Dr. Penny Brandt is an independent scholar, freelance pianist, full-time parent, and the Artistic Director of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. Brandt is a frequent speaker at the festival, the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, and in the Athenaeum Arts Series at Western New England University. She previously taught courses in music history and gender studies at the University of Connecticut while earning a Ph.D. in Music History & Theory with an outside concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has presented research from her dissertation “A Marriage and its Music: the work of Elsa Olivieri Sangiacomo Respighi in fascist Italy” at AMS-NE, at UConn’s CLIR, and in other academic settings. Described as an “excellent music director” (Talkin’ Broadway), Brandt has led musical theater productions around the United States and Canada, including performances at Playhouse on Park, the University of New Haven, and Trinity College. She has also performed as a collaborative pianist at the IKFEM: International Keyboard Festival & Masterclass in Valença, Portugal, the International Vocal Arts Workshop in Grožnjan, Croatia, and at the Interlochen Summer Arts Academy in Michigan. She and her family are modern-day transnational nomads, regularly traveling between homes in Texas and Portugal.