Rhode Island College Celebrates Women’s History Month with Film and Concert Event

An encore screening of Judith Lynn Stillman’s Women Trailblazers in Music will be followed by a variety of performances


After a positive reception last November, Rhode Island College artist in residence and professor of music Judith Lynn Stillman will be screening her film Women Trailblazers in Music a second time for an encore event in honor of Women’s History Month.

Stillman has won several awards for her many compositions and projects, including, most recently, first prize in the international OperaVision #OperaHarmony competition. Her film depicts the lives of extraordinary female composers across 12 centuries and highlights their revolutionary but often overlooked compositions.

This screening is part of RIC’s Women of Note event happening March 16 from 12:30-2:30pm in Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center. Following the film screening, there will be live performances by multidisciplinary artists, including two world premieres by guest artists Shani Collins and Valerie Tutson.

Collins, a Bessie Award winning dancer and visiting artist at the University of Ghana, will perform a choreographed dance to a musical composition by Melanie Bonis, a late-Romantic composer and one of many women featured in Stillman’s film.

Director of Rhode Island Black Storytellers, Tutson will perform a work of spoken word interlaced with a composition by Stillman. “[Tutson is] amazing – I’m excited to be working with her,” says Stillman.

“It’s difficult to revamp earlier periods of music history, but we can shift the paradigm,” says Stillman, who is excited to use this event to honor female composers. “By examining the past, we can hope to change the shape of the future. We need to shine a light on historical gender discrimination in music and illuminate, as well, existing problems. We’re making headway, but systemic challenges remain.”

Women of Note is free to the public, but attendees must register in advance per COVID-19 guidelines. For virtual viewing, a live-stream link is available to schools looking to screen the film during class, and Anchor TV plans to air the live concert. Visit online for tickets and details

Attendees must wear masks and present proof of full vaccination (two shots of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and a booster if eligible) or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken in the previous six hours (at-home tests are not accepted).


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