Creative Women at the End of the First World War | College of Arts

Creative Women at the End of the First World War

Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Monica Pearce wins the first jointly sponsored University of Guelph, School of Fine Art and Music - School of Languages and Literatures competition to encourage early-career Canadian women composers.

This SSHRC-funded competition was created to honour the legacies of women composers at the end of the First World War. Many were iconoclasts, battling misogynistic prejudices. Though one hundred years have passed, women continue to be underrepresented in this field. Held in Spring 2018, the competition yielded exciting new pieces from across Canada. The jury selected Pearce’s outstanding work, The Flag.  In fitting with the themes of the competition, Pearce based her piece on Georgia O’Keeffe's painting The Flag (1918) – itself a powerful anti-war statement and the artist’s response to her brother’s service in World War I. Pearce drew her lyrics from a letter written by O’Keeffe during the war, setting the words for soprano and piano. Ms. Pearce is a Canadian composer of new classical/contemporary music, originally from Prince Edward Island and currently based in Baton-Rouge, Louisiana.
Jury members were Kimberly Francis (Chair), Victor Herbiet, Avila Lotoski, Maghan McPhee, Kelly-Marie Murphy and Colleen Renihan.

Given the exceptional quality of the works submitted, the jury also decided to award a first runner-up prize, given to University of Toronto Doctoral student Stephanie Orlando for her piece "Scatterbrian."

Save the date for the world premiere of The Flag to be held at St. George’s Anglican Church in Guelph, at 8pm on Saturday, October 6. Tickets for the concert are available through EventBrite (coming soon).