In February 2023, the Texas Woman’s University Wind Symphony released its first CD titled “Walking on Shattered Glass.”
The process of creating this CD started in February 2018 when the Director of Bands and associate professor of Music Education Carter Biggers proposed the idea of an album of wind band works by female composers to Mark Custom Recording. Later in March 2020, the CD received funding from the Jane Nelson Institute, but the recording process was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, they began recording for the CD in May 2022 and they finally released it in February 2023.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Biggers said. “I’ve been a part of recording projects like this as a student, as an ensemble member and also as an assistant producer in the recording booth listening, giving feedback, making notes, but I’d never been in the director’s chair, producing an album like this. It was one of the goals that I set when I was hired here in 2016 was to do a recording like this. And I thought it was fitting for us to feature women composers in the field and feature them on an album of this nature.”
Junior music education major Caroline Deitch plays the flute for the TWU Wind Symphony and was one of the students that recorded for the album. Deitch has been playing the flute since she was in sixth grade and decided to pursue a career in music in high school. When she began attending TWU in the fall of 2020, she auditioned for a spot in the university’s Wind Symphony.
“This CD was really special because it features living female composers, which is a traditionally underrepresented group of composers,” Deitch said. “Being part of the music community that is currently encouraging that underrepresented composer, we’re encouraging underrepresented composers to be performed and to be recorded. Being Texas Woman’s University, I think we’re living up to the standard that we empower women through education, and with this project, we get to share that with bands across the country and across the world.”
According to Biggers, it is hard for him to choose a song from the CD as his favorite.
“They all have moments in it that I really just smile at when I listen to them,” Biggers said. “It’s really hard to pin down one I know and a lot of the students have their favorites. If you ask the students, a lot of them love the “Roma.” It is nice and powerful at the end. They were all fantastic.”
Although students were not part of the process of choosing what songs will be included in the album, Deitch feels like she grew as a person by being part of this album.
“In the recording session, you’re going to do five to 10 takes of any given section of a song because you want that perfect take,” Deitch said. “Getting that experience, getting feedback from recording engineers was something that I hadn’t experienced and I like it even now.”
Clarise Tujardon can be reached via email at email@example.com.