Posted by Frank Gazda on July 31, 2002 at 18:21:55:
In Reply to: International Women's Brass Conference posted by Kelly Biese on July 31, 2002 at 16:29:04:
It's not about being exclusionary, it's about role models. Many brass players don't realize how many women brass players there are, from the highest professional levels to dedicated amateurs. As men we may have questioned our choice of instrument when we have a bad day, or when we look at the job postings, but never because our band director, or our parents, or our friends, or our section mates said everything from "girls don't play trombone" to things that are unprintable in a polite society.
IMHO, the goal of this conference is to show young players, both male and female, that women can, and do, play at the highest levels. After hearing Velvet Brown, or Rebecca Bower, or any of the other many great woman players and teachers out there, perhaps a young female student will be inspired to "stick it out" through some narrow-mindedness, or a young man who becomes a band director, or a parent, will not think it so odd when a young girl wants to play the trombone.
I participated in the competition at the 2000 conference, and the festival was anything but exclusionary! There were many men both presenting and attending. It was as educational and enjoyable an experience as any other conference that I've been to.
The goal, I'm sure, is that some day women won't need to celebrate their role models of brass playing, because it won't seem the least bit unusual. Until that time, the IWBC serves a valuable service.
Stepping down from my soapbox,