Hear Her Song
a musical celebration of extraordinary women
We are excited to be continuing one of our first initiatives, Hear Her Song, in the 2018-19 season. A musical celebration of extraordinary women, the project honors the achievements and courageous life choices of distinguished women through new songs inspired by their words. We are proud to have commissioned 21 songs to date from leading songwriters and composers in the United States and abroad, in collaboration with poet/lyricist Jacqueline Suskin.
Since its inception in 2017, Hear Her Song has brought together over 30 acclaimed artists in the creation of performance of new songs honoring remarkable female leaders. Our past honorees include Justice Sotomayor, Sister Marilyn Lacey, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama; past composers include Georgia Stitt, Tania Leon, Emily Estefan and Molly Joyce. This upcoming season's program honors a very special group of international women, including Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) and Lan Yang (China).
Under the musical supervision of Kurt Crowley, Hear Her Song premiered in full last spring at the invitation of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C, with a second performance taking place through the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs.
Hear Her Song will continue this season through new partnerships with the following organizations:
United Nations Decade of Women (International)
Mercy Beyond Borders (International)
Malala Fund (International)
Her Village Foundation (China)
University of Wolverhampton (England)
San José Cultural Affairs Office
Berklee College of Music
These projects will see the creation of fifteen new songs, with performances taking place in China, the United Kingdom, as well as the United States.
Furthermore, we are delighted to be embarking on new partnerships with El Sistema USA through which our Hear Her Song anthem, “Hear Our Song” (written by Katy Pfaffl, arranged by Joshua Cerdenia) will be incorporated into the curriculum of the participants of their orchestras, wind ensembles and choirs, which include over 1,000 youth throughout the United States.
We invite you to take a moment to watch the video below, which explains more about the project to date, as well as an ongoing series of spotlight videos made in collaboration with Four/Ten Media.
Honorees and Composers:
Katy Pfaffl, composer
Comments from our Poet, Jacqueline Suskin:
Throughout the process of songwriting, all musicians will have access to the poem that I write in response to the questionnaire. This poem can serve as an inspirational foundation or as the actual lyrics for the song. On top of this, songwriters can reach out to me anytime for additional lyrical aid. Perhaps they don’t use the poem word-for-word, they may need assistance with a tweak in language or a missing line. I will create any additional lyrics needed, as well as the poem to serve as a creative insight into the lives of each honoree.
Comments from our Music Director, Kurt Crowley:
The goal is for each composer/songwriter to create a song in their own musical style and language, based on the prompts of the honoree’s biography, responses and poem. As music director, I am available to each writer at every step of the process, from finding a musical style that will complement the others in the project, to producing the final score and arrangement. I am also available to create sheet music from any demos produced by the writer, and to consult and give feedback on drafts leading up to the final deadline. As we get closer to live performance or recording, I will help create the arrangement for ensemble and voices, with as much input from each writer as they prefer.
TCP artists at the inaugural event for Hear Her Song, presented in collaboration with Vital Voices. Mar. 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Lead funding for this initiative is provided by an anonymous donor.