Woman Composer to Lead Local Concert Band for the First Time

Woman Composer to Lead Local Concert Band for the First Time

Martín Di Felice

Palm Springs, CA

They say art imitates life, and in times of social movements and demonstrations, the music is not falling behind. The Desert Winds Freedom Band’s first spring concert is titled "Hear Me Roar", and for the first time a woman composer will lead the Palm Springs band. 

Doctor Kim Archer is a music professor at the University of Southern Illinois, she said, "This is idea of hear me roar, I find that supremely flattering and I think there are parts of this concert that are going to roar."

She said like many other industries, music has been dominated by men. 

Archer said, "It’s been a very male dominant industry for a long time, conducting and performing and teaching, it’s been mostly dominated by men.

But she said is beginning to see a shift in the status-quo. She said movements like #metoo and the Women’s March have opened the doors for minorities. 

"And so for me to be involved with the LGBTQ community and being a woman composer and being able to embrace all these things it is fun," Archer said. "And I am able to move around different groups without being an outsider, which I think it makes people feel more comfortable."

Archer will only feature music composed by women at the "Hear Me Roar" concert. She will also debut her latest piece of music titled "The Pipers", she said it is about independence. Archer was inspired by the struggle of Scotland to find their identity from England, and she said it is somewhat of a complicated piece.   

Archer said, "Everybody is nervous including me, but the performance is so spirited and so fun."

She hopes her music inspires a feeling of solidarity among the audience.

She said, "Because nothing brings people together and want to stand and lock arms and do what’s right like having a powerful music behind you."

Archer said she is already working on new music that’s also inspired by social movements. She said her latest work will explore a case being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding worker unions.