Theme Day: Choir Weekend

Workshop on women choral composers at the Archiv Frau und Musik – NACHKLANG

On Sunday 14 January 2018, the workshop concert from the series Komponistinnen-Welten featuring choral music by women composers took place in the Aula of the hoffmanns höfe in Frankfurt am Main. The participating choral singers came together from all over Germany for an entire weekend, intensively rehearsing and performing the works selected and rehearsed by Mary Ellen Kitchens (board member of Archiv Frau und Musik, choir and orchestra director in Munich) and Mareike Hilbrig (choir director and music teacher from Marburg). Both choral conductors complemented each other congenially, which further fired up the participants.

The programme of the choir workshop included literature by Agathe Backer-Grondahl, Fanny Hensel, Felicitas Kukuck, Elise Lavater, Carole Nelson, Vivienne Olive, Clara Schumann, Undine Smith Moore Judith Weir, and Erna Woll.

The participants found the choral cycle Wohin ich immer reise (1994) by Erna Woll, based on the poem of the same name by Mascha Kaléko, particularly impressive and leaving a deep impression. Guided tours through the archive for the participants, as well as for the visitors of the workshop concert, lead by our staff members Susanne Wosnitzka and Daniela Weber, gave an insight into the history of the archive, the treasures, and future possibilities which the digitisation project of the Digital German Women’s Archive (DDF) will bring.

The auditorium of the hoffmanns höfe was well filled on the concert day – many interested people from Frankfurt and beyond came to attend. The participants agreed that such a workshop should be held again in 2019, so that more rarely heard works by women resound. Mareike Hilbrig and Mary Ellen Kitchens also received an invitation to speak at the German Choral Directors’ Forum in January 2019 (Limburg a. d. Lahn) about archival work and about choral repertoire of women composers.