American Music

Music in America is changing. The boundaries between genres we once guarded have been redrawn in favor of declarations of artistic independence. In this month’s issue, “American Music,” we examine the different kinds of artistry we can find around the country – from young go-getter composers, to respected social activists, to our stalwart institutions – and how they are evolving.

Indie-classical composer Molly Joyce sits down with 21CM managing editor Elizabeth Nonemaker to talk about producing her debut EP, being true to her own voice and why she brings her toy organ everywhere she goes.

We look at how Play On, Philly! is reinventing music education for underserved youth in Philadelphia. We’re not surprised by its impact: POP is led by founder Stanford Thompson, who believes that music can actually help you become a better person. We think he’s right.

Finally, culture historian Joseph Horowitz detangles the history of orchestras in the United States, asking a fundamental question: How do we create a sense of occasion? The iconic author of “Classical Music in America” points to hopeful examples from South Dakota, at the U.S.-Mexican border and in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Thanks for joining the conversation,
Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM


Molly Joyce on Releasing a Debut EP

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Molly Joyce’s style took a 180 when she started using electronics in her music. Now, with the release of her debut EP, she shares insights into coming into one’s own as a composer and the trials of self-promotion.