The Sam Houston State University Department of Music is hosting the “In Her Shoes: International Emerging and Established Female Composers” concert on October 29th in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.
The performance will exclusively showcase female percussionists playing pieces written by female composers. This is the first time that a show like this has been performed by the music department. John Lane, professor of percussion and director of the “In Her Shoes” concert, was only recently inspired to do a performance consisting solely of female percussionists.
Lane talked about why he wanted to direct the show and why he believes it is important.
“I had the idea over the summer and started doing research on composers,” Lane said. “I discovered some really talented composers, so I chose to showcase them in this way. This is the first concert I’ve done of all female composers. There are some really talented up-and-coming female percussionists in the studio, so I wanted them to be able to work on music by female composers.”
The percussion group started preparing for the show in September, and since then has had scheduled times throughout the week devoted to practicing for the upcoming concert. The students put in time outside of rehearsals to learn the music and were coached on what they had learned during rehearsal time.
Despite the preparations and time put into the show, Lane talked about the studio’s difficulties in learning one piece in particular.
“The biggest challenge has been a conceptual one: figuring out how to perform Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s work ‘Ara,’” said Lane. “It was a real challenge for the students. It is mysterious and difficult music to play.
However, Lane and the other percussionists are feeling confident and excited to show the audience what they have learned. Aside from being able to share their passion for music with everyone, the studio is also delighted to be joined by Canadian musician Monica Pearce.
Lane talked about the original music Pearce will be performing along with the students and how exciting it is to be apart of a composer’s premiere of a new piece.
“We are excited to have Monica Pearce on our campus,” Lane said. “We’ll give the world premiere of her new work, which she wrote for the group, ‘Chain Maille.’ As a Canadian, she was able to procure a travel grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to come down and work with our students. So, she’ll be here for the show.”
Lane advises the audience to expect the unexpected and to prepare to be challenged by the music. This concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and has no admission cost.