Contradictions in Composer Diversity
Nearly every undergraduate music major at a university is required to perform at least one recital as the culmination of their degree, showcasing the skills they have learned in the rigorous study of their instrument as well as the knowledge they have gained from deep coursework in Western music history, theory, aural skills, and more. When selecting repertoire for recitals, voice students and their teacher will work in tandem to select repertoire that meets certain criteria. In the selection of repertoire for my recital, my voice teacher and I sought to create a program that included a set of music by women composers in an attempt to create a recital that not only showcased my musicianship and technical vocal skills, but one that was deliberately inclusive as well. In this paper, I will examine how my attempt fell short by examining the complex issue of composer diversity using a lens of intersectionality, critical race theory, feminist theory, and queer theory, and offer advice to musicians seeking to tackle this topic in their repertoire selections.
East Carolina University