Author Archives: mcacwc1

2022 Initiatives Fund Winner: Monica Pearce

Congratulations to the 2022 Initiatives Fund Winner, Monica Pearce!

Her new work, “Composition in Colour A” for soprano and marimba is based on the painting of the same name by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). We look forward to hearing this new work premiered by Marco Schirripa and Shayna Tayloe in the future!

Monica’s project is to create a new work for soprano and marimba based on the painting of the same name by Piet Mondrian, which will be a part of a larger song cycle for soprano based on painters and their works. She will be working with Dr. Shayna Tayloe (soprano) and Dr. Marco Schirripa (percussion), who are faculty at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas, where she’s based. The piece will be written, workshopped and premiered at the University in September 2022. The Initiatives Fund will be supporting Monica’s artist fees for the creation of the work.

Flute Futures: An Online Workshop

FLUTE FUTURES was an online flute workshop that took place on Feb. 19, 2022. Guest mentors Sophie Lanthier and Anh Phung workshopped pieces by featured composers, Coreen Morsink, Diana Cotoman, Jingchao Wang, and Camille Kiku Belair. The workshop is still available to view online, gain insights into writing for flute, enjoy the readings of new works. Watch it here.

FLUTE FUTURES was presented by the Association of Canadian Women Composers ( and the Canadian Music Centre as part of the “Flute Music by Women Composers: An International Online Festival” 2022 activities.

ACWC Initiatives Fund 2021

ACWC Initiatives Fund

Deadline – March 15, 2022- Applications are now closed. 

Applications for this year’s Initiatives Fund are now open.   The fund is for new or in-progress projects such as; creating a new composition, including multimedia, electroacoustic, or dramatic elements, or for conventionally scored instruments/voices; creative networking via unique compositional means; creating a CD and/or online recording project; creating workshops, conferences, or venues where new compositions are encouraged, taught, created, workshopped or other projects.

The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2022.

All projects must be completed by May 31, 2022.

For more enquiries, please email Julia Mermelstein at

Congratulations To The Fifth Annual Roberta Stephen Fund Recipients

Alexandra Fol (Montréal) and Hyun Hee Deborah Park (Burlington) are this years’ recipients of support from the Roberta Stephen Fund. 

The Roberta Stephen Fund offers support to a Canadian woman composer aged 36 or older for professional development such as further studies, conferences, or workshops, or composers’ festivals. Established by the late Calgary composer and publisher Roberta Stephen, the award is administered by the Association of Canadian Women Composers.

Winner of the Roberta Stephen Composition Award is Dr. Alexandra Fol, composer, pianist, organist and conductor, whose work has been performed by the Sofia Symphony Orchestra, the McGill Symphony, and the New Score Chamber Orchestra, and appears on CDs released by Disques Benedictus (Canada) and Gutenberg Publishing (Bulgaria). Her award will support the composition of a new work, Opposing the Motion, for large ensemble and voice, written at the invitation of El Perro Andaluz, an ensemble based in Dresden, Germany. Opposing the Motion is a setting of former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s famous 2012 anti-misogyny speech.

Hyun Hee Deborah Park is a performer/composer/conductor who has won numerous honours as a pianist, including the 2017 Concert Artists International Virtuoso Competition. She is the recipient of a Roberta Stephen Fund Bursary to support her studies with Dr. Thomas Reynolds exploring the connections between jazz and spirituality with a view to developing creative ways to reimagine personal and communal flourishing. She will explore jazz as an art form of resilience; in James Cone’s words, a manifestation of “the will to be, despite nonbeing as symbolized in racism and hate.”

ACWC x SPO Flute Music by Women Composers Festival

Call for Applications

Flute Futures: composing for/with flutists

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO), in collaboration with the Association of Canadian Women Composers (ACWC), is excited to announce a Call for Applications to be workshopped in the upcoming Flute Music by Women Composers Festival, an international online festival hosted by the SPO taking place Feb 4-25, 2022. This call is open to gender-expansive and women composers of all ages and experience levels in Canada, as well as Canadians currently living abroad.

Selected participants will have a 40-minute session to work with flutist Sophie Lanthier and/or flutist/composer Anh Phung on an artistic project of their choice. Examples include: a reading session/informal recording of a solo flute piece; a discussion or testing session of flute techniques for a work-in-progress; an informal recording session of flute samples for a future electronic composition; or any other idea you might have, that would benefit from focused time with our mentor artists.

This workshop is online on February 19, 2022 (12pm-4pm est). Participants should plan to be present online for their session.

Available instrumentation is solo flute (1 player, playing piccolo/flute/alto flute/bass flute) and/or electronics (stereo).

To apply, please submit the following via the Google Form on the application website HERE:

  • A short description (100-250 words) of how you would like to use the workshop time on February 19
  • 1 link to an example of your proposed project or artistic practice that represents how you plan to use the workshop time if selected. Examples include: sketches or notes about a work-in-progress you plan to workshop, an existing score for a piece you’d like played, a description of a future piece that you’d like advice/comments on, a list of samples you’d like to record, etc.

Up to 6 participants will be selected to workshop their ideas with the mentors. The workshop will be streamed publicly online on February 19 at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto. Professional audio recordings will be made available to all composers for their use, with the performer’s permission. Selected participants will also be invited to join the ACWC’s membership (at no cost), if they are not already members.

Deadline: February 1, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the results by February 5, 2022.


For those who would like to tune in and observe, the event will be live on YouTube at 12pm at this link.

From This Place: Salish Sea Chapter

In this project, presented by some of the members of the ACWC/ACC, who live on Vancouver Island (the Salish Sea Chapter), each composer chose a local place important to them, to be the inspiration for their video. Either writing new pieces or bring in older works, the composers added video footage and photographs to create unique videos, honouring and celebrating these places.

Baby Eaglet by Christie Morrison

Eagles are among the world’s largest birds of prey. We venerate them as living symbols of power, freedom, and transcendence.  This year I was given a rich opportunity to observe the birth of an eagelette in Sidney B.C., when a good friend, who lives on the street where this event took place, invited me to her outside deck.

On a regular basis we socially distanced, observed in full view, the father, mother and the birth, of one eaglette. The year of isolation, due to covid, resulted in an overwhelming sense of despondency for me.  As I watched the eagle activities, it restored my sense of humanity.

These birds possess such admirable qualities as beauty, honour, pride, determination, and grace.


Water Rock Tree Sky by Diane Berry

I wrote this piece as a love song to the coast; to the islands, the inlets, the rocky shores, and the blue waters. Being beside or on the water has always helped me to put the challenges of every day life aside; to feel at peace with the world; to connect with the beauty of the place and the life that calls it home. The piece, for soprano, flute and clarinet, floats on gentle swells, describes sparkling sun on water, hears whispers in evergreen branches, and gazes up at a million stars in dark summer skies.


I Shall Miss the Sea by Leila Lustig

Some of my earliest memories are of the sea in southern California, and I missed it during my years in the South and other parts of the U.S., before immigrating to Canada. When I first visited Victoria 25 years ago, the sea called out to me, “Come home again!” and now here I am. Although I don’t see the sea every day, I would be heart-broken to lose it again forever to human greed and carelessness. Hence this poem, and my music arising from it.



Did You Know?

December: Euphrosyne Keefer

Euphrosyne Keefer was born on June 9, 1919 in Eastbourne, Sussex, England. From 1936-41 she attended the Royal Academy of Music studying composition, voice, piano and viola.  Her promising operatic career at Sadler’s Wells was cut short by the war and she left London.  In 1942 she married a Canadian artillery officer and came to Canada in 1945 as a war bride.  She and her husband raised five children while living in northern Ontario and Quebec.  A move to Toronto enabled her to resume her musical career as a composer, pianist and teacher.  In 1977 she moved to Vancouver, where she continued to compose solo and chamber music, song cycles, choral works and piano music.  Her music has been performed in Canada, the United States and the U.K.  After a brief illness, she died in 2003.

Euphrosyne Keefer is the only one of our Did You Know composers, who was an active ACWC/ACC member.

November: Albertine Caron-Legris

Albertine Caron-Legris (b. Caron, m. Legris) was born in Montreal in 1906, where she studied piano, voice and music composition. Her early studies were at the Conservatoire national de musique, then later in her career, she went to the Université de Montréal, and received her bachelor of music in 1942, at the age of 36. Caron married in 1918, after which she taught music in Montreal and toured throughout Quebec as a recitalist. In the 1920s, she began to gain recognition as a composer of vocal songs and piano works in Quebec. Many of her pieces used folksong harmonizations. Her songs include “Ceux qui s’aiment sont toujours malheureux”, “Soir d’hiver”, with her most well-known composition being the 1947 song, “La Berceuse de Donalda”. During her lifetime, her works were included in the concert repertoires of Canadian musicians Maureen Forester, Raoul Jobin, Marthe Létourneau, Nicholas Massue and Alber Viau. Many of her manuscripts and personal papers are held in the collection at the Library and Archives Canada. In 1972, Caron-Legris died in Montreal at the age of 66.

October: Amice Calverly

Born in London England in 1896, Amice studied art at the Slade School, and piano with James Friskin. In 1912 the family moved to Oakville, Ontario. Amice continued her musical studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music as a student of Healey Willan.

During the First World War, she worked in a munitions factory and at the Christie Street Hospital while continuing her musical studies, and in 1922 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in England, where she studied with Vaughan Williams. At Oxford she met the archaeologist Leonard Woolley who encouraged her to pursue archaeological drawing, and in 1927 she became involved with the documentation being done by the Egypt Exploration Society of the Temple of Seti I at Abydos.

Although in her lifetime she sojourned at Abydos longer than any other place, she continued her musical interests.  Among her works are many songs, an opera, and at least two string quintets.  She died in Toronto in 1959.

September: Leila Fletcher

Leila Fletcher is a familiar name to piano students and teachers. Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1899, she studied from a local piano teacher through her elementary and secondary school years. After high school, she continued her music education at Greenville College, in Illinois, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the University of Toronto.

In the 1930s she was appointed music editor for Gordon V. Thompson music publishers in Toronto, then in 1949, she founded her own music publishing company called Montgomery Music.  It was based in Rochester, New York, to begin with, then moved to Buffalo and finally to Markham, Ontario. It currently still exists as a part of Mayfair music.

In her lifetime, Leila Fletcher published over 250 piano solos through her publishing house.  She is probably best known for her piano method books for young piano students, which are still being published today.

Leila Fletcher never married, and even when her publishing company was based in the United States, she never left her home in Canada, choosing to commute.

August: Laura Lemon

Laura Lemon was born in Guelph, Ontario in 1866, and grew up in Guelph and Winnipeg.  In 1890 she went to study at the Royal Academy of Music, in London, England, where she remained for the rest of her life.  Though she had left Canada, her Canadian roots can be found in her music.  She was best known for her songs, including Canada for Ever!, Dominion  and the Canadian Song Cycle, a set of four songs.  All of these works were published by Boosey between 1907 and 1911. Her most famous work My Ain Folk, a ballad of home is noted as one of the best-known songs by a Canadian composer and was recorded by a number of Canadian singers.

July: Dolores Claman 

Dolores Claman was born in Vancouver in July 1927.  She initially studied to become a concert pianist, first at the University of Southern California, then at Juilliard.  During that time, she developed a love of composition and jazz, and after graduating she moved to London, England.  While there, she met lyricist, Richard Morris, whom she worked closely with, and later married.  They moved to Toronto, where they became successful jingle writers, creating more than 3,000 jingles and earning 40 awards.  In 1968 Dolores was working for the MacLaren Advertising Agency and was asked to write the theme song for Hockey Night in Canada.  She was surprised at how popular it became.  A hockey fan herself, she realized that many involved in the broadcast were included in the credits, such as ‘lighting by’ and ‘best boy’, and asked to be credited for her work, but the CBC refused.  She sold the rights to CTV in 2008 after being unable to reach a deal with the CBC.  Another song of hers, which many older, Ontario members will recognize is A Place to Stand, Ontario’s theme from Expo 1967.

Note: When researching for this section, a few months ago, I had decided to lay out who to talk about each month, and had already decided to feature Dolores Claman in July.  As I was about to start this, her obituary appeared in our local paper.  She died on July 17th, in Spain.

June: Lozanne

Lozanne (1896-1935) was born Alma Victoria Clarke, in Kamloops, British Columbia.  Her mother was a music teacher, and her step-father was the owner of the “Kamloops Standard”. The family moved to Toronto, when Alma was six, then to Victoria a year later.  She was a child prodigy, an accomplished violinist and pianist, who performed with the Toronto Symphony to rave reviews. Shortly before WWI she married her first husband, Caledon Dolling, who died at the Somme, after which, Alma joined the French Red Cross and became an ambulance driver.  After divorcing her second husband, she devoted herself to her music: teaching and performing.  At a performance in Victoria, she met Francis Rattenbury, the architect who designed British Columbia’s legislature buildings.  Shunned by Victorian society after Rattenbury left his wife for Alma, they moved to Bournemouth, England in 1928.  It was there that she began composing and recording songs under the name of Lozanne. A recording of Frank Titterton singing Black Haired Marie, with Alma accompanying him, can be found on Youtube, and arrangements have been made of four love songs, for violin and piano (they are listed in Trinity College London’s String Syllabus).  It’s difficult to find information on Alma as a musician and composer, because in 1935 she committed suicide after being charged, but found not guilty, of the murder of her husband. The story and scandal surrounding his death, and Rattenbury’s own accomplishments as an architect, have completely overshadowed Alma Clarke Rattenbury’s musical contributions.

May: Anne Glen Broder 

Eliza Ann Glen was born in Agra, India, the daughter of a missionary. She was educated in England as singer and pianist, and in the 1880s and 90s gave singing recitals, performed as an accompanist and wrote a book on how to accompany.

About 1900 she married Richard W. C. Broder, an Irish widower, who had emigrated to Canada with his former wife. Annie joined him in Regina, then they later moved to Calgary, where she soon became an important figure in the musical community there.  She was an organist, taught piano and voice, gave recitals and was a music critic for the paper.  During that time, she was also a composer of many songs, with her most popular composition being “The Ride of the North-West Mounted Police”.  Originally it was attributed to A. Glen Broder, which may have been to prevent discrimination due to her gender.  It was arranged for band by John Waldron and was used for many years by RCMP bands.  The titles of many of her other works, such as “Song of the Chinook”, “Northern Harvest” and “Calgary, city of the foothills” demonstrate an embracing of her adopted land.

April: Elinor Dunsmuir 

Elinor Dunsmuir (1887-1938) was the granddaughter of British Columbian coal baron, Robert Dunsmuir and has been described as a ‘square peg in a round hole’. She was intelligent and talented but being female and likely gay meant that she wasn’t able to make use of those talents, or be recognized for them, so was left on the fringes of the social circles her family were a part of.  To escape some of the constraints of life in Victoria, she moved to Europe, which she loved, and where she was able to continue her musical studies.  Unfortunately, she developed a gambling addiction and squandered large sums of money, causing her family to bring her home to Canada in the thirties.  Her work was found recently in the archives of Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, a family home, and they include music for plays, trios, chamber music, a piano concerto, and two fully scored out ballets with story lines and parts for all the orchestra.  These works show that she was a gifted composer, her music a unique blend of classical and jazz, unappreciated at the time, and lost to us for close to 100 years.

In 2018, soprano Elizabeth Gerow and pianist Jannie Burdeti presented some of Elinor’s songs as part of the ACWC/AFCC’s Suffragette Concert, and recorded them later that year.  You can find out more about Elinor and the recordings on the Craigdarroch Castle site.

March: Urseline Nuns

Some of the earliest known music written by women in Canada, comes from the Ursuline and Augustinian nuns of Quebec, between the years 1639 and 1760.  Singing was an integral part of their worship, as well as their instruction of young women, and the music, while anonymous, is believed to have been written by the nuns themselves.  One, a mother superior, Marie-André Regnard Duplessis de Saint-Hélène, wrote a treatise on music performance and theory.  Marie-Andre was born in Paris in 1687 and died in Quebec in 1760.  Her parents emigrated to New France when she was young, though she remained in France until she was 15.  She joined the Nuns Hospitallers of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec when she was 20 and rose to become mother superior, seeing the convent through many difficulties such as fires, and even the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

February: Hattie Rhue Hatchett

Do you know about Mrs. Hattie Rhue Hatchett (1863-1958) of North, Buxton, Ontario? Her parents were escaped slaves from the Miles plantation in Virginia.
As a child, Hattie attended piano lessons at the Elgin Settlement School. She became a school teacher and a talented pianist and composer, being one of the first in Kent County to receive a certificate in music. However, she would not be hired by the schools, and instead used her talents as an organist, choir leader, Sunday School teacher and president of the Missionary Society in North Buxton.

Hattie wrote religious song and hymns. In 1937, she copyrighted a composition she had written in 1915 entitled “That Sacred Spot”, a hymn with a ‘marching type beat’ that was chosen by the Canadian Military to be their marching song during World War 1.  The song was sung by school children for a number of years on Remembrance Day.

(Thank you to Elma Miller for telling my about Hattie and the virtual museum for their biographical information.)

Building Up Virtual Concert!

“Building Up” virtual concert in partnership with the CMC

As part of our 40th anniversary events, the ACWC/ACC in partnership with the Canadian Music Centre Ontario division presents “Building Up”—a virtual concert celebrating women and gender non-conforming composers and performers supporting each other through their creative practices.

The program features composers based across the country, including works by our members Catherine Bevan, Rebekah Cummings, Sophie Dupuis, Heather Hindman, and Cleo Palacio-Quintin, as well as composers Monique Jean,  Naomi McCarroll-Butler, Roxanne Nesbitt.

Performed by a quartet of Amanda Lowry (flute), Naomi McCarroll-Butler (bass clarinet/alto saxophone), Yang Chen (percussion), and Cecilia Lee + Stephanie Orlando (piano).

October 7, 2021 at 7pm



Digital Program for the event can be found here!

YouTube Streaming Link here!

Indigenous Song Panel – Healing, Reconciliation, Partnership.

Indigenous Song – Healing, Reconciliation, Partnership
Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 8:00 pm EST by Zoom, with:

Jean Becker — Inuk, founder of Goodhearted Women singing/drumming group, Senior Director, Indigenous Initiatives at University of Waterloo with tribute:   Woman of the Drum: A Tribute to Jean Becker and Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak – The New Quarterly Digital Edition
Kelly Laurila — Sámi, song-keeper & member of Goodhearted Women, PhD, Lecturer, Renison/UWaterloo, School of Social Work
Beverley McKiver — Anishinaabe, ACWC composer, composer, pianist, educator, website here.
Karen Sunabacka  — Métis, ACWC composer, Associate Professor, Conrad Grebel/UWaterloo  website here.
(Photo: Good Hearted Women Singers at Sound in the Land 2014, by Alan Morgan)