Logo for Festival of Women Composers International In conjunction with Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Eighth Festival of Women Composers International, March 27 – 29, seven special concerts will be offered free to the community.

“The Festival of Women Composers International's mission is to provide gender balance in the curriculum through generating information about women artists, accessing their works and providing opportunity for public performance,” explained Dr. Susan Wheatley and Dr. Sarah Mantel, festival directors and IUP professors of music. Mantel and Wheatley have codirected the festival since 1990.

The festival includes many workshops and classes for participants and selected IUP students, in addition to the free concerts. Maria Loos, from Salzburg, Austria, is the 2008 Festival Artist-in-Residence. Cindy McTee, of Texas, is the festival special guest composer.

Maria LoosLoos, a Baroque recorder virtuoso, is an internationally recognized performer who has done substantial research on the women Baroque composers and also works with dancers and modern compositions. She is the author of an internationally known CD, Women 4 Baroque.

As part of the festival events, Loos will work with students from Ellen Werner's class at Ben Franklin Elementary School, Melissa Douglas's class from St. Bernard's Learning Center and Kate Meshanko's class from Blacklick Valley Elementary School for a workshop March 31 at IUP, “Mozart Dances with Recorder.” This workshop is sponsored by the Department of Music and Susan Wheatley.

The concerts will offer selections by festival guests, IUP musicians and performing artists, and musicians from the community. The concerts are free and open to the community.

The festival concert schedule opens March 25 at 8:00 p.m. with “A Program of Vivaldi Concerti” in Gorell Recital Hall. This concert will feature Loos with the IUP String Ensemble, directed by Dr. Stanley Chepaitis.

IUP students and guest performers will present the music of women composers for a concert March 27 in Gorell Recital Hall at 3:30 p.m. Selections will include Suite in D Minor by Jacquet de la Guerre with Sarah Hager on harpsichord; Micro Visions by guitarist Natalia Esquivel, who will perform her own composition; Arirang by Kye Ryung Park with Maria Ackley, soprano, and Eric Waggoner on piano; Dream Portraits by Margaret Bonds with Anqwenique Wingfield, soprano, and Waggoner on piano; Silence of the Falling Snow by Juste Janulyte with Jeremy Doran and James Iman presenting a piano duo; Dance Pieces by Gunild Keetman (arranged by Wheatley), Stäbetanz, Nachtmahr and Pauken Tanz; Sounds and Visions Ensemble by Van Dyke and Company Dancers, Joan Van Dyke, choreographer, and the Jeannette School Percussion Ensemble, Carla DellaPenna, director.

Festival concerts continue March 27 at 8:00 p.m. in Cogswell Hall, Room 121, with a program by the IUP Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Kevin Eisensmith, playing jazz pieces by women composers and featuring guest jazz pianist and composer Nayantara Desai. The concert will include the premiere performances of Desai's Winter Calm and Cayiko.

Loos will present music of women composers from the Baroque era as well as new pieces written for recorder by guest festival composers at a concert March 28 at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recital Hall. The concert will include a premiere “performance piece” with music and dancing by Loos. Selections will include Sonata by Anna Amalie von Preussen; Sonata in B-Flat by Anna Bon di Venezia; Sonata, Op. 16 by Isabella Leonarda, and Sonata by Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. Loos will play the recorder; Linda Jennings will be on cello; and Wheatley will perform on harpsichord.

For Sonata for Solo Recorder Movement I by Elizabeth Austin, Loos will perform on soprano recorder. Loos will perform alto recorder with drum on Rachael Cogan's Kontili and tenor recorder on Lynn Gumert's Nothing but Flowers. She will be accompanied by Esquivel on guitar for Nothing but Flowers. The concert will close with the premiere of Banish Gloom for recorders and percussion by Anna Rubin, and will feature Loos on recorders.

Cindy McTeeFestival concerts continue March 29 at 3:30 p.m. in Gorell Recital Hall with a program highlighting International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) composers and performers. The concert includes Grisaille Vaporeuse by Eliane Aberdam with Chepaitis on violin, Jennings on cello, and Judith Radell on piano.

Nancy Galbraith's Two Moods for Harp will feature Lucy Scandrett on harp. On the Palmy Beach by Kathleen Ginther will feature Dr. Mary Logan Hastings, soprano; Dr. Jack Scandrett, horn; and Dr. Matt Baumer, piano. Other presentations for the concert include Sonoran Tapestry by Anne Kilstofte with Margaret Lucia on piano; Ruins by Sherry Martin Woods, performing her composition on viola with Benjamin Woods on piano. The concert closes with the premiere of Trio by Nancy Van de Vate with Lin Foulk on horn, Julie Evans on violin, and Yu-Lien The on piano.

The Festival Finale Concert will be presented March 29 at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recital Hall. It will feature several IUP ensembles playing the music of women composers. Flöten Tanz by Gunild Keetman (arranged by Wheatley) will open the concert and will feature Loos on recorder. It will include the IUP Dance Ensemble and the IUP Percussion Ensemble, including Tiffany Gump, Kevin Haile, Jeremy DeLuca, Michael P. Jones, and Chris Lyons. The IUP Percussion Ensemble is directed by Kingan and the IUP Dance Ensemble work is choreographed by Joan Van Dyke. O Magnum Mysterium by Nancy Galbraith will feature Kristi Dearing on piano and Christine Douglass on flute. Western Songs by Libby Larsen will include renditions of Buffalo Gals, Green Grow the Lilacs, and The Ol' Chisholm Trail. This presentation will feature the IUP Chorus, directed by Dr. James Dearing. Finish Line by guest composer McTee will be performed, followed by Danza de los Duendes by Nancy Galbraith, both featuring the IUP Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Jack Stamp, IUP director of bands.

Source: IUP Media Relations