championing the musical artistry of women
Whistling Hens was founded by Natalie Groom and Jennifer Piazza-Pick (soprano) with a vision to celebrate and advance the artistic accomplishments of women through an ensemble performing all female-composed music. Inspired by a quote from a male music critic who said of Lili Boulanger, "women composers are at best whistling hens,” the Whistling Hens duo was hatched. Our group performs and commissions music by women composers from around the world. In the past year, Whistling Hens has commissioned four new pieces and premiered three works to expand the soprano/clarinet repertoire.
When we ask people, even classical musicians, how many female composers they can think of, it is rare anyone can name more than one or two. We seek to change this through our programming, outreach, and commissions. Our work invites listeners to reflect on the impact male privilege has had on traditional music programming, question the status quo of gender inequality in the classical music community, and engage with music by women of various backgrounds.
Whistling Hens has performed at Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Darkwater Women in Music Festival at UNC Pembroke, and the American Library Association Conference in DC in addition to serving as an artist-in-residence ensemble at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. We also performed at MilkBoy ArtHouse after winning a competitive Clarice-sponsored appearance and at Collington Retirement Community.
In the next year, Whistling Hens’ goal is to commission 25-35 minutes of music, record three pieces in studio, perform 10-15 concerts, and create a curriculum of three lecture-based recitals. Contact us if you are interested in collaborating or sponsoring a commission, project, conference, or recital. Thank you to our recent sponsors: Collington Retirement Community Women's Committee and the University of Maryland School of Music M-Cubator grant. We are based in Washington, D.C.