Concert 1: The Invisible Women

Thursday, March 5 | 6:00 pm
Capital Community College – Centinel Hill Auditorium
950 Main St.
Hartford, CT 06103
*Free Event

A lecture/recital organized by board president and musicologist Penny Brandt will feature a discussion of the ways in which women’s contributions to music have historically been overlooked, accompanied by performances of music that would not exist without the contributions of women. Topics include the recently controversial claim that some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music was composed by his wife, the valuation of women as the objects of art rather than its creators, and the impact of slavery on the anonymity of composers of African-American spirituals. Guest performers include cellist Maria Martinez, vocalists Alika Hope, Amelia Nagoski, Anna Hayrapetyan, and Kathleen Shimeta, and composer and WCFest founder Heather Seaton. Unlike our other events, this lecture/recital is free to the public. Come find out what our festival is all about! Centinel Hill Hall is on the 11th floor at Capital Community College, 950 Main St, Hartford. The concert will begin at 6:00pm and last approximately 1 hour.


  • Motherless Child – uncredited spirituals transcribed by Natalie Curtis
  • Cello Suite No. 2 in D-minor by Johann Sebastian Bach / Anna Magdalena Bach
  • Credo by Heather Seaton
  • “Begli Occhi (Beautiful Eyes),” from Cantate, Op. 3 by Barbara Strozzi
  • Go Down Moses and Little David Play on Your Harp – uncredited spirituals transcribed by Natalie Curtis

Program Notes

Credo by Heather Seaton

My hope was to tell God’s story through music, in a way that might work for both church and concert hall settings.  The original version, for soprano and organ, was premiered on Trinity Sunday at Pohick Episcopal Church in Lorton, Virginia, 2014.  Tonight witnesses its concert premier as an arrangement for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano.  The Gloria and Agnus Dei from this mass were also premiered through the Hartford Women Composers Festivals and I am very grateful for these opportunities.
Though the piece flows continually, the text has three major sections, each addressing one person of the Trinity and beginning with “Credo.”  Each entrance of the Credo is slightly higher and more expansive, implying the fullness of the whole Trinity.  The piece begins with the Holy Spirit “descending like a dove” on the believer, who then goes on to proclaim; The Creed.  Listen for the opening three-note motive, which marks each of the three “Credos.”
God the Father is introduced in F (for strength), Jesus in Gb (for sparkle), and the Holy Ghost in C (for purity).  The text setting about the Holy Ghost was set with an homage to chant, in recognition of the Spirit’s influence over sacred music.  After Jesus descends from heaven; Db, the music shifts into D minor and is then plunged by the crucifixion into a 4/4 meter with a low pulsing in G minor.  The piece ends in C, with an ascending line hinting at “the life to come…”