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. We also performed at MilkBoy ArtHouse after winning a competitive Clarice-sponsored appearance and at Collington Retirement Community.
In the next year, Whistling Hens’ goal is to commission 25-35 minutes of music, record three pieces in studio, perform 10-15 concerts, 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: 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.
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
District New Music Coalition
New Music DC Conference Concert
On September 14, 2019, Whistling Hens presented works by Iris Szeghy, Ashi Day, Dannielle McBryan, and Diana Rosenblum at the annual District New Music Coalition conference.
PC Arts Laureate
New Recording! "Jubilee"
from American Folk Suite
Clap along to this spunky take on "Jubilee", the fifth movement from Cherise Leiter's American Folk Suite. This piece was transcribed for Whistling Hens in 2019.