Beige Cowell (they/them, she/her) has been playing the baritone saxophone for eleven years and composing music for eight. What first started as a way to cope with the death of her father, writing music very quickly became Beige’s passion. Music was their constant companion through years of an unstable home, foster care, and post-traumatic stress.
Beige’s musical interest has taken many forms; from classical, commercial, popular, jazz, and folk. They are a McNair Scholar and a recipient of the University of North Texas (UNT) Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Beige’s research, titled Galdr: Music, Magic, and Gender in Viking Scandinavia, has been one of their proudest accomplishments during their undergraduate career. They’ve worked with UNT Professor of Music History Dr. Peter Mondelli on the project, and have already presented their preliminary findings at several universities.
After graduating from UNT with a BM in Composition in 2023, Beige was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Study Research Award to Sweden. They are currently pursuing a Master of Art in Music Composition at the University of North Texas.
Beige identifies generally as genderqueer and uses they/them and she/her pronouns. They also identify as aromantic-asexual, an often underrepresented and misunderstood queer identity. She was raised Protestant Christian, and while the church was a crutch during their childhood, they quickly realized the harm that it did to many people and to themself- subsequently Beige now practices Norse Paganism. These identities are deeply important to her and are the source of inspiration for much of their compositional and research work.
Music written by women is in the vast minority of the Western compositional canon, and until recently, the voices of queer composers have been muted or closeted. Beige would like to uplift and celebrate the voices of women, queer folks, and others persecuted by the church. All people deserve the right to love whomever they choose, and be whoever they truly are.