By TENA L. COOK, CSC Marketing Coordinator
CHADRON – This academic year, the Chadron State College Music program will feature music from female composers and female guest artists will perform on campus throughout the series titled, Celebrating Women in Music.
Dr. Brooks Hafey, Professor of Music, said it is a unifying initiative to celebrate the often-neglected contributions of women in music. In addition to public events, many CSC students are exploring music by female composers in their applied music lessons.
“We are committed to sharing this wonderful music with the campus and community, and encourage everyone to attend the events. We look forward to our guest artists sharing their talents, wisdom, and artistry,” Hafey said.
The first event of the series is a faculty piano recital by Accompanist Bobby Pace Saturday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Chicoine Atrium. His program will feature four women composers.
The first piece is by American composer and pianist Amy Beach (1867-1944). When living, she published prolifically under her married name Mrs. H.H.A. Beach. Although Beach’s husband was not a musician, using his name did follow protocol of the era, Pace said.
The second composer is French native Lili Boulanger (1893-1918). She won the Prix de Rome, but her life’s work was cut short by an early death.
The third piece is by American Joan Tower (b. 1938). Her symphonic compositions include “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman” and “Or like a…an engine” for American pianist Ursula Oppens.
Pace’s final number will be by American Louise Talma (1906-1996). She studied with Nadia Boulanger and was the first woman awarded consecutive Guggenheim fellowships.
Subsequent performances in the series include a concert by the Trans-Nebraska Players Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. in the Chicoine Atrium. The quintet’s program will include Haunted Houses of the Vieux Carre by Maria Newman (b. 1962), Randy Newman’s first cousin. Each movement was inspired by a haunted house in the New Orleans French Quarter.
The Wind Symphony and Community Band will perform Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Auditorium. The female composers featured include Julie Giroux (b. 1961) and Anne McGinty (b. 1945).
Hafey’s faculty recital Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Chicoine Atrium will include the work of eight female composers.
The first three are Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729), a well-known French harpsichordist, Italian Anna Bon di Venezia (1738-1769), and German native Fanny Hensel (1805-1847), who published under the name of her brother, Felix.
Next will be German Clara Schumann (1819-1896), the daughter of musical parents and wife of Robert Schumann, followed by Russian-born Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899-1974), who lived in Canada and toured as a virtuoso pianist and violinist before dedicating herself to composition.
The sixth composer to be featured is Russian Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), an established international composer of the second half of 20th century whose music is associated with human transcendence and mystical spiritualism, in contrast with other music of the period which often made a political statement, according to Pace.
The recital will conclude with compositions by two African-American composers Margaret Bonds (1913-1972) and Florence Price (1887-1953), the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer.
On Nov. 14 at 3 p.m., the Concert Choir and Community Choir will perform at the Chadron Arts Center. The Concert Choir program will include How to Sing Like a Planet by Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962). She was an American composer, best known for more than 80 choral pieces. The Community Choir program will include Ilus Hääl by Latvian composer and singer Laura Jekabsone (b. 1985).
On Dec.7 at 7 p.m., the Concert Choir, Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz will perform in the Memorial Hall Auditorium. They will play numbers by African American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Mary Lou Williams (b. 1910-1981), and Sharon Broadley-Martin, associate professor of Contemporary Writing and Production at Berklee College of Music.
The fall semester concludes with the Holiday Concert Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Auditorium and the Guitar Student Showcase Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Chicoine Atrium.
Additional performances highlighting female composers and guest artists will be scheduled for Spring 2022.