About Darkwater

Darkwater Woman

Darkwater is a festival that celebrates women in music through papers, panels, and performances. We seek to explore three main avenues : women in music scholarship, women in music performance and composition, and women in music business.

"Darkwater" is the literal Carolina Algonquian meaning of Lumbee, the American Indian tribe that built Pembroke and UNCP. UNCP started as the Croatan Normal School, a school to train American Indian teachers. Today, we are an extremely diverse campus with an active music department. By calling ourselves the Darkwater Festival, we tie ourselves to our place in North Carolina and to the Lumbee, a matriarchal culture with many strong women in its history.

UNCP Flute professor Sarah Busman started Darkwater as a complement to UNCP’s growing events celebrating Women’s History Month. In March 2018, the female faculty of the UNCP music department put on a Women in Music recital, and, realizing the need to continue to introduce compositions by women to the student body, Sarah announced plans to create a festival with the same intention.