Help! New Music Service Organizations Answer the Call

The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) was created in 1995 with the unification of three organizations: the International Congress on Women in Music, American Women Composers, and the International League of Women Composers. The new organization “celebrates the contributions of all women musicians, past, present and future.” Members include composers, conductors, performers, musicologists, educators, librarians, and lovers of music.

The International Congress on Women in Music was founded in 1979 by Jeannie Pool. It functioned as an organization to support women-in-music conferences and meetings, and developed a library including tapes and scores of Congress members alongside a collection of books and recordings gathered by Aaron I. Cohen, editor of the International Encyclopedia of Women Composers, housed at California State University, Northridge.

In 1976, Tommie E. Carl founded American Women Composers with the desire to promote music by women composers. Projects have included the AWC News/Forum, recordings of music by women by women performers on the Bravura label (Capriccion Series I and II), concerts around the country, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, and the development of a score and tape library of member music.

Nancy Van de Vate created the International League of Women Composers in 1975 for the creation and expansion of opportunities for women composers. The group’s projects included ILWC Journal (now the IAWM Journal), the Search for New Music, various broadcast series, established electronic forums and information sites.

The IAWM encourages the publication, distribution, performance, and recording of music by women, encourages research on topics of women in music, encourages discussion of women in music issues, initiates advocacy work among many other things. IAWM supports new women composers through the IAWM Search for New Music, which includes a Student Composer Prize, the Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Prize, and the Miriam Gideon Prize. Other services offered by IAWM include the Pauline Alderman Awards, awarded since 1986, for new research on new research on women in music. In addition to the IAWM Journal, the organization publishes Women and Music: a Journal of Gender and Culture, and an annual membership directory.

The IAWM Web site is extensive, offering visitors reams of information on women’s issues in music, including links to other organizations, articles, bibliographies and discographies, catalogues, concert listings, historical information, resources for composers, member information, information on advocacy, and current news.

From Help! New Music Service Organizations Answer the Call
by Karissa Krenz
© 1999 NewMusicBox