The 2014 WNY Women in the Arts Festival

The 2014 WNY Women in the Arts Festival

The 2014 WNY (Western New York) Women in the Arts Festival was a resounding success! This fourth biennial festival included concerts, art exhibits, a coffee house, film screenings and lectures at various venues in and around Buffalo, NY, during March, Women’s History Month.

Musical highlights included a marvelous organ recital by Dr. Barbara Harbach on March 7, sponsored by the Buffalo Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. Barbara is professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she has established the Women in the Arts Center. In her recital, she played works by women composers from the 16th through 21st centuries on the fine Schlicker organ at Kenmore United Methodist Church in Kenmore, NY. Prior to the recital, she was initiated as a National Arts Affiliate into the SAI Buffalo Alumnae Chapter. Earlier in the week she gave a lecture entitled “21st-Century Women Composers” at Canisius College, Buffalo. Dr. Harbach is a highly sought-after recitalist, lecturer, composer, musicologist and recording artist. She has been part of all the previous WNY Women in the Arts Festivals (2008, 2010 and 2012).

As a great preview to the March festival, renowned organist and clinician Gail Archer presented a wonderful master class and organ recital at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church on February 23. This was the second opportunity in two years that WNYers have had the good fortune to hear and work with Gail!

Other festival musical events at Canisius College were a piano recital by Jennifer Campbell, a Stecher and Horowitz Foundation 2012 finalist; a Meet-the-Faculty Recital by pianist Jane Cary, pianist Karen Schmid, bassoonist Ellen Barnum, and James Wright, baritone, all performing works by women composers; a performance by Cantio Sacra of choral works by women; a lecture on “Women’s Musical Roles in 18th-Century America” by Jane Cary, music department chair; and a presentation of segments from Libertaria: The Virtual Opera by composer Sabrina Peña Young.

Musical events at other venues included a concert by the Buffalo Chamber Players, who performed works by Lili Boulanger and local composer Caroline Mallonee at Buffalo State College; a “Classical Music for Kids” multi-activity event presented by Sabrina Peña Young; and a concert at Church of the Nativity UCC featuring pianist Karen Schmid, playing works by Fanny Mendelssohn; pianist Linda Mabry, playing works by Joan Tower, Amy Beach, Germaine Tailleferre and Agathe Backer-Grøndahl; and The Musical Delights piano quartet playing works by Louise-Heritte-Viardot and Dora Pejačević. The festival concluded with the yearly appearance of Ladies First Jazz Big Band, the award-winning all-female band at the Tralfalmadore Café in Buffalo.

For more information regarding the WNY Women in the Arts Festival, please contact me, Carole Harris, at, or visit the WNY Women in the Arts Festival page on Facebook.

Dr. Carole Harris

Coordinator, WNY Women in the Arts Festival

Music Director, Church of the Nativity UCC, Buffalo, NY

Professor of Music Theory, Canisius College and Buffalo State College

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