Resources on Choral Music by Women

This page is the internet resource page for two choral conference presentations:

Programming in the 21st Century: Trends and Tools to Improve Gender Balance on Today’s Choral Programs, ACDA National Conference (March 2021) by Helena von Rueden, Elaine Bennington, and Rob Deemer

Internet Hacks for Finding New and Unique Choral Music by Women (cancelled due to COVID-19), 2020 ACDA Southern Regional Conference by Dr. Helena von Rueden

This site began as a resource for music by women. “Gender balance” on choral music programs should also take into account music by nonbinary composers.

Online Databases and Search Tools that filter by gender:

  • Orange County Women’s Chorus Women Composers Database: sortable by voicing, difficulty, nationality, timing, dates of composer and other criteria
  • Musica International: accessible for free with ACDA membership: click ACDA Repertoire page, scroll down to Musical International; sortable by voicing, difficulty, nationality, timing, dates of composer and other criteria


Music Publishers that filter by gender of composer:

  • Canadian Music Centre: search by male, female, or genderqueer using “Advanced Search” within “Composers”
  • Australian Music Centre: select “Find Music,” then “Browse Composers” to search by male, female, or nonbinary composers
  • Furore: catalog section on women composers


Social Media and Online Organizations:

Note: these sites are not just about choral music, but all kinds. Many provide great information on lesser known women composers (nonbinary information coming soon), commissioning opportunities, composition contests, and discussion opportunities

Online Organizations (also on Twitter and Facebook):

hashtags:

These hashtags are often used in tagging music by women on Twitter. Scroll through the feeds for information on specific composers, events, and general information about women composing music. (more coming soon on nonbinary composers)


Composer Websites

Individual composer’s personal or commercial websites can be excellent ways to find repertoire. It can be time consuming to visit a lot of individual sites looking for music that would work for your choir’s needs, but once you identify some that compose choral music, composers are often very amenable to personal contact for recommendations as well as providing score samples. Try sending an email request with the requirements of your ensemble, and see what you hear back. Contact between composer and ensemble is also a great learning experience for any choir! For lists of women composers who write for chorus, try the following sites:

  • Orange County Women’s Chorus Women Composers Database: sortable by voicing, difficulty, nationality, timing, dates of composer and other criteria

Contact

Dr. Helena von Rueden, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Program, Hampden-Sydney College; Assistant Director and Co-Coordinator of Choral Database, Institute for Composer Diversity

Elaine Bennington, Performing Arts Educator, Clarendon Hills Middle School; Co-Coordinator of Choral Database, Institute for Composer Diversity

Rob Deemer, Professor of Music Composition, State University of New York at Fredonia; Director of Institute for Composer Diversity

For questions regarding the ICD choral database, email choral@composerdiversity.com


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