Celebrating Female and Queer Artists: A feature on one of Eastern’s very own.

Senior Krista Antenucci discovered her passion for music at a very young age. She began taking piano lessons at the age of five and then traded in piano for trumpet lessons in fourth grade.

Antenucci is a music composition major, her goal is to become a composer and to form her own brass quintet. After graduating from Eastern this May, she hopes to attend graduate school to expand on her ever evolving musical talents.

Even when she was little, Antenucci showed an eye for composition, rather than sitting down and playing random notes in no particular order, she would pick out specific notes and try to make her own melodies instead.

Antenucci has never stopped playing music, she even continues to play trumpet in Eastern’s wind ensemble, jazz band and orchestra.

She does not really know what inspired her to continue playing music. At one point, she just realized that it was one thing that she was really good at and that she truly enjoyed doing.

Like anyone, Antenucci does get overwhelmed from playing music all of the time, and has plenty of other hobbies to keep her busy in these tiny breaks from creating music. Even though it is her passion, it is also work for her, so she has other things to do during these breaks. Among these is painting, which she particularly likes to incorporate pride colors into her pieces. Antenucci also enjoys hiking and astronomy.

When it comes to listening to music, Antenucci mostly enjoys listening to the lesser known artists and composers, some of her favorite inspirations include Florence Price and Charles Alkin. She likes the underrepresented composers because they bring something new to the table and take leaps into multiple genres of music. Her favorite genre of music is modern classical music, for example music created within the past few decades rather than multiple centuries ago.

Antenucci enjoys the versatility of music, her favorite part about playing and creating music is that she is able to describe things without having to use words. “Music is a language but it is not a translatable language,” Antenucci said.

Antenucci considers her gender identity and expression to be a very important piece in her musical identity as well. “Tkaichovsky is a Russian, Holste being an English composer, music is an expression of myself and gender,” Antenucci stated.

Being a transgender woman on Eastern’s campus, Antenucci described how grateful she was in how supportive her surroundings were. Everyone she seemed to talk to were supportive and all of her professors respected her pronouns.

Antenucci wanted to bring attention to the severe lack of female composers in the music world. While there are plenty of female composers, many are overshadowed by the men in the field, some even by their own husbands or siblings, such as Fanny Mendelssohn and her older brother, Felix Mendelssohn, who overshadowed her.

While Antenucci has yet to experience misogyny in the field yet, it is still an active issue in the music composition world, and she is still new to the field. Compared to modern pop music and rock music, classical music is different and historically known as music for the rich and powerful. Antenucci points out that only during specific months, such as March’s Women’s History month and June’s Pride month, female and queer artists seem to get the recognition they deserve in the classical music world. Antenucci wants to be one of the composers to help change that, and celebrate these artists year round. She would like to see their music performed in concerts year round, rather than the same classical music that seems to be played at every concert.

Antenucci’s advice to herself, and anyone interested in music is to practice, practice, practice, to enjoy yourself and play music for yourself, not anyone else. “Making music and playing music is a revolutionary act,” Antenucci said.