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Women in Music is receiving news of interesting events for International Women’s Day, on 8th March. The London Composers Forum is holding an informal discussion and celebration of the work of women members on the afternoon of 8th March, in North London. For further details, and news of other events see http://www.womeninmusic.org.uk/whatson.asp   While you are there, why not add your own events using the ‘add an event’ button?

The Women in Music AGM was held on 8th Nov 2008 at the Regents Hall, Oxford Street, London.  Existing committee members were re-elected unopposed:

Catherine Pestano
Sarah Cole
Cheryl Frances - Hoad
Debbie Golt
Chetna Kapacee
Sonja Grossner
Julia Usher
Margaret Lucy Wilkins 
Catherine Pluygers

Committee observers remain
Jenny Fowler
June Boyce Tillman

The election of Chair for 2009 -10 was postponed.

We are joined by 
Ruth Duckworth (treasurer)
Rosemary Evans (secretary)

Angela Willes stood down as a Trustee after many years of valuable work. We are hoping to collaborate in the future in a project to re-launch Chard Festival’s equalitymusic website.

The AGM was followed by an afternoon conference, focussed on the Education of Composers. The conference was chaired by Dr Margaret Lucy Wilkins and began with three research papers: Laura Seddon spoke on The Women and the Ideology of the Society of Women Musicians. We then heard from Jennifer Kelly, speaking on Hilary Tann: Welsh composer living in America. Jennifer was the first of our three guests from the USA, fresh from the excitement of election night! Finally June Boyce Tillman gave us an inspiring account of her work in the field of women and  liturgical music.

Our guest speaker was Errollyn Wallen who described how she prepares her students for real life as a composer. Errollyn and Margaret Lucy were joined for a panel discussion by Profession Rhian Samuel and Dr Mary Bellamy.

Founder member Nicola Lefanu was unable to join us as she was involved in rehearsals for a production of Elizabeth Maconchy’s Heloise and Abelard. However, we have the opportunity to hear her speak on women composers at this year's ISM conference, which will be held on 16 - 18 April. For details please see http://www.ism.org/newsevents/confprogramme.html

Women in Music would like to thank Catherine Pluygers and the London New Wind Festival for hosting the AGM and conference, and for the concert of music by women composers which followed.

The full conference and concert programme can be viewed on the news page, under Archive. http://www.womeninmusic.org.uk/newsletter.asp

For our next AGM we are planning a discussion on Equality issues in Competitions and Opportunities. If you were an award winner from Women in Music’s Commissioning funds, 2001 and 2003, or another award, we would welcome your comments and suggestions, and updates on the impact the award has had on your work. Please e-mail <info@womeninmusic.org.uk>

Recent appointments

Sarah Rodgers has been elected the Chair of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. She was previously the Chair of the Concert Executive of BACS. BACS was formed from three earlier composers' organisations: The Composers Guild; the Association of Professional Composers and the British Academy of Songwriters.

Louise Mitchell has been appointed as Director of the Glasgow Unesco City of Music to be launched shortly. The GUCM is a new company designed to coordinate promotion of every kind of music in this Unesco awarded title, which will be funded by the City of Glasgow, the Scottish Arts Council and the Scottish Government.

Catherine Pestano is the new Chair of Soundsense, the Community Music organisation. Catherine is also on the board of Women in Music.

Donations to Women in Music

At the present time, member donations are the only source of income for Women in Music. Donations, however small, are valuable for our work. To ensure that charitable donations reach the intended funds it is advisable to use online facilities such as the Charities Aid Foundation. A link is available at http://www.womeninmusic.org.uk/enquire.htm  or you can search the CAF website using our Charity Reg. Number 1013231.