A Salute to Women in Music at Emory University

Outstanding contributions by women in composition and performance served as the base for a concert given by the Emory University Wind Ensemble in Atlanta, Georgia under the direction of Dr. Scott A. Stewart on April 20, 2001.

Composer Carolyn Bremer, formerly of the University of Oklahoma, and now a freelance composer in Los Angeles, was present for the performance of two of her pieces. The first, Early Light, a lively and rhythmic overture, opened the program. Her other work, Venus Palimpsest, was commissioned by and dedicated to the Emory Wind Ensemble. It received its world premiere on this concert. The piece explores various facets of the goddess Venus, including her relationship with Mars. She quotes from Gustav Holst to Frankie Avalon, which adds fun to this colorful and sparkling new piece. Bremer has produced a number of wind ensemble pieces, including Tinker to Evers to Chance, Regional Accents, and Next of Kin to Chaos.

Her brass output includes The Four Winds (premiered at the 2000 IWBC Conference), Opposable Thumbs, and Throw Caution to the Wind. Other works on the program included Cindy Mctee’s Soundings, which provided a unique palette of sounds. Each of the four movements exploited the various possible “soundings” made by different combinations of wind and percussion instruments. McTee is on the faculty of the University of North Texas, and has composed other literature for the wind band including Circuits, and Timepiece. The minimalistic work Danza de los Duendes by Nancy Galbraith opened the second half of the program. Galbraith is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, and composer-in-residence for the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Other wind ensemble pieces by her include Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble, and Two Psalms. Brass players may wish to examine her Fanfare and Fantasy for Brass Quintet.

The finale of the evening was a riveting performance of the Concerto for Trumpet in A-Flat by Alexander Arutunian. The soloist was Susan Rider of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in Washington D.C. This spectacular evening highlighted the brilliant musicianship being brought to the music community from women all over the world. The transformation of a predominately male music profession to one in which women excel in composing, performing, teaching, and conducting is exciting to experience.