Barbara Harbach

photo of Barbara Harbach
Stephanie Zettl

For good reasons and for bad ones, the north St. Louis County city of Ferguson has acquired an international reputation. Its name has spread through conversations about social justice and inequities, including economic and educational issues. Art also has spread impressions of the city, more positive than not, and has come to play a significant, sometimes cathartic role in the life of Ferguson.

Most of the works of art are visual – drawings, paintings on wood used to board up buildings, even professionally produced prints that exalt the hands-up posture. There had not been a major musical endeavor such as a symphony. Now there is.

Alice Guy-Blaché
Courtesy of Cinema St. Louis

As women strive to gain equal ground in the workplace, they’re also working to establish the same ground in the arts. The Women in the Arts Conference at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will feature lectures, demonstrations, papers, performances and workshops from 27 speakers on Nov. 6-8.

“Everyone thinks the playing field is level,” said Barbara Harbach, a composer and director of the Women in the Arts Conference. “It’s not quite as level as you might think.”

photo of Barbara Harbach
Stephanie Zettl

University of Missouri – St. Louis music professor and composer Barbara Harbach was commissioned to write a work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the institution.  As a result, her Jubilee Symphony will receive its premiere on Wednesday, October 9 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  Robert Howard will conduct UMSL’s University Orchestra in the premiere.