Feminine Fusion



“Feminine Fusion” is a weekly radio program that highlights the influence of women in classical music. These are the women throughout history and into the present day who create, perform, and inspire. Composer/announcer Diane Jones of WCNY-FM in Syracuse, NY is your host, and every week showcases some of these remarkable women.

Women are the central, unifying focus of this series. It is important to note, however, that their influence is broad-ranging, crossing the boundaries of culture, race, and gender. Who can know what might have happened to the likes of Aaron Copland, Donald Byrd, or Quincy Jones had they not studied with Nadia Boulanger?

“Had you asked me 10 years ago if I would have introduced a program focused on women in music, I would have said ‘no.’ Growing up in a houseful of brothers, I was always treated as their equal,” says Jones. “But there is still gender bias in the music world. I am anxious for the time when we no longer separate composers from women composers, or conductors from women conductors.

Some of the individuals highlighted in this program entered the world of the arts knowing they faced opposition, and gathered their strength to face it head on. Others simply took to their chosen path, often unaware of the impact their actions would have. In every case, however, they have touched hearts and souls with their art.

Contact Diane Jones

Feminine Fusion

Diane Jones

Diane Jones is the host of Feminine Fusion, aired every week on WCNY-FM. An active composer, she has received commissions from nationally and internationally-recognized musicians and ensembles, as well as completing 5 residencies in Syracuse area schools, introducing young musicians to composition. Diane performs regularly with Samba Laranja and the Central New York Flute Choir, and her music has been featured on two SAMMY-award winning CDs. Follow Diane on Twitter (@ComposerJones) and Facebook (here or here) for more about her programming and her music.

Air Date Program Title Description
Oct. 30 - Nov. 5 A Feast of Frights Music for Halloween
November 6 - 12 Circle Round Music from all-female vocal ensembles
November 13 - 19 Low Strung, Part 3 Women who play the cello and double bass
November 20 - 26 Giving Thanks Women's music for the Thanksgiving season
Nov. 27 - Dec. 3 In Olden Days Early music performances from women specializing in Baroque and Renaissance instruments
December 4 - 10 Patchwork Quilt, Part XXX Our patchwork quilt continues to grow with works and performances by talented women
December 11 - 17 Snow Falling One of the most requested programs - women's poetry paired with compositions for the winter
December 18 - 24 Holiday Music Works by women of many faiths honoring the winter holidays
December 25 - December 30 The Turning of the Year, Part 2 Looking ahead to some of the music in store for 2022
  • S06 Ep13: In Olden Days

    November 27, 2021

    “When the words come, they are merely empty shells without the music. They live as they are sung, for the words are the body and the music the spirit.”  – Hildegard of Bingen   On this episode, we go from convents, to the court of a king, to a Victorian parlor.  The music composed by these remarkable women laid the foundation for today’s composers.  Enjoy this music from “olden days.”   In Olden Days:   Hildegard of Bingen:  Kyrie Oxford Camerata; Jeremy Summerly, director “Heavenly Revelations” Naxos 550998 Sulpitia Cesis:  Motetti spirituali (excerpts) Capella Artemisia; Candace Smith, director “Motetti spirituali” Tactus 572801 Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana:  Componimenti musicali de motetti concertati Capella Artemisia; Candace Smith, director “Canti Nel Chiostro: Musica Nei Monasteri Femminili di Bologna” Tactus 600001 Antonia Bembo:  Produzioni armoniche Armonia delle Sfere “Antonia Bembo: Produzione Armoniche 1701” Tactus 640280 Clara Schumann:  Three Romances, Op. 11 Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano “Romance:  The […] Read More

  • S06 Ep12: Giving Thanks, Part 2

    November 20, 2021

    “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  – Sir Isaac Newton   No matter how many may travel a path, someone had to be the first to break the trail.  This episode takes note of several women who became the “first” to achieve a breakthrough in the classical music world.  It’s a small way of saying “thank you” for their efforts, and for opening the way for the women who follow.   Giving Thanks Judith Weir:  Vertue (Antiphon, Prayer) Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Geoffrey Webber, conductor “Judith Weir: Choral Music” Delphian 34095 Louise Farrenc:  Nonetto, Op. 38 (Mvt. 1) Minerva Chamber Ensemble; Kevin Geraldi, conductor “Farrenc: Nonetto, Op. 38; Brahms: Serenade, Op. 11” Centaur 3092 Ethyl Smyth:  Serenade in D Major (Mvt. 1) BBC Philharmonic; Odaline de la Martinez, conductor “Ethyl Smyth: Serenace in D & Concerto for Violin, Horn, & Orchestra” Chandos 9449 […] Read More

  • S06 Ep11: Low Strung, Part 3

    November 13, 2021

    “All I want to do is go out there and share the wonderful world of music. And advocate music education for every single child regardless of background, ethnicity and wealth. Because it’s so good for you to learn an instrument.” – Chi-chi Nwanoku   We’re a little low strung this week on Feminine Fusion, with music from women who play the double bass and the cello.  We have performances from some musicians you may know, and I’ll introduce you to some who may be unfamiliar. Since 1998, there have been 335 double bass auditions in orchestras around the country.  96% of those positions were won by men.  There is a bias that only a big, strong person could play such a massive instrument.  But double bassists like Chi Chi Nwanoku and Nina DeCesare (like Julius Caesar) contradict that image.  DeCesare plays with the Oregon Symphony, but says that, even those who […] Read More

  • S06 Ep10: Circle Round

    November 6, 2021

    “Find your voice, and inspire others to find theirs.” – Stephen Covey The human voice has the power to move us in many ways.  When many voices sing together, they create harmonies that are impossible alone.  And when a group of women’s voices join in song, the experience can be almost magical.  This episode features women’s vocal ensembles with music across the centuries.   Circle Round: Guillame DuFay:  Rite Majorem Jacobum Canamus Lorelei Ensemble “Impermanence” Sono Luminus 92226 Robert De Cormier:  They Called Her Moses Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont “Songs of Hope and Freedom” Bella Voce Traditional (Serbian):  A Window for Her Eyes Tapestry Vocal Ensemble “Faces of a Woman” MDG 3441468 Toru Takemitsu:  Vocalise I & II from Wind Horse Lorelei Ensemble “Impermanence” Sono Luminus 92226 Shawn Kirchner:  Bright Morning Stars Mirinesse Women’s Choir “Life Let Loose” Mirinesse Women’s Choir   Run time:  58:30   Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women […] Read More

  • S06 Ep09: A Feast of Frights

    October 30, 2021

    “I feel the nights stretching away thousands long behind the days till they reach the darkness where all of me is ancestor.” ― Annie Finch, Spells: New and Selected Poems   It’s just about Hallowe’en, which brings many things to mind.  For example, did you know that the witches hat and broomstick, even their affinity for cats, can all be traced back – to beermaking?   And going about in disguise was only to ward off unwanted spirits. Well, we have a bit of magic on today’s program, along with a monster or two, to put you in the mood for Hallowe’en.  There are a couple of familiar works, but there are also some new compositions for you as well – but don’t be frightened!  Every composer and performer today has complete command of their craft.   A Feast of Frights   Augusta Read Thomas:  Spells New York Virtuoso Singers “A Portrait of […] Read More

  • S06 Ep08: Marching to a Different Drum, Part 2

    October 23, 2021

    “The thing about playing percussion is that you can create all these emotions that can be sometimes beautiful, sometimes really ugly, or sometimes sweet, sometimes as big as King Kong.”   – Evelyn Glennie   A singer always has their instrument with them.  A cellist, a flutist, they carry a bit more – one, or perhaps several, instruments, music, music stand, and accessories like rosin, or cleaning cloths.  But a percussionist – well, let’s just say, most of them drive a van.  Drums, sticks, shakers, woodblocks, marimbas, vibraphones, stands for their music and all of their instruments.  Not to mention the unusual instruments they are asked to play – water gongs, rainsticks, flower pots, brake drums, sticks and stones.  The women on today’s program have had to master them all.   Marching to a Different Drum, Part 2   Susie Ibarra:  Paniniwala (Belief) Susie Ibarra, percussion Alex Peh, piano “Talking Gong” […] Read More

  • S06 Ep07: On the Podium, Part 3

    October 16, 2021

    “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” – Plato   With Marin Alsop’s tenure at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ending, we are left without a single woman serving as Music Director among the top 25 largest ensembles in the US.  It is not a lack of talent, however, and this week we hear from several amazing women who have taken their place on the conductor’s podium.   On the Podium, Part 3 Paul Desenne:  Verano: Cumbión Tostao, from 2 Seasons of the Caribbean Tropics Lina González-Granados, conductor Unitas Ensemble; Cuarteto Latinoamericano “Estaciones” Urtext 279 Carl Nielsen:  Flute Concerto Anna Skryleva, conductor Odense Symphony Orchestra; Josephine Olech, flute “Concertos by Carl Nielsen, Theodoor Verhey, and Jean Francaix” Orchid Classics 100169 Sir Edward Elgar:  Sospiri Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, conductor Birmingham Symphony Orchestra “The […] Read More

  • S06 Ep06: Patchwork Quilt, Part XXIX

    October 9, 2021

    “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” – Pablo Casals   Time for another Patchwork Quilt episode.  No special theme, just great music from talented women!   Patchwork Quilt, Part XXIX   Samantha Sack:  A Kiss in the Dark Janácek Phlharmonic Orchestra; Jirí Petrdlík, conductor “Prisma, Vol. 5” Navona 6344 Mariella Cassar-Cordina:  Waiting Malta Philharmonic Orchestra; Sergey Smbatyan, conductor “Contemporary Colours: New Music by Maltese Composers” Navona 6322 Laura Schwendinger:  Flourscenza Mat Haimovitz, cello “Primavera I: The Wind” PentaTone Classics 5186286 Rain Worthington:  Within Deep Currents Janácek Phlharmonic Orchestra; Stanislav Vavrinek, conductor “Sparks, Vol. II: Works for Orchestra” Navona 6337 Barbara Harbach:  Visions of Hildegard Jane Price, violin; Alla Voskoboynikova, piano “Chamber Music VI: The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky” MSR Classics 1695 Aaron Jay Kernis:  Elegy For Those We Lost Yolanda Kondonassis, harp; Michael Sachs, trumpet “Elegy For Those We Lost” […] Read More

  • S06 Ep05: Voices Raised, Part 5

    October 2, 2021

    “The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald   The human voice has the power to move us in so many ways.  When many voices sing together, they create harmonies that are impossible alone.  And when a group of women’s voices join in song, the experience can be almost magical.  Some ensembles sing to express emotion, celebrate faith, or promote social change.  This week, women’s voices raised together in song.   Voices Raised, Part 5 Guillame DuFay:  Rite Majorem Jacobum Canamus Lorelei Ensemble “Impermanence” Sono Luminus 92226 Traditional: Invitatory Surrexit Dominus Benedictine Nuns of Notre Dame “Voices: Chant from Avignon” Decca Records Liisa Matevinen: Lemmen Nosto (Evoking Love) Philomela Female Choir “Mieli” Alba Tella Turkka: Minne kauneus katosi (Where did the beauty disappear?) Philomela Female Choir “Mieli” Alba Peteris Vasks: The Tomtit’s Message Dzintars: The Latvian Women’s Choir “Songs of Amber” Rykodisc Traditional: The Little Cuckoo Bird Vesnivka Choir “Vesnivka Choir” Vesnivka.com Traditional […] Read More

  • S06 Ep04: Music of Faith, Part 2

    September 25, 2021

    “Music is an outburst of the soul.” – Frederick Delius   Faith is a very personal thing.  The fact is, we are all living in and experiencing the very same world.  And faith is the framework that we look through to put that world in perspective.  This week, music of faith written or performed by women over the centuries, and in particular, since we have just marked the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to highlight several works from Jewish composers.   Music of Faith, Part 2   J.S. Bach:  Ave Maria Jessye Norman, soprano Lyon Opera Orchestra; Lawrence Foster, conductor “Jessye Norman at Notre Dame” Phillips 432731 Miriam Gideon:  The Resounding Lyre Constantine Cassolas, tenor; Speculum Musicae; Robert Black, conductor “Miriam Gideon” CRI 782 Hildegard of Bingen:  Cum vox sanguinus Anonymous 4 “11,000 Virgins” Harmonia Mundi 907200 St. Ambrose:  Agnes, Beatae Virgins Celestial Sirens “Sacred […] Read More

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