The International Trombone Festival will be hosted by Jacques Mauger in Paris, France this summer. What a lovely place for such an event! Too bad M. Mauger failed to invite a single female artist to the festival. Of the 42 artists that were invited, all are men. Of the 9 composers that were invited, all are men. Not only is this in inaccurate representation of the current trombone demographic across the world, but it is also incredibly insulting to all female trombonists.
There is currently an extended dialogue of over 60 comments on trombonist Abbie Conant’s FaceBook page, for she posted:
Jacques Mauger, who programmed the 49/0 men to women ratio for the ITF 2012 has a post on his FB page that says, “ITF PARIS 2012 – the best trombonists in the world will be there, why not you???” (You have to scroll down a bit to see it.) I answered, “Why not? Because there are 42 men invited as soloists and 0 women. And all 7 composers are also men. Total: 49 to 0! This is insulting to all women trombonists, all women musicians, and all enlightened men.” Perhaps you can go to his FB page and tell him what you think too. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you…
The majority of the comments that Abbie has received have been in outrage at the situation at hand. Men and women Aalike have expressed extreme disappointment in the organization of this year’s ITF. Some comments have expressed sympathy for M. Mauger saying that he is such a nice guy and shouldn’t receive so much flack for what is sure to be an oversight. While M. Mauger is probably a nice guy, the fact that he has not responded or made efforts to invite women trombonists to his festival exudes intentional sexism. He has the opportunity as a leader in the trombone world to correct his “mistake” so that the International Trombone Festival’s reputation is not, “ITF 2012: Women, Stay Home”