Orchestra celebrates Women’s History Month

Composer, conductor invited to speak


Used with permission from Kou Lee. Conductor and composer Erika Svanoe conducts the 4th hour orchestra class March 9. Svanoe was invited to speak and practice with the orchestra in honor of Women’s History Month.

Ruthie Posada, Writer

According to orchestra director Kou Lee, he invited composer and conductor Erika Svanoe to come speak and practice with the orchestra to inspire his students.

“I invited her today because she is not only a composer but a female conductor and it’s a field where it’s mostly dominated by men, so I had her here hopefully to inspire my students for Women’s History Month,” Lee said.

Junior Dahlia Krebs said Svanoe was able to share and answer questions about how she got to be where she is today.

“She was just there telling us how she came to be an orchestra director, how she got to be teaching at Augsburg, and we asked her some questions about the challenges she had faced,” Krebs said.

According to sophomore Semona Robel, Svanoe shared with the class the struggles she faced being a woman in a primarily male

-dominated field.

“She was talking about her experiences as a woman and being a conductor and how that’s a profession that mainly men go into and how it was hard seeing herself in that profession at first, but she learned to love herself and music,” Robel said.

Lee said society has the power to alter people’s perceptions and steer them away from a certain field.

“I think just how society has portrayed it or how society has treated certain fields, I think sometimes it makes us self doubt and also makes us question if we want to go into something,” Lee said.

According to Lee, he wants his students to understand they have infinite opportunities.

“I wanted students to see that there’s no field for just one gender,” Lee said.

According to Krebs, she learned that nothing is impossible.

“If you really really want to go into music, it’s not something that’s impossible to do,” Krebs said.