Whistling Hens was founded by Jennifer Piazza-Pick (soprano) and Natalie Groom (clarinet) with a vision to celebrate and advance the artistic accomplishments of women through an ensemble performing all female-composed music. Inspired by a quote from a male music critic who said of Lili Boulanger, "women composers are at best whistling hens,” the Whistling Hens duo was hatched. Our group performs and commissions music by women composers from around the world. In the past year, Whistling Hens has commissioned four new pieces and premiered three works to expand the soprano/clarinet repertoire.
When we ask people, even classical musicians, how many female composers they can think of, it is rare anyone can name more than one or two. We seek to change this through our programming, outreach, and commissions. Our work invites listeners to reflect on the impact male privilege has had on traditional music programming, question the status quo of gender inequality in the classical music community, and engage with music by women of various backgrounds.
Whistling Hens has performed at Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Darkwater Women in Music Festival at UNC Pembroke, the American Library Association Conference in DC, and the District New Music Coalition Conference in addition to serving as an artist-in-residence ensemble at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. In 2020 they will be featured performers at the Music by Women Festival and Women Composers Festival of Hartford for a second time.
In the next year, Whistling Hens’ goal is to commission 25-35 minutes of music, record an album, and create a curriculum of three lecture-based recitals. Contact us if you are interested in collaborating or sponsoring a commission, project, conference, or recital. Thank you to our recent sponsors: Awesome Without Borders/The Harnisch Foundation, Collington Retirement Community Women's Committee and the University of Maryland School of Music M-Cubator grant. We are based in Washington, D.C.
Music by Women Festival 2020
Whistling Hens has been selected to present both a concert and lecture recital at the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women March 5-7, 2020. We will be giving the world premiere of our commission The Green Child by Ashi Day.
Women Composers Festival of Hartford
Whistling Hens has been invited to perform at the festival's welcome recital at the Hartt School. Check our Events for concert details!
A Powerful Force: Women in Music
Whistling Hens has been invited to perform at Ball State's inaugural women in music conference celebrating women performers, composers, and entrepreneurs. The conference will be held March 12-14, 2020.
PG County Outstanding Performers
In October, Whistling Hens received the 2019 Outstanding Performer Award from Prince George's County Arts and Humanities Council.
PC Christopher Valentine