Hi this is Jenny O’Connor, founder and organiser of the Women and Music in Ireland Conference series. The second conference on Women and Music is taking place on the 14 and 15 September 2012 and we need your help to make it as much of a success as the first one! The first conference took place in NUI Maynooth in 2010. The idea for the conference came out of my time as a post-graduate student at NUI Maynooth where my research looked at women and music in nineteenth-century Dublin. The more I researched, the more I was struck by just how much of a contribution women have made to music in Ireland and how progressive their place in music had been, with many being accepted as composers, music teachers and performers in the nineteenth century, when the place of women in society was so much more restrictive. Yet today the majority of these women have been forgotten. The first conference set about fixing this! It was a great success and it led to more research and projects on women, such as a series of documentaries on forgotten Irish female composers for Lyric FM which will air this autumn.
So now it is time for the second conference, which is kindly being hosted by the Royal Irish Academy of Music. The conference will take place over two days, the 14 and 15 September 2012 and will include 19 talks on a wide variety of topics such as women and music in the Irish Country houses, Celtic Woman and Riverdance, women as educators and mothers and several talks exploring the work of contemporary female composers. The conference will include a plenary address on the Friday by Professor Harry White of UCD and the keynote address on the Saturday will be given by Dr Sophie Fuller. There will also be an information session with music librarians from the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology and The Royal Irish Academy of Music on the sources available on women and music and information on where to find out more! So far the conference has received funding from the Society for Music in Ireland and NUI Maynooth, but we need your help to make the conference the best it can be! The money raised here will go towards the costs of the concerts, the keynote address and will cover all the printing costs for the posters, concert tickets and conference booklets. This is a project that will celebrate the contribution of women to music as composers, teachers, performers and organisers. It will acknowledge their work both in the past and the present and hopefully help ensure that they are never forgotten again!