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Singing the Praises of Women Composers

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Video Transcript - Singing the Praises of Women Composers

Garner: I believe it’s important to highlight women because throughout history it has been difficult for women to become successful as musicians and composers, up until just recently. So, there is a vast repertoire of music that’s fairly unknown from women composers- starting even from the 11th century.

Hines: You hear a lot about Beethoven and Shue von Schubert, but you don’t hear a lot about the women in music. I think the fact that we are recognizing women composers gives everyone the opportunity to experience more music.

Garner: We’ve seen a change in the last maybe 40-50 years. Women have been able to become successful and I think that’s also due to the computer because women and men are also able to promote their own music. There is much more of an equality between men and women these days. As a pianist at this university, I work with lots of different musicians, from singers, to horn players, to string players, to wind players. About six months ago when I was interested in starting this series, I talked to a lot of people that I knew and asked them if they were interested in participating. I got a lot of positive response.

When I was a graduate student, they started a festival similar to this called Women in Music. It was in an open setting like this. Often times, concerts 200 years ago were not in a big concert hall where you had to be quiet and sit and not talk to your neighbor. They were often very noisy and people would applaud when they liked a passage or they would boo when they didn’t like a passage. I feel that this way, this kind of an open-air setting, will appeal to many more people. This music will be exposed to more people.

Hines: I think a great setting because there will be people walking to class or taking a break and it will be a great opportunity for them to hear women composers. They may think, ‘Hey, I want to sing this or play this.’

Garner: I want the men and the women of this university to feel empowered. I want them to know that they can be successful in their own fields, regardless of gender or racial issues.

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