Autumn Maria Reed
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Start your week with some news highlights!

Four women composers had their work workshopped as part of an EarShot composer-orchestra networking program, June 4 -6, 2024.  The collaboration included the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) and the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), and culminated in a performance on Friday June 7 as part of the League of American Orchestras (LAO) National Conference in Houston, TX. The composers were selected from a pool of applicants, and one composer’s work was selected from the workshop to appear on the June 7 performance. The workshopped pieces included: Patricia Leonard’s John Adams Theme—Overture from My Dearest Friend, Naama Perel-Tzadok’s Agricultural Pictures, Autumn Maria Reed’s Mental Health Suite: The Persistent Past & The Fearful Future, and Stella G. Gitelman Willoughby’s Stories of Sorrow and Strength: A Suite in Two Movements. All four composers were mentored by a panel of composers and conductors: Jennifer Higdon (composer, EarShot alumna), Nina Shekhar (composer), Valerie Coleman (composer), and Mei-Ann Chen (conductor & ROCO Artistic Partner). Reed’s Mental Health Suite was the work selected for the June 7 performance, be sure to listen on ROCO’s YouTube channel!

Donne, Women in Music, a UK charitable foundation dedicated to promoting gender equality in the music industry, released its annual report on Equality & Diversity in Global Repertoire for 2024 on June 5th. The report analyzed the 2023–24 seasons of 111 orchestras from 30 countries, and found that diversity in programming has retracted, both in terms of gender and racial metrics, from previous years’ numbers.

UK Musicians Union Logo

On June 5, 2024, the UK Musicians Union reported that the new production of Hello, Dolly! starring Imelda Staunton at the London Palladium recorded the largest pit orchestra in the West End with twenty members. Of those twenty members, more than 50% were women. The show is produced by Michael Harrison Entertainment, and runs from July 6 to September 14, 2024. Tickets are currently available.

June 20 – 23, 2024, the National Women’s Music Festival will celebrate its 50th year as an organization as well as its 48th festival in Madison, WI!  On Saturday June 22 as part of the festival programming, the National Women’s Music Festival Orchestra will present a program of women’s work in music under the baton of Nan Washburn. Composers appearing on the concert include: Cécile Chaminade, Doreen Carwithen, Florence Price, Julie Gold, Rachel Portman, Joni Mitchell, Mary Watkins, Cris Williamson, and Soon Hee Newbold . The Festival playlist is also available from the website. Nan Washburn is a WPA Board Member as well as one of the co-founders of The Women’s Philharmonic!

On June 8, the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra was rededicated in honor of Marian Anderson. Anderson was a Philadelphia native, an internally renowned contralto, and a heroic African American icon in the civil rights movement.  Donor Leslie Anne Miller said that “having Marian Anderson’s name emblazoned on the building is a step forward for equity in the arts in Philadelphia.”

These are just a few highlights of the many things that are going on. Be sure to let us know what we’ve missed! [email protected]