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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Honoring Women Through Song

Raising awareness for females in the music industry, students of the Voice Studio at the School of Music performed “Celebrating Women” on Friday, March 8, in the Drinko Library Atrium.

The International Women’s Day event featured freshmen and sophomore performers who paid homage to composers such as Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn and Florence Price, who voice professor Carline Waugh called “the matriarchs of western classical music.”

Waugh, one of four directors of the program, said students performed pieces by contemporary singer/songwriters, as well, including Dolly Parton, Jonie Mitchell and Carole King to recognize women across the ages.

“Female composers have gone unrecognized within the canon for a long time,” Waugh said, “and there has been increased efforts to recognize these great, resilient women who have shaped the art form in some many ways.”

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Waugh said the goal of this recital’s theme was to encourage students to see the value of all people in music, regardless of gender.

“We hope that in preparing this recital, our music students recognize that all voices are important in music, and that they are inspired by the lives and music of these women,” she said.

Sophomore performer Larissa Cheret demonstrated an understanding of Waugh’s hopes for the program.

“It’s taken women a while to be able to be recognized in that way,” Cheret said, “and so it’s important that all people of any sex, religion or race are recognized for things they do well.”

A first-time performer in a Marshall art song recital, Cheret said many of the songs told stories – her own being about a little girl who decides she can be a fairy queen – which she thought women, in general, do well.

“Those songs, with the emotions and stuff, is something that women – a lot of them – do well,” Cheret said.

“Women have such a different perspective than men,” Cheret added. “The stories that somebody can tell – it’s based on their experiences, and so women’s experiences are obviously going to be different than men’s.”

The recital also gave attendees the opportunity to support women in the community; the directors collected donations to gift to Branches Domestic Violence Shelter, a non-profit organization that specializes in aiding individuals experiencing domestic violence and human trafficking.

Waugh said the idea to donate to the shelter came from adjunct faculty member Cadence Weaver.

“She is very passionate about music as an agent for community change,” Waugh said. “She wanted this to be a platform to not only celebrate women, but also to remember those in their time of need.”

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