After studying gender inequality in school and realizing there were 63 male composers featured in the Edexcel A-Level music syllabus, but not one female composer, 17-year-old student Jessy McCabe has called for the equal representation of women in the exam board’s syllabus.
Jessy got in touch with the board and also decided to take matters into her own hands by setting up a petition on Change.org, calling on the Head of Music to make changes to the current syllabus.
In his response from emails from Jessy, the Head of Music wrote, ‘Given that female composers were not prominent in the Western Classical tradition (or others for that matter) there would be very few female composers that could be included’.
Not easily deterred, Jessy contested this after listening to BBC Radio 3, where she said they ‘managed to do a whole day of programming of female composers to honour International Women’s Day’.
Touché. We'd say she has a point there.
‘I would really appreciate if you could share my petition to prevent Edexcel from continuing to limit diversity in a subject which ultimately thrives on its astounding breadth," she wrote on her Facebook page.
You can sign Jessy's important petition here.
Words by Roisin Kay