Celebrating Female Composers

Celebrating Female Composers:
A recording project with the Christ Church Choir

By Christopher Wells, Director of Music and Organist

The culmination of several years of rehearsals, preparation, practice, and study, is a three-day series of recording sessions in the church (June 13-15). Hampered and delayed by the pandemic, the Christ Church Choir is finally able to come together to make a lasting tribute to a diverse selection of compositions by female composers. Not discounting the fact that women have been overlooked and underrepresented in musical composition, the album begins with music by Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) representing the fact that women have indeed been active in this art for the entirety of creation. The remainder of the repertoire is heavily weighted with compositions from the 21st century, yet contains two tracks by Undine Smith Moore – the celebrated black composer (1904-1989). Also to be recorded, Emma Lou Diemer’s In hope we sing, commissioned by Christ Church Cranbrook in 2000, and never-before recorded.

How can YOU help? We’re asking anyone willing and able to bring a pew cushion or kneeler from the church to the Guild Hall after the 10 AM service on June 12. “Why,” some might ask?! Most choral repertoire benefits from sound waves remaining in the air, much like incense wafting throughout the space, as it blends together. Soft surfaces, like pew pads and kneelers, actually absorb sound and hamper the sonic reflections. Noticeably, the reverberation time in the church increases by nearly 2 seconds when the pew pads and kneelers are absent (doubling the regular reverberation time from ~2 seconds to a total of 4 seconds)! Many hands make light work – any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

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