic Conference pass the Bechdel Test?

We welcome Dr. Penny Brandt to Feminist in the Concert Hall!  She is a musicologist who recently completed a Ph.D. Dissertation on composer Elsa Olivieri Sangiacomo Respighi, and who is known for her leadership role with the Hartford Festival of Women Composers.    This past weekend, I attended the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory, which were held together at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Antonio. Significant changes have been made over the last few years in order to improve access to and inclusion at the conference, both in terms of structure…

HAPPY 150th BIRTHDAY, AMY BEACH!!

As this year marks Amy Beach’s 150th birthday, much is being done in celebration about this remarkable woman’s life and work! Numerous orchestras, choral ensembles, chamber ensembles and soloists around the world have performed or will be performing works by the pioneering American composer/pianist this year and next in celebration.  There are new recordings available this year featuring her works and new scholarship has and will be written about her.  Additionally, new musical editions, both revised and published for the first time, are available by a variety of publishers, such as Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Publications! Here are a few highlights…

Representation in the Classroom

Representation matters.  In recordings, in publications, in performance halls, and in classrooms. We were thrilled to learn about a new project to encourage more discussion and exploration of works by women in classrooms through music theory curriculum.  The project and website, titled Music Theory Examples by Women, is a comprehensive and thoughtful resource to make it easy for all educators to include examples that would carry students from beginning music education through principles of chromaticism. The two contributors to the website are Molly Murdock and Trevor Nelson, both PhD candidates at the Eastman School of Music.  Read more about their…

A Call to Action

This past year has brought about important conversations about women’s work in music, and many highly publicized opportunities for the public at large to become more informed and engaged with often-neglected music.  Laura Seddon mentioned in her guest blog that though well-intentioned, these efforts often fall far short of real and lasting change.  But it seems as though there is some hope on the horizon. A student in the UK has created a petition to include works by women composers in the A-level syllabus and exams.  Jessy McCabe, who is 17 years old, reached out to the Music Head of…