The Max Noah Singers and the GC Women’s Ensemble had a concert featuring music arranged by female composers at the First Baptist Church on Saturday, March 10.
The performance included many different works composed by women, as well as music with texts penned by female writers. Poet Emily Dickinson, author and activist Helen Keller, poet and satirist Dorothy Parker and local celebrity novelist Flannery O’Connor were represented on the program.
“I like to hear the really good music the department offers,” said sophomore Cole Markland, a music education major. “My favorite song was ‘Through the Dark’ with the words from Helen Keller because of the darker harmony and the way Helen Keller’s life with everything she experienced came together.”
The Women’s Ensemble performed two songs arranged by women who interned at a camp in Palembang, Sumatra during World War II.
“What I love most about this program is its thematic depth,” said Dr. Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, assistant professor of music. “While love, flowers and fairies are represented, this program also positioned women as activists, trailblazers, agitators and even pirates.”
The Max Noah Singers performed works by Emma Lou Diemer, Gwyneth Walker and Andrea Ramsey. They ended their program with “A Bridge of Peace,” the song’s southern U.S. premiere.
“I liked the last song, ‘A Bridge of Peace,’ because I think that peace between the nations is important, and I like the way the composer portrayed it in the music,” said freshman Haley Hensley, an art major.
This concert was important as a part of confronting gender inequality.
“One theme that consistently emerges in these conversations is the idea of silence,” said Gorzelany-Mostak. “That is to say, women’s voices are frequently silenced, whether in the private or public spheres.”
This kind of silencing also extends to the world of music composition. The amount of musical works composed by women that are performed on world stages is far less than those of men.
“We saw this concert as an opportunity to bring women’s composedly voices into the spotlight,” Gorzelany-Mostak said.
Many students shared their support of the concert.
“My favorite song tonight was ‘Effervescence,’” said junior Lindsey Graham, an exercise science major. “I absolutely loved the concert. I try to come out to as many of the music ensembles and concerts as I can.”