Women’s History Month is celebrated during the month of March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day (March 8). The goal is to highlight the contributions of women in society through history and well as present day.

Some of the most well-known female composers throughout the centuries are listed here, beginning with Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) and including 21 women from Hildegard to Phamie Gow (b. 1980). These women have made outstanding contributions to the world of concert music. If you are looking for music by women for sacred liturgies, however, their music might not be the quickest place to begin, although careful searches will reveal much literature to enrich and broaden your library.

Consider supporting the following women (as well as all current composers), by adding their music to your library. The following list includes music written by women that is currently available from GIA and WLP.

GIA Organ Music by Women Composers

Ninety Easy Hymn Accompaniments for Keyboard by Margaret Mealy

An Easter Fanfare by Carla Giomo

Hymn Intonations by Carla Giomo

Sing a New Song to the Lord by Anne Roberts

Six Hymntune Sketches for Organ by Anne Roberts

Sondra Tucker has a number of titles with GIA, so to find all of her available music (for handbells and choir as well as for organ), do a composer search.

One in Love and Peace is a collection of wedding music for piano, organ and optional instruments edited by Kelly Dobbs-Mickus and Bob Moore. Essential for anyone’s music library!

Four Festive Pieces for Organ edited by Eurydice Osterman

Ten Hymn Settings for Organ, Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Marilyn Biery (yours truly!)

GIA Piano Music by Women Composers

Jeanne Cotter is another composer whose compositions and offerings are sizeable, so please search for her music by her name, as well as for Ann Buys, who also has multiple entries.

Kathleen Basi has a collection for flute and piano, Times and Seasons. Basi has a second collection for flute and piano: A Walk in the Woods.

Simple Gifts by Kathy Henson is a collection of easy hymns and songs for piano.

As most of you know by now, GIA and WLP have formed a new partnership, and the WLP catalog is in the process of being transferred to GIA’s website. The following list of pieces was given to me by Alan Hommerding, Liturgy Publications Editor for GIA/WLP. The transfer of editions is still in process, so many of those linked below do not, as yet, have a detailed listing of what is in each volume.

WLP Organ Music by Women Composers

Consoliere Classic, Volume 1 
Monastic Meditation  /  Sr. Edith Scholl, OCSO

Consoliere Classic, Volume 2
Christus Vincit  /  Sr. Mary David Callahan, OSB
Ave Verum  /  Sr. Mary David Callahan, OSB
Salve Mater  /  Sr. Mary David Callahan, OSB
Ave Maria  /  Sr. Mary David Callahan, OSB
Variations on “Puer Nobis”  /  Tannis Grimes

Consoliere Classic, Volume 5
Ubi Caritas et Amor  /  Mary Beth Bennett

Consoliere Classic, Volume 6          
Prelude on “Lobe den Herren”  /  Emma Lou Diemer

Bridging the Centuries (The San Diego AGO Anthology)  
Chaconne and Toccata on “King’s Weston”  /  Mary Beth Bennett
Aria la Romanesca  /  Kathleen Scheide
Tango Toccata on a theme of Melchior Vulpius  /  Pamela Decker
Prelude on “Lobe den Herren”  /  Emma Lou Diemer

The ChicAGO Centenary Anthology 
Sonata No. 2 (IV. Toccata)  /  Lily Wadhams Moline
In Quiet Mood  /  Florence B. Price

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now! Vol. 1 (Advent/Christmas)
Variations on “Puer Nobis  /  Tannis Grimes

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now! Vol. 2 (Lent/Easter)          
Christus Vincit  /  Sr. Mary David Callahan, OSB

WLP Piano Music by Women Composers

For the Beauty of the Earth   
Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service  /  Laura Kutscher
God, We Praise You  /  Laura Kutscher

Play for the Lord, Volume 6 (Piano Duets) /  Teresa Cobarrubia Yoder

Come to the Manger / Kathleen Basi

This Joyful Eastertide / Kathleen Basi

GIA has a number of fabulous women on their staff as well as contributors in other genres. Please celebrate these amazing women, and keep an eye out for their contributions!

Carol Browning
Jennifer Kerr Budziak (the editor of Sing Amen!)
Sally Ann Morris (see featured image, above, for a collection that features arrangements of her hymn tunes)
Mel Bringle
Lori True
Bex Gaunt
Jacque Jones
Diana Macalintal
Kathy Powell
Bridget Jankowski
Lisa Marsh
Barbara Conable
Diana Kodner Gokce
Kate Williams

Special thanks to Victoria Zibell, Associate Sacred Music Editor at GIA, for being such a helpful resource for me in this blog, as well as in all things GIA!