March of the Women Events

Saturday, March 21


Panel Discussion

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Live! At 10th and G

Sponsored by AchieveUnite Women’s Leadership Education Program for Women in Business

Jenny BilfieldIn a discussion ranging from the compositional process to working in the MeToo era, three women composers share their insights from different stages of their own career trajectory. Lisa Bielawa, Jessie Montgomery, and Augusta Read Thomas have each established a voice and a presence in a male-dominated field; hear from each about her journey and process. Joy-Leilani Garbutt from the Boulanger Initiative adds her perspective as a leader in research on women composers. The panel will be moderated by Jenny Bilfield, CEO of Washington Performing Arts.

This event is free of charge, but reservations are required.

Composition Masterclass

2:00 – 4:00 pm

Location: Live! At 10th and G

Curated by Laura Colgate & Joy-Leilani Garbutt of the Boulanger Initiative

Sponsored by the Nepeni Foundation and the HMF Beaudoin Family Foundation


Augusta Read ThomasOne of the most celebrated composers and teachers of our time, Augusta Read Thomas will share her knowledge and scholarship in a masterclass setting. Four young women composers will have the opportunity to bring their works to life with Casey Cook’s Artifice under the watchful eye of Augusta Read Thomas, a University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago.

This event is free of charge, but reservations are required.

Interested in submitting a score to be considered for the composition masterclass? Click here for more information.

Young Artists’ Reception

4:00 – 5:00 pm

Sponsored by Baker Donelson.

Show your support for all the young artists! Join us to meet all the composers, singers, and conductors involved in our March of the Women project.

Register for Saturday's Events


Sunday, March 22

Pre-Concert Talk

4:00 – 4:30 pm
Perry Auditorium, Washington National Cathedral
Moderator: Cindy Drakeman, CEO, Double X Economy

Sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

March of the Women

5:00 pm
Washington National Cathedral
Cathedral Choral Society & Orchestra
Steven Fox, Conductor

Support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts & the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.

To mark the 19th Amendment's 100th anniversary, Cathedral Choral Society has commissioned three new works by some of today's most exciting composers: Lisa Bielawa, Jessie Montgomery, and Augusta Read Thomas. Featuring a range of powerful female voices, the program includes Ruth Crawford Seeger's ethereal Three Chants and famed British suffragette and composer Ethel Smyth's rousing March of the Women.

The concert will include a performance entitled I Wish to Say by Sheryl Oring, through which community members can dictate postcards to the next President (real or fictional); typists use manual typewriters for the postcards, each of which will actually be mailed to the White House. To date, nearly 4,000 postcards have been sent. Lisa Bielawa composed her work Voters' Litany on the texts of some of these. Before the concert and during intermission, patrons are invited to dictate their own postcards at one of the tables set up in the Cathedral expressly for this purpose.

Composer Jessie Montgomery’s work I Have Something To Say sets the words of climate activist Greta Thunberg, and calls for a children’s chorus in addition to the adult chorus and orchestra.

Augusta Read Thomas’ work, Far Past War, draws text from the poetry of her sister, Cammy Thomas, and is dedicated to their grandmother, who marched for women’s suffrage.

Tickets $25 – 82.50. Discounts available for students, groups, and military.

Purchase Tickets Now