Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Somerville’s Lucy Holstedt and the Women Musicians Network Connection

( From left to right: Berklee Professors: Lucy Holstedt, Christina Karem, Student Leader: Jenna Hardy)

Somerville’s Lucy Holstedt and the Women Musicians Network Connection

So I am sitting at the Sherman café in Union Square on a snowy Sunday, and two local artists blow my way. In fact, they live a mere two houses down from me on School St, and we happen to be fellow “Bagel Bards” as well. Lucy Holstedt, an associate professor at the Berklee School of Music, and her husband Kirk Etherton, (an artist in his own right), are at it again, promoting and putting on the 12th Annual Women Musician Network Concert March 12, 2009 at 8:15PM at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.

Lucy and Kirk have lived in Somerville for a while, and some years ago we shared the same street in the “ville, Ibbetson Street. (The namesake of that small press Somerville literary magazine.) Lucy told me over a delectable oatmeal scone, not to mention a piece of mouthwatering carrot cake, that she loves Somerville because of its accessibility to public transportation, and it has, as she so succinctly put it: “A small town or village feel to it.” Lucy is teacher of music theory, ear training, and may I say a damn fine poet to boot. She is also a composer, lyricist, and performer. She performed at the sorely missed Jimmy Tingle Theatre and many other venues, and was a member of the “Planet Girls”, a well-known performance group.

Lucy told me that she started the Women Musicians Network in 1998 with Jane Stachowiak. The mission statement of the group according to Lucy is:

“To provide an opportunity for women students to present compositions, compose new work, perform, direct, and learn how to produce a major concert.”

Women are a minority at Berklee Lucy said, and a minority in the music industry at large. So any help is needed. Women are often lead singers in bands, but there are few behind-the-scenes, and in the business aspect itself, she lamented.

Lucy talked about the upcoming concert while her public relations man of a husband handed out concert cards to bemused patrons. The concert will have many special features including Latin vocalist Mili Bermejo, and her husband the bassist Dan Greenspan. There will be performances from students from many different countries including: Israel, Sweden, Scotland, Turkey, etc….

The style of music will be mostly Pop, Jazz and Celtic. There will be an innovative arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” by a Japanese student; There will also be a beautifully performed ballad by Maureen McMullen, who is quite well known in her native Scotland. And don’t miss the violin duo by Julie Kang and Rika Ikeda, as well as a performance by an African drum/dance troupe—to name a few highlights.

Tickets are a bargain at 10 smackers---go to for more info

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