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Gardner, Kay (1941–2002)

Gardner, Kay (1941–2002)

American conductor and composer. Name variations: Kay Louise Gardner. Born Kay Louise Gardner, Feb 28, 1941 in Long Island, NY; died Aug 28, 2002 in Bangor, Maine; attended University of Michigan and State University of New York, Stony Brook; m. Colleen Fitzgerald, 1998; children: Jenifer Wilson Smith and Juliana Smith.

Leading authority on curative use of music and sound, helped found feminist and openly lesbian women's band, Lavender Jane (1972), releasing 1973 album with Patches Attom; developed lyrical, improvisational style; produced numerous recordings of original music, including solo flute meditations, music for small ensembles, orchestral compositions and large choral works, including Amazon (1994), Drone Zone (1996) and My Mother's Garden (1998); traveled worldwide with concerts and musical healing workshops; published Sounding the Inner Landscape: Music as Medicine (1990) as well as The Big Book of Relaxation (1994); had works performed by Kansas City Symphony, National Women's Symphony and Bournemouth Sinfonietta in England, among others; ordained as priestess in Fellowship of Isis by movement's founder Lady Olivia Robertson in Ireland (1998) and then built Temple of Feminine Divine in Bangor. Received Maine Composers' Festival, 1st Prize in Composition (1982), Jane Schliessmann Award for Excellence in Women's Music (1989), honorary doctorate and Maryann Hartman Award from University of Maine (1995).

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