Women in Music Columbus to Put On Free Concert

Flutist Chelsea Tanner and pianist Jiung Yoon perform in a Women in Music Columbus concert.(Photo: Gregory Pruden/Women in Music Columbus)
Flutist Chelsea Tanner and pianist Jiung Yoon perform in a Women in Music Columbus concert.(Photo: Gregory Pruden/Women in Music Columbus)

For more than a century, Women in Music Columbus has been promoting women performers and composers of classical music. Sunday afternoon, May 4, the group will present its first-ever concert devoted exclusively to music by women composers with Ohio ties.

“We program women’s compositions as often as we can throughout the year at our public concerts, but this is the first time we’ve managed to put together a complete program by composers who have some connection with the state of Ohio,” said longtime Women in Music Columbus member Elaine Clark, who conceived the idea for Sunday’s all-Ohio program.

The free concert, 3 p.m. Sunday at Capital University‘s Huntington Recital Hall, will showcase the music of seven composers whose works were selected in a call issued by Women in Music Columbus for new works by Ohio women composers. Audience members are invited to attend a reception after the concert to meet composers Hannah Hightower, Anne Phillips, Stacey Barelos, Nicole Piunno and Jennifer Jolley. Sarah Hutchings, will premiere two songs, and Orianna Webb will share insights about their works using audio clips.

Since its founding in 1882, Women in Music Columbus has encouraged and supported classical music in Columbus by presenting live performances and encouraging the creation of new musical works. Initially a club of women musicians who, having passed initial auditions, got together to rehearse and perform concerts, Women in Music Columbus early on supported the establishment of what would become the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and presented concerts by visiting orchestras and world-class soloists, like Jascha Heifetz and Vladimir Horowitz.

“They were trying to enlarge the musical life of the area,” said composer and longtime WIMC member Jerry Casey,who helped select this year’s work.

Today, Women in Music Columbus remains Columbus’ second-oldest ongoing musical organization, and presents four public concerts per year in the Huntington Recital Hall, plus several Member Musicales, performances in the homes of the groups’ members.

Clark says the works selected for Sunday’s concert were chosen with an ear for accessibility and broad appeal.

“We’re a little bit particular about what we choose because we keep our audience in mind. We want it to be something that will probably be easily responded to on the first hearing, and that is not the case with much contemporary music,” Clark said. “So we do try to find things that we think will have some appeal that will come across just at the first hearing.”