Music by women composers, from medieval to contemporary, will be the focus of the fall concert of Choral Arts, which will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, at Second Presbyterian Church on Pine St. in downtown Chattanooga. Admission will be $ 15, or $5 for students.
The concert will consist of both sacred and secular works. The first half of the concert will include a medieval piece by Hildegard von Bingen, a Baroque motet by Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, a Classical motet by Amalia Herzogin von Sachsen, a modern anthem by Emma Lou Diemer, and a Te Deum by Amy Beach, the first successful American woman composer.
The second half of the concert will include Italian madrigals by Vittoria Aleotti and Maddalena Casulana (the first woman composer in Western musical history to publish her works), three Romantic songs by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (older sister of Felix), a poem setting by Lili Boulanger (younger sister of composition teacher Nadia), settings of several English folksongs by Cecilia McDowall, and "Now Touch the Air Softly," a poem setting by local contemporary composer Susan LaBarr.
Choral Arts' artistic director Keith Reas said he is delighted to be able to share with the public the music of earlier women composers who are largely unknown (three of the women composers represented in the concert, Bingen, Cozzolani, and Aleotti, were nuns), as well as lesser-known works by better-known composers such as Hensel and Beach. He is also excited to expose listeners to the variety of musical compositions by women composers, including the lyrical contemporary piece by local composer LaBarr.