Women are underrepresented in high school band class. Men dominate the student demographic.
Senior Ella Brenner said although she is only one of three women in her section, she doesn’t feel as though she is treated any differently.
Brenner said, “There are three girls and 10 boys in my section. That’s pretty usual for my section. Sometimes I feel a little out of place because all the boys mainly talk to themselves, but honestly I think our section is pretty inclusive, and we aren’t really ever excluded on purpose.”
Brenner added if anything she feels she’s less represented in jazz band rather than concert band due to the fact that the men outnumber the women more in jazz band.
Despite this, Brenner said, “But Mr. (Kevin) Cole and everyone else makes sure we all still get the same opportunities, and we created an all girls jazz group to have more representation.”
Senior Lizzie Nieman plays the baritone/euphonium in a section of mostly men. This year she was the only girl in the baritone section.
Nieman said, “Being a girl in the baritone section and more in general brass section is definitely the minority.”
It is often usual for women to be in the minority for Nieman’s instrument. Being the minority as well as being women in general can create discomfort in certain male-dominated hobbies and interests. Nieman can relate to the feeling of being left out.
Nieman said, “It used to cause me a lot of stress and anxiety being one of the few girls in my section and in the more general low brass/brass section. I often felt out of place, weird, and felt like I didn’t belong in the band or in my section. These feelings have gotten a bit easier as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable with myself, but I still deal with these feelings and thoughts day to day.”
Nieman also described feeling like she’s treated differently for multiple reasons.
Nieman said, “I think I’m treated differently from other people in the band and even other girls in the band because I’m not the ‘best’ player or involved in other bands. There’s definitely a difference in how people are treated based on how good they are, if they are in other bands.”
This will be Eleanor Kanerva’s first year on ECHO staff. They also made several contributions while taking journalism class their junior year.