IUP’s Festival of Women Composers celebrates women and songwriting with plenty of love songs for all during Valentine’s week, February 13–15, in Gorell Recital Hall. Singer/songwriter Judith Coe from Denver, Colorado, will perform original tunes as well as songs by Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, and plenty of Irish world music from Coe’s residency at the Irish World Music Academy at the University of Limerick.
This world music and pop fusion concert on Saturday, February 15, at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recial Hall will also feature the folk group AppalAsia from Pittsburgh—Susan Powers, Jeff Berman, and Mimi Jong playing banjo, mountain dulcimer, and Chinese erdu.
On Friday night, February 14, at 7:00 pm, world concert pianist and IUP alumna Donna Coleman, from Melbourne, Australia, will perform romantic love pieces by American composer Amy Beach along with Australian piano favorites by women such as Peggy Glanville-Hicks. Coleman has produced numerous recordings of European art music, the African-inspired music of the Americas, and the indigenous music of Australia combining her piano artistry with the didgeridu.
The festival’s opening concert, February 13, at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recial Hall, is called “Love Songs and New Directions by Women Singers and Composers.” Headliner Judith Coe will perform her own art song, and the program will also include the works of guest composers Eliane Aberdam from Rhode Island, Pamela Marshall from Massachusetts, Anna Rubin from Baltimore, and Lisa Hogan from New York City, performed by IUP faculty and students. The festival will also include many daytime sessions Thursday–Saturday by guest performers and nationwide experts on the music of women composers. IUP faculty performers include concert pianist Henry Wong Doe playing the piano music of New Zealand women, and members of IUP Music Theater, who will perform Broadway songs by women composers, Susan Wheatley’s piano duo “Windover,” and many other lectures and recitals.
IUP’s Festival of Women Composers was founded in 1990 by music professor Susan Wheatley and Sarah Mantel to promote the works of women composers by generating information about historical women composers and by showcasing the repertoire of contemporary women.
This tenth festival is funded by the IUP College of Fine Arts, the Department of Music, the IUP Women’s Studies Program, and the International Alliance for Women in Music. All concerts are free. For more information about the entire festival, visit the Festival of Women Composers website.