"Squirming, I agreed to review the new book 'Music Mavens: 15 Women of Note in the Industry,' by Ashley Walker and Maureen Charles. I have known one of the co-authors for years, and her late husband, Jon Charles, for even longer. I prayed to Euterpe, music’s muse: 'Please, please, please let me like it!' I’m extremely relieved to say, 'Like it? I love it!'
Below is an excerpt from ‘Music Mavens: 15 Women of Note in the Industry’, a young adult biography by Ashley Walker and Maureen Charles. The book is part of Chicago Review Press’s “Women of Power” series, a timely, inclusive, international biography series that profiles 15 contemporary women who are changing their field while empowering others to follow their dreams. The authors interviewed each of their 15 subjects extensively, fact-checking every detail and uncovering exclusive scenes and stories in the process.
‘Music Mavens’ transports readers around the world (and beyond)—to a jazz performance in Genoa, an instrument lab in London, a Tokyo taiko dojo, a New York City beatbox battle, and even a film scoring session aboard the starship Enterprise, to name a few. Along the way, it spotlights artists whose work spans musical genres and industry roles, including composing and songwriting, performing and conducting, audio engineering, producing, and rock photography.
In ‘Music Mavens’, 15 extraordinary women reveal how they turned their passions into platforms and how they use their power to uplift others. Their musical resumes will inspire readers, but the way each artist lives her life is the real story.
In this excerpt, the authors introduce Broadway orchestrator, music director, producer, and orchestra founder Macy Schmidt, who is making her mark not only with her orchestrations but by hiring female-identifying musicians of color and showcasing their talents. When women are in power, everyone benefits....
Broadway Sinfonietta founder Macy Schmidt | Photo by Rebecca J Michelson
by Stephanie Martinelli Eaton
Today I am excited to introduce our Cynsations readers to Maureen Charles and Ashley Walker who recently collaborated on a nonfiction project for older readers. Their book Music Mavens from Chicago Review Press comes out this fall as part of their Women of Power series. Ashley and Maureen are enthusiastic and diligent writers for young people, I know because I am fortunate enough to be in a writing group with them. I can’t wait for you to learn about their process, especially their collaboration, which can be tricky waters for writers to navigate.
Your most upcoming nonfiction title for young adult readers, Music Mavens is about women in the music industry. Tell us about what drew you to your subject.
Ashley: Gladly! I’m a music lover and amateur musician, so I was thrilled to receive an invitation to write this book for the Chicago Review Press Women of Power (WOP) series. WOP profiles “15 diverse, modern women who are changing the world in their field while empowering others to follow their dreams.”
Before I started knocking on industry doors, I reached out to a collaborator—a fellow author with a music background that complemented mine. I proposed the idea to the talented writer Maureen Charles in December 2020, just after her virtual Birthday on Broadway party. And with music (Janis Joplin) still playing in our heads, she agreed to partner with me....
As a volunteer writer serving on the Foundation for Climate Restoration Curriculum Design Team, I am delighted to share and recommend this free online course with 3rd through 5th grade students and their teachers.
Stay tuned for the release of our Climate Restoration High School Curriculum due out in 2023.
MUSIC MAVENS is available in both hardcover and electronic formats everywhere books are sold. Click the button below for links to Indie bookstores, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and more -- including a Friends & Family Discount from our publisher, Chicago Review Press.