Cara Haxo – Winner of the 2022 Emerging Women Composers Competition
Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 Emerging Women Composers Competition. The award goes to Cara Haxo as a commission for the creation of a new piece for orchestra with women’s chorus to be premiered at the 2022 National Women’s Music Festival. Reflecting on her selection, NWMF Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Nan Washburn said “It was really exciting to see and hear works from so many talented composers who sent their applications to us. For me, Cara Haxo’s submission definitely stood out. Not only was her skill and creativity quite evident in the way she set the song texts, but it also was apparent in her delightfully inventive use of rhythms and tight harmonies.”
The mission of the NWMF Orchestra series is to celebrate the diversity of women’s musical expression through the presentation of classical works by women composers past and present. As part of that mission, the NWMF Orchestra series has actively sought collaborations with contemporary women composers. These have included the commission and premiere of The Initiate by Mary Watkins in 2016; performance of The Journey of Phillis Wheatley by Nkeiru Okoye in 2018; and spotlighting the works and artistry of composer and flutist Valerie Coleman in 2019. Composer and guitar virtuoso Mimi Fox will be featured in the 2021 NWMF Orchestra series performances (postponed due to the cancellation of the 2020 festival). The purpose of the NWMF Emerging Composers Competition was to provide encouragement and support to early-career women composers such as Cara Haxo as well as to expand works by women in the orchestral and choral repertoire.
A native of Massachusetts, Cara Haxo earned her Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Oregon, where she worked as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in Music Theory. She also holds degrees from Butler University and The College of Wooster. Her teachers have included Robert Kyr, David Crumb, Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, Peter Mowrey, and Jack Gallagher. She previously taught private piano, theory, and composition lessons through the Butler Community Arts School in Indianapolis. She is currently an adjunct Instructor of Composition at Notre Dame College in Ohio and a faculty member for the annual summer Walden School Young Musicians Program.