Composer Stacy Garrop on “The Battle for the Ballot”

Woman Suffrage is coming – you know it.

Carrie Chapman Catt

Stacy Garrop’s The Battle for the Ballot features the voices of seven Suffragists: Carrie W. Clifford, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Adella Hunt Logan, Mary Church Terrell, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, and Carrie Chapman Catt.

The 70-year fight for Women’s Suffrage ended in 1920 with the passage of the 19th amendment. In 2020, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music commissioned Stacy Garrop to compose a piece celebrating the 100th anniversary.

The Battle for the Ballot took the shape of a dramatic narration, focused on a single speech by Susan B. Anthony. But it became clear to Garrop and the Cabrillo Festival’s Music Director Cristian Măcelaru that Anthony’s support of anti-black politics meant that a new avenue would have to be explored.

With only a week to work, Stacy Garrop found the texts of six additional Suffragists (four of whom were black, two white) and changed the focus of the piece, replacing the texts within the same music and timings. Because it was to be premiered virtually, the orchestra had already recorded their parts for the video preparation.

What resulted is a work of depth and inspiration, commemorating the bravery and endurance of generations of women fighting for their rights.

The Fort Collins Symphony will perform The Battle for the Ballot on Saturday, November 5th, 2022.

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Audio Interview with Composer Stacy Garrop

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Video Interview with Composer Stacy Garrop

Virtual World Premiere of The Battle for the Ballot (2020)