In this special Oxford Series episode, I catch Dr. Zanaida Robles for a conversation about her philosophy as a composer, as well as the way all of her musical and personal identities mingle to create a context for her music making. We discuss the compositional process, including the philosophy she holds related to the “end product” for singers. Namely, the importance of the singers exploring their own communities and connections WHILE also exploring the music. We also bounce ideas back and forth related to composers having to be careful about “over refining” a composition, as well as the music world’s attempt to balance goals of equity with the human need for each composer to be valued based on their OWN music and individual expression. You won’t want to miss this conversation!
Dr. Zanaida Stewart Robles is an award-winning Black American female composer, vocalist, and teacher. She is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education and performance. Authentic interpersonal connection and relationship-building are core principles of her teaching and performance methods. Born, raised, and educated in Southern California on the unceeded lands of the Gabrielino-Tongva people, she is in demand as a composer, vocalist, clinician and adjudicator for competitions, festivals, and conferences related to choral and solo vocal music.