Compact Disc Will Feature Women
Composers Since the Mid-
Posted March 15, 2002
HOLLAND -- Support from the Nokomis Foundation of
Grand Rapids will help Linda Dykstra of the Hope College
music faculty develop a compact disc that will feature art
songs by women composers from 1750 to the present.
Her goal is to enhance access to a collection of
work that she feels deserves to be better known.
"Most of the songs I propose to record are unknown
and unrecorded, but comprise a significant body of
literature that should not be lost," said Dykstra, a lyric
soprano who is an assistant professor of music at Hope.
"The broad time period will provide a variety of
compositional styles, and a variety of nationalities and
languages will be represented," she said. "I hope they will
be of interest to musicologists, singers, voice teachers,
students and those who love art song."
Art songs are self-contained compositions--as
opposed to excerpts from larger operatic works--for a solo
vocalist accompanied by an instrument. Dykstra's interest
in researching, teaching and performing such songs by women
composers has grown in the past five years, since she joined
the Hope faculty and started performing music by women for
the college's Women's Week in February and March.
Although the CD's final mix will depend on her on-
going effort to secure permission from each composer or
publisher, she intends to include a range of European and
American women from the past 250 years. Her work on the
project will include research to
develop liner notes that will include background information
about the composers as well as sources for the music.
Dykstra, who also teaches part-time at Grand
Valley State University, will record the CD in the Sherman
Van Solkema Recital Hall at Grand Valley this summer.
Pianist will be Joan Conway, professor emerita of music at
Hope, and recording technician will be John Erskine, a part-
time lecturer in music at the college.
A native of Hingham, Wis., Dykstra came to Hope in
1997 from Maryland, where her teaching time was divided
between private voice students at her Columbia, Md., voice
studio, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and
Loyola College. In March of 1997, she received the Voice
Teacher of the Year Gold Medallion presented by the Rosa
Ponselle Foundation, established in honor of the famed opera
singer in her adopted hometown of Baltimore, Md.
Dykstra spent seven years in Germany, where she
studied voice, performed with the Kleines Opern Ensemble
Berlin, and sang numerous lieder recitals and concerts,
including a recital of Richard Strauss Lieder for the
composer's family at his villa in Garmisch-Partenkirchen,
and a performance of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" at the
In addition to oratorio and recital performances,
she is a frequent adjudicator at vocal solo/ensemble
festivals, and has conducted vocal technique workshops for
choral groups and secondary-level vocal music teachers and
students, as well as for the Maryland Music Educators
Association State Convention. She holds bachelor's and
master's degrees in music from the University of Maryland.
The Nokomis Foundation strives to make a
difference in the lives of women and girls, primarily by
advocating for women-friendly policies, celebrating women's
accomplishments, instilling economic self-sufficiency,
promoting healthy choices and seeking new opportunities to
create a stronger voice for them. The foundation primarily
funds grants in the Kent-Ottawa-Allegan County area.