Wheaton Municipal Band to honor women composers July 15

  • Wheaton Municipal Band will honor women composers on Thursday, July 15 in Memorial Park, in downtown Wheaton.

    Wheaton Municipal Band will honor women composers on Thursday, July 15 in Memorial Park, in downtown Wheaton. Courtesy of Jessica Siletzky

Updated 7/13/2021 1:07 PM

On Thursday, July 15, the Wheaton Municipal Band is honoring women composers at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Park in downtown Wheaton.

Women composers are in the minority, especially when it comes to concert band music.


This concert was slated for last season to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which secured the right to vote for women and ended a decades-long battle.

The concert had to be postponed due to COVID-19, but Music Director Bruce Moss felt it was too important to cast aside.

Women are definitely in the minority when it comes to directing concert bands and composing for them.

With a push for diversity, the Wheaton Municipal Band concert honors a handful of woman who are recognized for their work for concert band.

Julie Giroux, not only composes for Wind Band, she also makes her mark as a composer of music for film and video games.

On her webpage, the Madison, Mississippi composer writes, "One must surrender themselves to music, invest their heart and soul in it. Only then, can they experience the truth of it."

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The band plays a clever "Overture in 5 Flat" and "One Life Beautiful."

Here are some of the other female composers you may never have heard of: Carol Brittin Chambers, a San Antonio, Texas, composer and owner of Aspenwood Music; Kimberly Archer, a professor of composition at Southern Illinois University; Shelley Hanson, a composer and principal clarinetist of the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra; Anne McGinty, the first female composer to be authorized to write for the United States Army Band. most prolific woman composer in the field of concert band literature; Canadian composer Cait Nishimura; Japanese composer Yukiko Nishimura; and Joan Towers, a a Grammy-winning contemporary American composer.

Their music offers a glimpse into the world of concert band literature that is often overlooked.

Also on the program is a female French horn soloist from the band, Molly Frederick, playing "Villanelle" by the French composer Paul Dukas.

Bring a lawn chair or sit in the stadium seats and enjoy the music. For more information go to www.wheatonmunicipalband.org.

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