Saturday, February 17, 2007

Women and Music

Two weeks ago we missed a Buffalo Philharmonic concert because of the weather. I'm looking forward to going tonight, and especially looking forward to hearing our maestra JoAnn Falletta's pre-concert talk. She is so knowledgeable and a wonderful speaker!
I got to thinking about how AAUW might have played a part in getting us to the point where we could even see a woman conductor. My mother was very involved with music - symphony, church, choral, opera - and would not, I'm sure, have even dreamed of possibly conducting a large orchestra. I did a little research and found an interesting history piece on the Julliard website ( about the history of women as conductors. Who would have guessed that women conductors were common in the early part of the 20th Century? Of course, that was all-women orchestras - created because women were excluded from the major groups at that time. There were a few women who led the all-male groups, but not many. Then came World War II. Orchestras, meet Rosie the Riveter! Men were gone, women had their opportunity to step in and did so with gusto! As we look forward to Women's History Month, I wonder what other herstories we will find this year!

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