Support the cause
In the last few years, the world has powerfully, repeatedly expressed its sentiments about gender equality. Think of the women’s marches. The activists who have called time on sexual harassment. The outspoken female political leaders. Triumphant female sports stars. Box office hits fronted by strong female protagonists. A female Doctor Who, even.
Yet, when it comes to classical music, think of a conductor and likely the image of a man still leaps to mind. Leaf through an orchestra’s season brochure and the names and faces of female conductors are yet few and far between.
It’s time for us all to ask what we can do to keep pace with the times and ensure young women see a future for themselves as conductors. The Royal Philharmonic Society is dedicated to creating opportunities that never existed before for women to try their hand at conducting, to find the confidence and drive to develop their talent, supported by professionals who know how hard it can be to break through.
Annually we strive to present workshops for women of all abilities at venues nationally, but limited resources mean we often receive too many applications that we regrettably have to turn down. We are very grateful to Arts Council England for helping us seed our plans, and consequently to the ABRSM, North Music Trust, and a circle of individual donors for their ongoing support, but with your help we can offer more opportunities, more courses, and greater individual support to guide those who set their heart on conducting on the world stage.
Your gesture can help us pay for world-class artists to coach on our workshops and professional musicians for participants to conduct; you can help us keep course fees low and boost the bursaries we offer those of limited means; you can help us better equip the courses and the ways we support participants in their next critical steps when the courses are over.
If you work in business, you may like to get your company or colleagues in your profession involved: we have run illuminating, fun, interactive workshops introducing corporate guests to our gamechanging work with Women Conductors and inspirational leader Alice Farnham. Together we could plan such an occasion for you. Please contact us to discuss such possibilities further.
Any donation, however small or large, is deeply valued. We really cannot continue to present the Women Conductors programme without fresh financial support from people who believe in the cause. You can simply donate online by clicking the button below, or call us on 020 7287 0019 to let us know you are interested, and we can tell you about further ways you can donate and get involved.
'This week will go down in my personal history as one of the richest experiences I've ever had. As my colleague said, "You gave us power, and you gave us community." A million thanks to Women Conductors.' Caroline Slade, participant