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Empowering young women through music and leadership training.
Girls March offers week-long leadership training seminars for young female musicians. Our goal is to create a supportive community for young women to interact directly with female role models and develop the technical and leadership skills they will need to be successful in their future professional endeavors.
After a week of learning from some of the most influential women in the marching arts, these girls will be empowered knowing they discovered something new about themselves and belong to a community who values them as both individuals and musicians.Read More
Providing young women with mentorship from percussionists across the United States
True Stories from Women Percussionists and Other Professional Supporters
I was fortunate enough to study in a percussion studio with multiple other women, who were a strong support system for my musical and personal growth. However, many women do not get that opportunity. Girls, especially those who choose to play percussion at a young age, may feel like they are entering a boy’s world where they have to constantly prove themselves to feel welcome. That is why Girls March is necessary- to not only provide a community of peers for female percussionists, but accessible role models with experience, knowledge and understanding. Under the leadership of Girls March, countless young women will be empowered to pursue their passion for music.
As a professional percussionist and father of two girls, I fully understand the importance of a camp like Girls March. The opportunity to be surrounded by more than just a couple of girls, all drumming and having fun together, while studying with great female role models just has not existed in our industry until now. I am always encouraging my daughters to express themselves through music by any means possible, but I know not every girl is fortunate enough to have this experience and be able to push through social pressures.
Girls March is exactly what I would have loved to have as a teenager! As a female percussionist, it can be hard to find a support system of women who understand what you’re experiencing as a musician and Girls March is the perfect way to help change that.
Girls March is reflective of a movement in our society, both musically and as a whole, that is awakening to the incredible diversity of talent among young women globally. As a professional female percussionist, college instructor, and audio engineer, all occupations where women are staggeringly outnumbered, it is clear to me that radical efforts fostering both professional ability and the individual self-realization in which leaders are born, are key to cultivating lasting change concerning this issue. By stimulating an atmosphere that places participants in a unique situation-a fully powered, exclusively female marching ensemble on both the student and instructor side of the coin-Girls March creates an opportunity for these musicians to observe the myriad of values in one another, to recognize the power of unity among women, and to prove to themselves just as much as to everyone else, that talent and ability are unequivocally divorced from gender identification. I am a proud supporter of the mission of this organization and wish it an extraordinary inaugural year!
Percussion, traditionally seen as a masculine art form, remains behind the times in regards to diversity. I remember the skepticism directed towards my own desire for learning percussion as a child. There weren’t many women known for being percussionist at that time. In fact, I don’t think I was aware of any fellow female professional percussionist until towards the end of high school. Creating a community of women to empower, inspire, and teach the next generation of players is a long overdue step in the relatively young art of percussion.
When I was in the original cast of blast, I was the girl percussionist, not one of the percussionists who happened to be a girl. There were no other sections, brass or color guard where this gender distinction was seen as out of the ordinary – i.e a girl trumpet player, or a boy dancer. As a college student in Washington State, and at the University of North Texas, while there were few women in the respective percussion studios, I felt like my gender didn’t matter at all, just how well I could play. Looking back now, that was huge for me in developing confidence as an academic and musician.
The need for Girls March has been blatantly evident for DECADES! Finally, these awesome folks are not only talking about doing something, they are walking the walk. Strike that, they are MARCHING THE MARCH!
In high school, I often played mallet percussion parts in band because I was one of the only percussionists who could fluently read music due to my background studying piano and organ. I didn’t see playing on the drumline as a possibility for me even though there were girls on the drumline. Back then, I thought it would be too hard; now I know it would have just been a matter of practicing. My experience was situational, but I know there are still lots of young girls out there who have been pushed away from percussion by their peers or teachers, intentionally or unintentionally. I would have loved to attend a camp like Girls March to experiment in a supportive environment and get a feel for what it might be like to play on a drumline.