Commissioned Work to Debut -Thursday Musical Club celebrates 100 years

The Thursday Musical Club in Schenectady, NY commissioned me to write a piece to commemorate their 100th anniversary.  These civic minded ladies are inspiring leaders in their community and are testament to the women who came before. If you are going to be in New York, the details are below. After the jump there is a nice article that talks about the ladies and my piece. Enjoy!

Thursday Musical Club

When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday April 7, 2013

Where: First Reformed Church, 8 N. Church St., Schenectady NY

Tickets: $15, or $12 for students and seniors

Info: 334-6873 or 374-1930

Amy Biancolli, a reporter for the Times Union wrote a nice piece to promote the event.  Below is an except on the group and the piece I wrote for them.

That sound has evolved over the years, reflecting a change in musical attitudes and expectations. As women have grown bolder and more self-assured in life and work and politics, they’ve grown bolder and more self-assured in song: No longer is a female vocal group expected to be bird-like, trilling and light. Women’s choruses have “become a little more self-confident in their tone,” Panke says. “You could say assertive, perhaps, as opposed to the old stereotypes — where women’s groups had to sound angelic and sweet. And a lot of the repertoire relied on pieces that were written for treble boys’ choirs or treble choirs. But this is all changing now. There are more and more female composers that are focusing on women’s voices and producing this lovely music.”

Case in point: The April 7 program includes two songs arranged by Gwyneth Walker (the Shaker hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” and a variation on the traditional song “Sit Down, Sister!” titled “Never Sit Down!”) and one commissioned work from Valerie Showers Crescenz, “There’s Nothing That a Woman Cannot Do.”

In rehearsal, they plug through the Crescenz piece bit by bit, accentuating its bright, bouncing, C-major positivity with exact diction and punchy dynamics. “You have to snap it more at the end,” Panke says. “‘There’s nothing that a woman’… Top of 18, second measure.”

They all flip their music to the spot in question and then, following Panke’s crisp direction, give the ending another spirited go. The group’s three sections break apart on that one staggered phrase — “There’s nothing / There’s nothing / There’s nothing” — before coalescing again at the close. Their harmonizing voices say it all: “There’s nothing that a woman cannot do.” Especially together.

To read the full article go here.