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NYWC Spotlight: Pamela Sklar

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight Pamela Sklar.

Pamela Sklar

Pamela Sklar. Photo courtesy Pamela Sklar.

Bio from Sklar’s website:

Pamela Sklar is a sought-after flutist for her beautiful, pure tone and expressive, versatile musicianship. For more than three decades, she has performed for a wide range of audiences, including numerous tours as soloist with Claude Bolling, concerts with Dave Brubeck, TV performances with tenor Andrea Bocelli, orchestras for the Grammy Awards, as well as recordings for major films and artists including Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Paul Simon, and Aretha Franklin. With the orchestra for Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, she performed for PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center and was requested later by John Pizzarelli to play alto flute for his Midnight McCartney recording.

A published composer of chamber music who writes for unusual combinations of instruments, her composing career evolved naturally as an extension of her performing career. Many years of listening and playing professionally with outstanding artists and improvising co-created her original voice. Her first work, Flutes From the Other Side, was published in 2008. Pam remains equally passionate about playing, writing, hearing (and performing) her compositions.

In 2020, she became Arts Initiative Award winner from ArtsWestchester for her creative project Words into Music. This original composition project culminated in an informal virtual outdoor recording in September of 2020 and was performed live on November 20, 2021. Words into Music was inspired by her conversations with more than forty individuals from Mount Vernon, NY, who shared stories about family situations, community issues and personal struggles. Their emotions gave Pam powerful material for musical creation. Performing on Native American flute, flute and bass flute, Pam was joined by oboist Jim Ferraiuolo, English horn player John Frisch, and clarinetist/bass clarinetist Enid Blount Press.

A recent winner of ArtsWestchester’s 2022 Arts Alive Award for her new project Words into Music, Part 2, Pam will perform new music with her two colleagues and also co-feature spoken educational & historical components. A date will be announced in mid- 2023, Words into Music Part 2 will include interviews with Port Chester/Rye Brook and Rye Town community members. Pam’s project is in collaboration with The Port Chester Historical Society.

Other composition highlights include performances and a premiere of her woodwind quintet Green Awakening commissioned & premiered by the award-winning ensemble Englewinds. Pam’s sonata for violin and piano, The Ocean We Want, was composed for an environmental sustainability theme and presented in Madrid, Spain.

A copy of her score of Spell 166 for five various flutes and organ is included in the Special Collection of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts; a featured slide show of Pam’s inspired improvisation Heritage can be heard and viewed on Native Dream.

For two seasons Pamela was an award-winning flutist & composer for performances and a recording of New York Tapestries from New York Women Composers for her duo 2Flutes with Laura Falzon. Pam continues to perform original and other composers’ varied music for flute, alto flute, bass flute & Native American flute in concerts.

Featured Work: “Day and Night Cannot Dwell Together” for Unaccompanied Cello


  • Title: “Day and Night Cannot Dwell Together”
  • Composer: Pamela Sklar
  • Year of Composition: 2018
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 4 minutes
  • Number of Measures: 62
  • Number of pages: 2
  • Tempo: Lento (quarter note = 60 to 92)
  • Difficulty Level: intermediate to advanced
  • Highest Position Reached: 3rd
  • Techniques Employed: 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures; double stops, pizzicato, and grace notes; bass and tenor clefs
  • Publisher: Self-published
  • Where to Purchase the Score: Email Ocean Sound
  • Cost of Score*: $10


Day and Night Cannot Dwell Together, performed by cellist Matt Goeke.

Program Notes

Inspired by Native American cultures past and present, here are program notes from the composer:
“‘Day and Night Cannot Dwell Together’ are words attributed to the Suquamish and Duwamish leader Chief Seattle, who believed in ecological responsibility and respect for Native Americans’ land rights. The words mean just as day and night cannot exist together, the white man and Native American people cannot be together. However, Chief Seattle did forge a friendship with a white settler, David Swinson “Doc” Maynard, “one of Seattle’s primary founders and, compared to other white settlers, a relative advocate of Native American rights. Maynard’s friendship with Chief Seattle was important in the formation of the city of Seattle, and it was Maynard who proposed the city be named for this important chief.” *

The words ‘Day and Night Cannot Dwell Together’ are part of a speech given during the signing of the Point Elliot Treaty of 1885, which guaranteed fishing rights and reservations for certain tribes, including the Suquamish Port Madison. Reservations were not designated for the Duwamish and some other Native American peoples.

“The words ‘day and night cannot dwell together’ greatly inspired me to write something profoundly expressive and soulful, specifically for cello. This solo is a tribute to Native Americans everywhere, past and present.” – Pamela Sklar

* Wikipedia

Pamela Sklar’s Other Work with a Prominent Cello Part

  • Eventually – chamber music/trio from recording A Native American-Jazz Tribute, A Tune for America by Pamela Sklar


A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.