Indiana Daily Student

Festival celebrates women in music

From left: Caitlin Jackson, Anna Hamilton, Maggie Reisdorf, Mary Levering, Hannah Pimley, Sara Klingseisen, Alexi King and Elizabeth Mitchell prepare for the Women in Music Festival. The festival begins today at Rhino's Youth Center.
From left: Caitlin Jackson, Anna Hamilton, Maggie Reisdorf, Mary Levering, Hannah Pimley, Sara Klingseisen, Alexi King and Elizabeth Mitchell prepare for the Women in Music Festival. The festival begins today at Rhino's Youth Center.

Growing up in West Lafayette, Indiana, Alexi King said her time revolved around athletics and singing.

However, the town’s male-dominated music community often did not feature many opportunities for her to perform, she said.

“When I came to Bloomington, my eyes opened,” she said. “Bloomington’s music industry actually exists, compared to where I’m originally from.”

In order to give other women in the community an opportunity to perform live, King, a senior at IU, organized the Women in Music Festival.

It is a four-day festival celebrating women musicians.

The festival begins today and takes place at a variety of venues, including Rhino’s Youth Center, Players Pub and Serendipity Martini Bar.

King, who is performing, said the purpose of the festival is to foster a community of women musicians.

“It’s supposed to give the women of Bloomington more opportunities to really get out there and show their stuff,” she said.

Because the music industry is largely male-dominated, King said she understood the necessity of Bloomington having a festival geared toward women musicians.

King said she decided to start organizing the event while she was interning with Josh Johnson, a local music promoter.

In order to get Rhino’s name out to college-aged music lovers, she said she and Johnson spread the word of the Women in Music Festival.

The festival is also a fundraiser for the Middle Way House, a local program that implements and sustains meaningful alternatives to living with violence.

One of the festival’s performers is Kaitlyn Williams, a senior jazz voice singer in the Jacobs School of Music.

Williams met King her freshman year and said she is grateful for the opportunities she is given to perform.

Being able to highlight many different women musicians is also important to her, she said.

Williams said the diversity in the performers is very special.

“There are people who will be singing things that you have never heard at this festival,” Williams said.

The musicians performing the next four days vary in genres from R&B, pop, Arabic, a cappella and more.

King said she was able to meet many musicians in Bloomington through performing and networking at concerts.

Through word of mouth, she said she was able to organize four days worth of women musicians.

Another of the festival’s performers is Sarah Maddack, a junior journalism student who began singing two years ago.

Without much formal training, Maddack said she has gathered her musical talent through diligent practice.

By practicing and performing as much as she can, Maddack was eager to sing at the Women in Music Festival, she said.

“Why would I not perform?” she said. “I take every opportunity I can get.”

The reception toward the festival has been largely positive, King said.

As a result, the festival has gathered a group of sponsors both on campus and in the local community.

Along with giving women the opportunity to perform in the community, King said she hopes the festival helps build a stronger sense of community within local women musicians.

King said she doesn’t see many all-female bands.

“I don’t see as many women getting the opportunities to perform,” she said. “I think it’s necessary to give women that opportunity to get out there and share their talents with Bloomington, a community that already supports music in general.”

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Daily Rundown.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student