When Amelia LeClair was studying for her B.A. in composition at University of Massachusetts Boston in the 1970s, she faced a staggering dearth of female role models in her field. “Maybe Ruth Crawford Seeger was mentioned,” she said over a cup of mint tea at Harvard Square’s Cafe Algiers. “Not listened to. Mentioned.” LeClair says she was alienated by her male classmates’ practice of sitting around with a teacher to tell obscene jokes at lunchtime, and discouraged by the boys-club atmosphere of composition. “Some people said to me, ‘Women can’t compose.’ And I believed that! Because I didn’t see any evidence to the contrary.”
For the Boston Globe, March 16, 2017.