Ashley Ertz is an oboist and arts administrator in the Chicago metropolitan area. Ertz is the Artistic Director and Founder of 5th Wave Collective and the Program Manager with the International Music Foundation. She also recently won the position of English Horn with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and is on the Board of Directors for the Musicians Club of Women in addition to a healthy freelance career.
In March of 2018 Ashley saw a lack of performance space for womxn composers and thus started 5th Wave Collective, a Chicago based ensemble dedicated to the performance and promotion of music by womxn and gender non-conforming composers. They are now finishing off their fourth season with Ertz as Artistic Director, having had over 200 musicians perform with them and presenting over 100 womxn and gender non-conforming composers.
This is so sorely needed. In the orchestral world our attempts to feature female composers look like a tone poem here, a concerto there – but rarely a symphony, never a full concert. Big orchestras are stuck playing the classics that they assume the audience wants, and they don’t have the time or the social capital to research and program a wider diversity of works. Or so they would have you believe. But Ashley’s research and advocacy are pointing the way forward. Look at her website, where HUNDREDS of works by women are documented. Look at the performances she’s created. She’s not stopping. Nor should she. I know you will love hearing from this brilliant and energetic woman.
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