Feminine Fusion

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“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
Dec 30 - Jan 5 Off We Go We are poised at the start of a new year. Here is some of the newest music by women.
Jan 6 - 12 Twos and Threes, Part 3 Performances from all-female duos and trios
Jan 13 - 19 Days of Old Works by women from the Baroque and before
Jan 20 - 26 Patchwork Quilt, Part XL No special theme, just wonderful works and performances by women
Jan 27 - Feb 2 Snow on Snow Works inspired by the snow, from gentle snowfall to swirling storms
Feb 3 - 9 Women of Color: Performers, Part 7 Performances by women of color throughout the years
Feb 10 - 16 Women of Color: Composers, Part 7 More works written by women of color
Feb 17 - 23 Women of Color: Hispanic & Latinx Musicians, Part 4 Performers with Hispanic and Latinx heritage
Feb 24 - March 1 One Life: Rhiannon Giddens The life and music of mold-breaking artist Rhiannon Giddens
  • S08 Ep42: Voices Raised, Part 6

    June 15, 2024

       “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” – Maya Angelou   There is a power inherent in women’s voices joined together in song that is greater than any individual voice.  This week, performances from women’s choirs. “Voices Raised” Hilary Tann:  Contemplations 21, 22 Cappella Clausura; Amelia LeClair, director “Exultet Terra” Navona Records 6069 Traditional:  Svatba (Wedding); Strati na Angelaki Doumasche (Haiduk Song); Messetschinko io Greilivko (Love Song from the Mountains); Polegnala e Todora (Love Song) Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares” Nonesuch 79165 Jan Jirásek:  King Lavra Jitro Czech Girls Choir; Jiří Skopal, director Michal Chrobák, piano’ Pavel Plašil, percussion; Jan Jirásek, scissors “Parallel Worlds” Navona Records 6101 Daniel McDavitt:  Locus Iste (I Feel…) Brigham Young University Women’s Choir; Jean Appolonie, director “Locus Iste (I Feel…)” BYU Music Group 118 Florent Schmitt:  En […] Read More

  • S08 Ep41: Thunder and Rain

    June 8, 2024

       “I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.”  – Eden Ahbez Thunder can warn of an approaching storm, or signal it’s passing, with torrential rains that give way to gentle drops falling.  This week, music inspired by thunder and lightning.   “Thunder and Lightning” Rosey Mei-Kuei Lee:  Rainwater, from 24 Solar Terms Lauren Schack Clark, piano “Piano Music by Rosey Mei-Kuei Lee” Centaur 2908 Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate:  Wakaa (Flying), from Heloha Okchamali (Blue Thunder) Meraki “Within” Equilibrium Recordings 173 Judith Weir:  Storm BBC Singers; Choristers of Temple Church & Endymion; David Hill, director “Judith Weir: Storm: Signum 421 Noriko Koide:  Swaddling Silk and Gossamer Rain BBC Symphony Orchestra; Dalia Stasevska, conductor “Swaddling Silk and Gossamer Rain” Platoon 005 Margaret Brandman:  Gentle Summer Rain Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Stanislav Vavrinek, conductor “Symphonic Chronicles, Vol. II” Navona Records 6584     Run […] Read More

  • S08 Ep40: Sun and Sand

    June 1, 2024

       “This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.”  – Mary Hunter Austin   The desert and the sun – they go hand in hand.  Barren, uninhabitable – yet each holds beauty and inspiration.  Today we revel in that beauty as we listen to music of sun and sand. “Sun and Sand” Jennifer Bellor:  Reflections at Dusk James Whiting, vibraphone; Merrick Haji-Sheikh, electric vibraphone; Emily Montoya Barnes, harp; Gabriela Ordoñez Villalobos, marimba “Reflections at Dusk” Innova 045 Stefania de Kenessey:  Sunburst Mary Kathleen Ernst, piano “Two by Three: Music by Women” North/South 1015 Lauren Scott:  The Sun and Her Flowers Lauren Scott, Elizabeth Bass, Alexander Rider & Eleanor Turner, harps “Sea of Stars” Avie 2675 Hania Rani:  Sun Lavinia Meijer, harp “Summer” Sony 49718447 Morten Gaathaug:  Seashore Meditations Caroline Eidsten Dahl, recorder; Vergard Lund, guitar “Blockbird” LAWO 1069 Meira Warshauer:  Like Streams in the […] Read More

  • S08 Ep39: Flowers in Bloom

    May 25, 2024

    “Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”  – Gerard de Nerval.   It’s the time of year when flowers are blooming and trees are greening.  Here is music by women inspired by the season “Flowers in Bloom”   Mary Howe:  Spring Pastoral Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo; William Strickland, conductor “Music of Mary Howe” CRI 785 Rachel Portman:  leaves and trees Niklas Liepe, violin; WDR Funkhausorchestre; Erina Yashima, conductor “Rachel Portman: Tipping Points, Vivaldi/Kerscheck: The New Four Seasons” Sony 19658872672 Victoria Bond: Jasmine Flower Daniel Panner, viola “Chamber Music of Victoria Bond” Albany 1161 Marion Bauer:  From the New Hampshire Woods Antonio Oyarzabal, piano “La Muse Oubliée II – Women Composers” IBS Classical 32024 Shih-Hui Chen:  Fantasia on the theme of plum blossom National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra; Loop 38; Yao-Yu Wu, conductor “Shih-Hui Chen: Silvergrass & Other Orchestral Works” New World 80807 Jessica Meyer: The Last Rose text by Thomas Moore Sarah […] Read More

  • S08 Ep38: Stage and Screen, Part 6

    May 18, 2024

    “The story’s surrealism suggested to me a music unmoored from time; the score includes imagined fiddle tunes, Baroque gestures, scrap metal percussion, seven acoustic guitars, eight harmonicas and harpsichord in addition to the chamber ensemble.” – Missy Mazzoli   We’ve come a long way in the last decade, and women are seeing more opportunities and better recognition for their contributions to music for film and stage.  This week, we share just a few of those remarkable talents.   “Stage and Screen, Part 6” Janine Tesori:  I’m Still Here, from “Kimberly Akimbo” Original Cast Recording Ghostlight Records Janine Tesori:  Blue (excerpts) Kenneth Kellogg, The Father; Briana Hunter, The Mother;  Aaron Crouch, The Son; Gordon Hawkins; The Reverend Washington National Opera Orchestra; Roderick Cox, conductor Original Cast Recording Pentatone Records Missy Mazzoli:  Proving Up (excerpts) Opera Omaha; International Contemporary Ensemble; Richard Rountree, conductor Pentatone Hildur Guðnadóttir:  Joker (excerpts) Original Soundtrack Recording Water Tower Music Pinar […] Read More

  • S08 Ep37: Patchwork Quilt, Part XLI

    May 11, 2024

    “I went to a high school that had a very good band, and we had a couple of choruses and an orchestra [where] we would play a Mozart symphony. The bizarre thing for the time, which I didn’t realize then, was that we had behind-the-screen auditions.” – Ellen Taaffe Zwilich   Time for another Patchwork Quilt episode.  Here are some very new releases from talented women.   “Patchwork Quilt, Part XLI”   Ellen Taaffe Zwilich:  Upbeat Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose, director “Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Symphony No. 5” BMOP Sound Gabriela Lena Frank:  Operetta Jonathan Miller, cello; Lucia Lin, violin “Songs for a New Century” Navona 6623 Linda Kouvaras:  Night Pieces: Reflections after Covid-19 Justin Kenealy, saxophone; Coady Green, piano “Linda Kouvaras: Instrumental Music, Chamber Works and Songs, Vol. 1” Toccata 729 Ljova Zhurbin:  Voices, a suite in 3 movements for piano and historical recordings Inna Faliks, piano “Manuscripts Don’t […] Read More

  • S08 Ep36: Women of Old, Part 4

    May 4, 2024

    “I wish … to also show the world (to the degree that it is granted to me in my profession as a musician) the foolish error of men who so believe themselves to be the masters of high intellectual gifts that it seems to them these cannot be equally common among women.” – Maddalena Casulana     From the Medieval to the Baroque, these women laid the groundwork for the women of today to succeed as composers. “Women of Old, Part 4”   Beatritz:  Na Maria Sinfonye “The Sweet Look and Loving Manner” Hyperion Kassia:  La Mujer Caida Capella de Ministrers; Carles Magraner, director “La cite des dames” Licanus Comtessa de Dia: A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria Sinfonye “The Sweet Look and Loving Manner” Hyperion Elisabetta de Gambarini:  Lessons for the Harpsichord, Intermixed with Italian and English Songs, Op. 2 Gabriella di Laccio, soprano Audacium Baroque Ensemble “Donne […] Read More

  • S08 Ep35: Too Many Keyboards, Part 3

    April 27, 2024

    “The organ is the grandest, the most daring, the most magnificent of all instruments invented by human genius.” – Honore de Balzac   The pipe organ is a marvelous instrument.  More accurately, pipe organs are marvelous instruments.  Because each one is unique.  Each is custom built to fit the space in which it resides.  Today we have wonderful works and performances by women for the organ.   “Too Many Keyboards, Part 3” Libby Larsen:  Tambourines Ji-yoen Choi, organ “Laureate Series – Organ” Naxos 555367 Florence Price:  An Elf on a Moonbeam Anna Lapwood, organ “Luna” Sony Classical Hans Zimmer:  Stay (from the “Interstellar” soundtrack) Anna Lapwood, organ “Luna” Sony Classical Ruth Watson Henderson: Suite for Piano and Organ (excerpts) Duo Majoye Marnie Giesbrecht, organ Joachim Segger, piano “Canadian Suite Celebrations” Centredisc Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz:  Triptychon Gail Archer, organ “Cantius” Swan Studios Rachel Laurin:  Symphony No. 1 (excerpts) Rachel Mahon, organ “Canadian Organ […] Read More

  • S08 Ep34: Elemental Music, Part 4

    April 20, 2024

    “I hope the OCEAN CALLING series will help renew our connection with this vital life source and its vast, mysterious realms, and that we will hear the calls from the sea that we are one.”  – Meira Warshauer   Earth, air, fire, and water.  Our understanding of the four elements has changed over the centuries.  And still, they touch the artists’ heart, inspiring awe and creativity.   “Elemental Music, Part 4”   Judith Lang Zaimont:  falling drops (Rainshower) Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra; Neils Muus, conductor “Pure Cool (Water)” Sorel Classics 003 Meredith Monk:  Return to Earth, from ATLAS Musica Sacra; Richard Westenburg, director “Music Redefined” Catalyst 61878 Shulamit Ran:  East Wind Patricia Spencer, flute “Music by Shulamit Ran” Bridge 9052 Ruby Fulton:  Wind Telephone Heidi Radtke, saxophone “Convergence: Music for Saxophone & Fixed Media” Navona 6608 Elisabetta Brusa:  Firelights National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine; Fabio Mastrangelo, conductor “Elisabetta Brusa: Orchestral Works, Vol. […] Read More

  • S08 Ep33: On the Podium, Part 4

    April 13, 2024

    “The best conductors are the best listeners”  – Tom Service   Tom Service, the broadcaster, journalist and author of the fascinating study Music As Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and their Orchestras, says this about conductors:  “They become a lightning rod of listening; a focus so that the players and the conductor can become something bigger than all of them – than all of us – at the same time as feeling fully realised as individuals.”  This week, women at the podium, leading the ensemble toward something bigger.   “On the Podium, Part 4” Greg Edmonson:  Uncharted II (main theme) Eímear Noone, conductor Danish National Symphony Orchestra “Gaming in Symphony” EuroArts 880242677013 Evan Ziporyn:  Impulse Control Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, conductor Penn State University Wind Ensemble; Lee Hinkle, percussion “Modern American Percussion Concerti” Ravello Records 8101 Paul Huber:  Concerto for Dulcimer and Strings Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor Swiss Orchestra “Swiss Dreams” Prospero Classical […] Read More

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