The first of the “Women in Music” concert series, created by alumnus Jerry Kolb in honor of his mother, former Bradley teacher Doris K. Kolb, was held at Bradley’s Dingledine Music Center on September 9. The concert featured two folk-pop bands – The Crane Wives as the opening act and Joseph as the main act.
While Grand Rapids, Michigan-based The Crane Wives is a four-member group, they focused their performance on the two female co-leads, Emilee Petersmark and Kate Pillsbury.
Instead of their usual bass and drum sound, the band opted to perform stripped down versions of their songs. They performed seven songs in total, including “Queen of Nothing”, “Taking Turns” and “Never Love an Anchor”, the last of which explores the perspective of Petersmark’s mother when she gave her up for adoption at a young age.
Joseph, a sister trio, is a group from Portland, Oregon, who have performed on such shows as “Conan,” “CBS This Morning,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” They performed many hits, such as “White Flag”, as well as previously unreleased songs called “The Sun” and “Fireworks”.
The members of the public and the members of the board of directors present were delighted with the event.
“I was sitting in the right seat when it happened,” said Tom Richmond, CFA development manager for the event. “I represent the donor so that the donor says that I made an investment in Bradley and that investment pays off for him psychologically.”
Both bands frequently interacted with the crowd, recalling stories from their past tours, future songs, and current emotions. At the end of both performances, the audience was standing.
“I’ve never heard of either band, but I loved the concert,” said Kaitlyn Skelton, a sophomore in elementary school. “Kolb’s ‘Women in Music’ series has great meaning behind it and I look forward to their future concerts.”
Throughout the series, Kolb aims to honor the memory of his mother and many other women in this series of concerts.
“I created this concert series because of my mother,” Kolb said. “She was ahead of her time in many ways. My parents graduated from the University of Louisville in chemistry seeking a doctorate and my father would be the first to admit that my mother was the best student. And they both applied to Harvard. He was accepted and told no because they only take one female per year.
Dr. Kolb has a plaque on the second floor of Olin Hall, and the Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry created the Kolb Lecture Series to honor his memory. This year, Catherine M. Jackson, associate professor of history of science at the University of Oxford, and Tracy Drier, master glassblower at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be featured on October 14.
Kolb created the concert series not just to honor her mother, but to showcase women in a variety of musical genres once a semester.
“[It] shouldn’t have to be a singer,” said Carl Anderson, associate director of the music department and professor of music business. “It could be anything as long as it was female-focused.”
Kolb, Anderson and many others helped make the concert series a success.
“I would like to build the reputation of Dingledine and at the same time what I hope we will do is provide access to high caliber artists,” Kolb said.
The next concert in the “Women in Music” series will take place in the spring. Details of the event will be announced later.
If you want to check out The Crane Wives or Joseph, they can be reached on social media under the handles @thecranewives and @thebandjoseph respectively, and also have websites accessible by entering their handle followed by “.com”.
Dr. Doris K. Kolb has left an impression not just on the biochemistry and chemistry department, but on campus as a whole, and the “Women in Music” series is the latest testament to her legacy.
“She loved Bradley; she loved Peoria,” Jerry Kolb said. “And I try to find ways to make them [Bradley and Peoria] a more interesting place.