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Alma Ensemble

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The Alma Ensemble was founded by flutist Sarah Wardle Jones, clarinetist Michelle Smith Johnson, and pianist Erica Sipes. It was birthed from a desire of the founding members to create music in a way that is empowering and personally resonant. We place a high priority on playing music by other women composers, educating our audiences by creating context for the pieces we select, and challenging traditional performance paradigms that inhibit, rather than enhance, our ability to communicate and connect with an audience. In fact, we chose the name “Alma” because it speaks to our mission on several levels. Because we want to do our part in promoting the artistic work of women, we chose Alma Mahler as our namesake precisely because she could have used the social support that we ourselves, by comparison, enjoy. She is most famous for her relationships with prominent artistic men, but she was a composer in her own right who never received the opportunities of her romantic counterparts. “Alma” also means “nourishment” or “soul” which is something that we endeavor to bring to each performance for ourselves and our audiences.
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