Government and law major is working with Jennifer Kelly, assistant professor of music, on a book and DVD project on unsung female composers
When other commitments prevented her from continuing her participation in the Concert Choir, Caitlin Flood ’12 (Bellerose Terrace, N.Y.) was hoping to find another way to stay connected to music. The government & law and philosophy double major got the chance when Jennifer Kelly, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, asked for her help researching unsung 21st century female composers for a forthcoming book and DVD.
“One of the greatest parts about going to Lafayette is being able to engage in diverse activities that don’t necessarily relate to each other,” Flood says. “Professor Kelly approached me about the research and I was very interested because I love music and wanted to learn more about women composers.”
Flood has been invited to present her research at two recent national conferences. Although a snow storm prevented her from attending the American Choral Directors Association Conference in February, Kelly was able to attend and present the project.
Over spring break, they presented an essay about composers Toshiko Akiyoshi and Maria Schneider entitled, Common Lines, Different Times, at the Ninth Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Kelly has traveled throughout the United States interviewing women who compose many genres of music including jazz, electro-acoustic, film, instrumental, electronic, and choral music. One of Flood’s roles has been to transcribe the many interviews.
“I’m learning about how they became involved in creating music and their hopes for music in the future. These women have learned from past women composers and work every day to ensure that their own music will live on to be played and enjoyed by future generations,” Flood says. “This book will serve as a snapshot of what things were like for women composers and will be a teaching tool in years to come. By documenting these women’s words, I have been given the opportunity to help preserve a vital part of American culture.”
Kelly is also creating a DVD featuring the composers to accompany the book. It will include both interviews with the women and performances of their work.
After Lafayette, Flood would like to attend law school to pursue her interests in the Constitution and human rights, with the ultimate goal of becoming a judge.