From the Desk of . . .
Daryle Gardner-Bonneau, Ph.D.
On behalf of Sigma Alpha Iota and SAI Philanthropies, Inc., I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the Maud Powell Society on the launch of its Signature magazine on-line. SAI is pleased and proud to have provided support for this project; it is hard to imagine a collaboration more mutually beneficial than the one we have undertaken with Signature. An organization comprised of women and devoted to the cause of music teamed with an organization committed to recognizing women’s contributions to music. What could be more natural, more feng shui, if you will?
It is very difficult for today’s young musicians to imagine a time when women were discouraged, if not prohibited, from performing in public, from distinguishing themselves in the arts, and from becoming notable musicians, composers and music teachers. When I took the requisite class in music history as a music major back in the 1970s, I recall only two women mentioned in the entire course – Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann. And embarrassed as I am to say it, I pretty much wrote them off as tag-a-longs to their much more famous relatives. It never occurred to me that, surely, there must have been more women who deserved recognition, and that the history of music was, shall we say, horribly biased! There were more – many more – deserving women, but they worked unheralded, both in their day and in the history books.
But little by little, individual by individual, some incredible pioneering women paved the way for the bright, talented women musicians of today – performers like Martha Argerich, Rachel Barton Pine and Sharon Isbin, conductors like Xian Zhang, Anne Manson, and Marin Alsop, and composers like Jane Ellen, Sue Doherty and Hilary Tan. Signature both recognizes and celebrates the contributions of these pioneering women, as well as the women who are honoring their legacy with their own contributions to the art of music, in all of its forms, today.
SAI congratulates Karen Shaffer and Pam Blevins, Signature’s two editors, for the amazing care they have taken in preparing this first on-line issue and in planning for what we hope will be many issues to come. Their passion for the subject matter and their devotion to the goals of this publication and the Maud Powell Society are evident on every page. I know that Signature will be a fabulous resource for musicians, generally, and especially music educators. But it will be much more to our SAI members. The stories of the women presented in these pages will be inspiring, whether they are striving to meet the challenges of a career in music, or pursuing their dreams in other fields of endeavor.
We hope that our members will become Signature’s biggest supporters and contributors to the magazine’s future issues, and that the online Signature will be a highly visible celebration of women in music for many years to come.
With best wishes from Sigma Alpha Iota,
Daryle Gardner-Bonneau, Ph.D.
National Vice President – Finance Sigma Alpha Iota