songSLAM - April 11, 2021

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Made possible by Anonymous support from Fourth Coast Ensemble’s 2021 HD Technology Sponsor

2021 SONGSLAM with Jake Heggie

Presented by Fourth Coast Ensemble and

April 11, 2021 | 7pm CST


Presented by Fourth Coast Ensemble and

with Jake Heggie Made possible by generous support from

Dana Brown

In the poetry slam tradition, prizes are awarded by popular vote of the audience. To vote, you must tune in live. Text SONGSLAM to 22333, then follow the directions on screen during the broadcast to vote for your favorite team. The winner will be announced live on air.

1st Prize - $1,000 2nd Prize - $600 3rd Prize - $400

Welcome our 2021 songSLAM Chicago emcee... composer Jake Heggie! JAKE HEGGIE is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s A Wonderful Life, If I Were You, Great Scott, Three Decembers and Two Remain, among others. He has also composed nearly 300 songs, as well as chamber, choral and orchestral works. The operas – most created with Gene Scheer or the late Terrence McNally – have been produced on five continents. Dead Man Walking (McNally) has been recorded twice and in 2019 received its 70th international production, making it the most-performed American opera of our time. New York’s Metropolitan Opera recently announced that it will produce Dead Man Walking in a bold new production by director Ivo van Hove, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Moby-Dick (Scheer) was telecast throughout the United States as part of Great Performances’ 40th Season and released on DVD (EuroArts). Great Scott was a 2019 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Composition, Classical. The composer was awarded the Eddie Medora King prize from the UT Austin Butler School of Music and the Champion Award from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. A Guggenheim Fellow, Heggie has served as a mentor for the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative and is a frequent guest artist at universities, conservatories and festivals throughout the USA and Canada. INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope (Scheer) recently received a premiere and live recording. Upcoming are Songs for Murdered Sisters, a song cycle to new poems by Margaret Atwood, and Intelligence (Scheer), a new opera for the Houston Grand Opera.


2021 songSLAM World Premieres RECIO | How We Hush Michael Day, tenor | Matthew Recio, piano

How We Hush Text by Jenna Lanzaro I do not understand how to suffer privately Joy privately How do you hold your hurt, a soft animal who limped until you picked her up I watch you hush the live thing I build relics and towers and dungeons I enter the dungeons just so I can have a war to wage to get out I emit microplastics our living room is the bowl of an ocean I gyre I writhe in front of you and make two lists for how we’ll split everything up When we kissed I felt nothing That was because I’d already put it away in my safest room

MATTHEW RECIO is currently in his second year of his position as Vanguard emerging opera composer with Chicago Opera Theater. During his residency he is developing operas with librettists Royce Vavrek (2021) and Stephanie Fleischmann (2020). He also is currently a resident artist with the West Edge Opera Aperture Program developing his new opera with Stephanie Fleischmann, L’autre Moi. Recio has worked with Beth Morrison Projects, New Voices Opera Company, Cincinnati Camerata, NOTUS and The Crossing. He was chosen as the American Prize winner in the choral division, and is a G. Schirmer published artist. Recio is a graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Originally from Rockford, Illinois, tenor MICHAEL DAY was most recently seen singing the role of Fabian in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s If I Were You with the Merola Opera Program. For the past two years Michael has worked as a studio artist with Michigan Opera Theatre, singing roles in Candide, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Tosca. After working for a year as a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Michael returned to sing in The Grapes of Wrath, and Regina. Michael holds degrees in music education and vocal performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.


RADOSAVLJEVIC | Näed kõrged pilved Angela De Venuto, soprano | Leo Radosavljevic, piano Näed kõrged pilved Text by Lydia Koidula Translated by Uku Tomikas Näed kõrged pilved lendvad tuule tiivul üle maa nendega ma sooviks sõita sinu juure lendada!

See the soaring clouds drifting Wind-swept across the land I wish to see them gifting My passage to your hand!

Tunned tuule kerget õhku oma ümber mängivad minu hinge igatsused kaugelt siis sind hüüavad!

Feel the breeze softly Dancing on your smile so kind These my echoes are Calling, you are on my mind!

Pääval sinu poole pala soovimine ulatab, ööse mõte, meel ja süda unes sinu kuju nääb.

On daylights break Hands pass longing towards your gleam At night, though, mind, heart Keep you as my only dream.

Aga samm jo mullapinnal juurdub, paika leiab ta: ei sind jõua pilve rutul, tuule tiivul tereta'.

Yet heavy steps upon this land Root me firmly, steady ground No wind nor cloud can carry To me fairest bound.

Nõder sõna, ta siis olgu tunnistuseks, neiu, sul, et mo ülem mõte, vara oled õhtul, hommikul!

So mere words my only cry Can prophesize my fair That from dusk till dawn I Of only you I truly care.

Estonian-American composer, pianist, and singer, LEO RADOSAVLJEVIC has earned international recognition for his “excellent musicianship” and “expansive delivery”. He studied composition with Dr. Philip Lasser at Juilliard, and his compositions have been featured at the Ravinia Festival, The Toronto Summer Music Festival, CoOPERAtive Festival, as well as in recital throughout North America and Europe. He is the 3rd prize winner of the 2019 songSLAM competition. Leo draws from a wide variety of sources for inspiration for his music, but is particularly influenced by the music of Messiaen and Dutilleux, the paintings of Kandinsky, and Nordic European folk music and culture. Soprano ANGELA DE VENUTO has portrayed roles from the innocent girl next door, Emily Webb (Our Town), to the comedically jaded Despina (Così fan tutte), and cunning Adele (Die Fledermaus). Angela’s recital work includes the works of Debussy, N. Boulanger, Libby Larsen, and Previn; as well as new and lesser known composers Zohn-Muldoon, Parry, Benjamin Krause, and Leo Radosavljevic. Angela has been awarded first prizes in the Classical Singer competition Emerging Professional Division (2017), Musician’s Club of Women (2017), the Sherrill Milnes Opera Idol competition (2016), and been named a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition (2018).


THOMASIAN | In the Greenroom Claire DiVizio, soprano | Cody Michael Bradley, piano In the Greenroom Text by Claire DiVizio I like to think of myself as pretty easy going friendly, pleasant, etcetera But I have a firm belief that there are some times when I should not have to tolerate children I am tired my neck is stiff this room is too hot and here all around me are children crunching things with mouths open contorting their spines into outrageous positions which would send me to the emergency room wiggling with energy so unstoppable it fills me with rage and yet, I must remember they are small and know no better but for once, couldn’t they just hush?

Originally from Astoria, Oregon, JASMINE THOMASIAN (they/them) is a Chicago-based composer passionate about sound, identity formation, and the interpersonal dynamics of Western art music. Their artistic output spans a range of musical aesthetics, as they approach the search for new sounds and new ways of relating to sounds/instruments/people from a variety of directions. Jasmine’s music has been premiered at New Music on the Point, Atlantic Music Festival, I/O Fest, OSSIA New Music, Williams College, and malai ensemble. When they're not composing or artsadministrating, Jasmine teaches 2nd Year Aural Skills at Northwestern University. Praised by the Ann Arbor News for their "marvelous voice," soprano CLAIRE DIVIZIO has a reputation throughout the Midwest for vocal and dramatic versatility. In past seasons, Claire has appeared onstage with Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Fringe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, St. Petersburg Opera (FL), among others. In 2011, Claire founded Thompson Street Opera Company, which is dedicated to producing new operas by living composers. Claire holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville, and holds both a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Michigan. CODY MICHAEL BRADLEY has wide-ranging experience as a singer, pianist, vocal coach, music director, and conductor. Currently on the faculty of Loyola University, he has previously worked at the College Light Opera Company (MA), and at Opera in the Ozarks (AR). In 2016 he spent his second season as a piano fellow at the Bay View Music Festival (MI), where he also conducted. Recent credits include Chicago Fringe Opera, Petite Opera Productions, and Thompson Street Opera. Cody works with numerous Chicagoland schools, churches, and community service groups as a pianist and serves as a vocalist and assistant conductor with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago.


STRICKLER | The Vow Jeremiah Strickler, baritone | James Janssen, piano

The Vow Text by Mary Shelley By the sacred earth on which I kneel, By the shades that wander, hear me, By the deep and eternal grief I feel, I swear; I swear… And by thee, O Night, And the spirits that preside over thee, I swear; I swear To pursue my demon, Until he or I shall perish. And I call on you spirits of the dead And on you, wandering ministers of vengeance, To aid and conduct me in my work. Let the cursed and hellish monster drink deep of agony. Let him feel the despair that now torments me. Again do I vow vengeance Again do i promise thee, Miserable fiend, to destroy thee. And then with ecstasy shall I join my Elizabeth And my departed friends. The spirits of the dead hover round, And drive me to revenge.

Originally from Montana, composer and baritone JEREMIAH STRICKLER received his Master of Music in voice from Roosevelt University where he studied with Mark Crayton. Jeremiah has been fortunate to participate in staged and concert performances of operas, such as Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, as well as other choral and chamber works, including the world premiere of Samuel Pummill's Consanguineal Requiem. He has also performed solo and collaborative recitals featuring both classical and modern repertoire. Jeremiah recently began exploring an interest in composition, focusing on his preferred subjects for all the arts: the dark, the twisted, and gothic horror. JAMES JANSSEN made his piano debut with orchestra at age 13. He received his education from Indiana University and Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, where he studied with some of the world’s most respected experts in the field of Baroque and Classical performance practice. James has toured extensively in recital and has been broadcast on Chicago’s classical radio station, WFMT. He is artistic director of the period-instrument ensemble Haydn by the Lake and is artistic director and conductor of Evanston Chamber Opera Company (EChO). He collaborates with singers all over the world and is eager to make more music post-pandemic.


DONLIN | Let It Be Forgotten Celia Williams, soprano | Ryan Donlin, piano

Let It Be Forgotten Text by Sara Teasdale Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten, Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold, Let it be forgotten for ever and ever, Time is a kind friend, he will make us old. If anyone asks, say it was forgotten Long and long ago, As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall In a long forgotten snow.

RYAN DONLIN is a Chicago-based musician who primarily writes and records rock and pop music with his band, Red Scarves. They released their latest album, Annuals, in December of 2019. Ryan is motivated by a desire to search for truth through music, and to make things that walk the tightrope between immediacy and subjectivity. Despite being the offspring of two keyboardists, as a child CELIA WILLIAMS naturally gravitated towards the instrument that required far less coordination between two hands: the voice. Beginning her musical journey in the back choir stalls of a bright, incenseheavy chapel in Champaign-Urbana, Celia can now be found singing with the St. James Episcopal Cathedral Choir of Chicago, teaching privately from her apartment and with The Bravo Studio, and recording new music for her friends and other musicians.


ISAAC | Our Idea of Nothing at All Angela Born, soprano | Jordan Crice, piano

Our Idea of Nothing at All Text by Alice Duer Miller "I am opposed to woman suffrage, but I am not opposed to woman." —Anti-suffrage speech of Mr. Webb of North Carolina. O women, have you heard the news Of charity and grace? Look, look, how joy and gratitude Are beaming in my face! For Mr. Webb is not opposed To woman in her place! O Mr. Webb, how kind you are To let us live at all, To let us light the kitchen range And tidy up the hall; To tolerate the female sex In spite of Adam's fall. O girls, suppose that Mr. Webb Should alter his decree! Suppose he were opposed to us— Opposed to you and me. What would be left for us to do— Except to cease to be?

Chicago-based composer MICHELLE ISAAC is known for her skill creating works of musical wit and whimsy. An enchanting mix of eccentric storytelling and humor, her music is intricate and imaginative, grounded in her mastery of orchestration. Michelle writes and arranges for all instrumentations and mediums, and her works have been heard around the country, with notable performances in Chicago’s Symphony Center and Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Michelle was named the first Project Inclusion Freeman Composing Fellow in 2020, and she has recently received commissions from Chicago Sinfonietta and LYNX. She received her BA from the College of Saint Benedict and her MM from Roosevelt University. Commended for her “fire and conviction” (Chicago Classical Review), ANGELA BORN is an opera theatre artist committed to artistic integrity and authenticity. A passionate advocate for new music, Ms. Born is frequently sought out as an interpreter of new works. Favorite roles include Patience in Paula Kimper’s Patience and Sarah and Lucinda in Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters. Recently, Ms. Born received critical acclaim for “offering powerful symbolism” (Hyde Park Herald) in Juliet Palmer’s Stitch, an a cappella opera written for 3 voices and sewing machines which sheds light on the lives of those who create our clothes. JORDAN CRICE is a local pianist. She plays a lot of new music and other neat stuff. She has many cool ongoing projects including a pop-up art song recital series she cofounded called The Song Set Chicago. She loves sea creatures and dancing and hates writing bios. If you like her playing, that’s super awesome! She doesn’t have a website so maybe just talk to her after the show ... perhaps when the world starts up again?


GUTIERREZ | Canción de Cuna para mi Corazón Solitario Kelsey Goodwin, mezzo-soprano | Nico Gutierrez, piano Canción de Cuna Para mi Corazón Solitario "Cradle Song for my Solitary Heart" Text by Ofelia Sussel-Marie Duerme corazón mío, Aunque no tengas brazos Para mecerte.

Sleep my heart, Even though you do not have arms To cradle you.

Duerme corazón mío, Aunque no tengas canto Para arrullarte.

Sleep my heart, Even though you do not have a voice To lull you.

Duerme corazón mío, Aunque no tengas labios Para besarte.

Sleep my heart, Even though you do not have lips To kiss you.

Duerme corazón mío, Pronto la luna Te ha de mimar.

Sleep my heart, Soon the moon Will comfort you.

Duerme con tus latidos De amor, que el cielo te ha de cuidar.

Sleep as your heart beats With love, the sky Will care for you.

Named, “a young musical promise” by La Vanguardia, NICO GUTIERREZ is a ColombianAmerican composer that consistently writes powerful music for both multimedia and concert audiences. Born to Colombian parents, Nico embraces his heritage and infuses elements of his cultural upbringing into his music. An ambassador of Latin-American music, Nico has served as Composer in Residence for the 2014 and 2019 Barcelona Festival of Song. In 2018, Nico was invited to conduct his compositions with the Youth Orchestra of Centro Fox in Guanajuato by Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox. In 2019, Nico was nominated for Best Overall Composition in the London Composition Awards. KELSEY GOODWIN is a Mezzo-Soprano from Aurora, Colorado. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, where she performed with the TCU Opera Studio, Concert Chorale and Vocal Jazz ensemble as well as chorus roles with Fort Worth Opera and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, Kelsey attended Chicago College of Performing Arts for a Master of Music in Voice. In 2017, Ms. Goodwin relocated to Europe where she lived and performed in Czech Republic, with her band, Extra Terrestrial. She returned to Chicago in 2019 to pursue her passion for working toward equitable education with non-profits in the Chicago Area.


MALMQUIST | Michelangelo’s Grocery List Ashlee Hardgrave, soprano | Josh Quinn, piano Michelangelo’s Grocery List Text by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Translated by Ariana Strahl Pani dua Un bochal di vino Una aringa Tortegli

Two loaves A jug of wine One herring Stuffed pasta dumplings

Una insalata Quatro pani Un bochal di tondo Un quartuccio di bruscho Un piatello di spinaci Quatro alice Tortelli

A salad Four loaves A jug of full-bodied wine A quarter of sour wine A small plate of spinach Four anchovies Stuffed pasta dumplings

Sei pani Dua minestre di finochio Una aringa Un bochal di tondo

Six loaves of bread Two fennel soups One herring A jug of full-bodied wine

ERIC MALMQUIST (b. 1985) writes earnestly heartfelt and engaging music. He draws on a deep love of early music and modern influences to produce works that are focused and emotional. He has been commissioned by the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, tubist Scott Tegge, historical keyboardist Charles Metz, historical flutist Leighann Daihl Ragusa, the International Chamber Artists, the Newberry Consort and the Wicker Park Choral Singers. Soprano ASHLEE HARDGRAVE has been characterized as a "vocal powerhouse" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "well sung" (Chicago Tribune). She can be heard on four albums (Green Genes, Spirit Within, New Song, and Faith Musings), and has been broadcast on WBEZ, WFMT, WGN Television, WLUW, and WOCH. She is a proud member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Vox 3 Collective, Liederstube, and Mode Ensemble. She is also a cohost of Opera Box Score, currently broadcasting on the Dallas Opera Network. She received her M.M. from Roosevelt University, and her B.A. from Arkansas Tech University. JOSH QUINN just completed his second year as the young artist pianist, coach, and assistant conductor with Chicago Opera Theater, as well as serving as Music Director and Chorus Master for the Janiec Opera Company. He transitioned into coaching and conducting after several seasons singing with various companies: Merola Opera Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Prototype Festival, American Symphony Orchestra, Beth Morrison Projects, New Haven Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Opera Maine, Left Coast Ensemble, and West Edge Opera. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory, and is an artist member of Music for Food, a musician-led initiative to fight hunger in our home communities.


HUSKIN | We Went to Paris in Our Apartment Alannah Spencer, soprano | Jennifer Allor, piano

We Went to Paris in Our Apartment Text by Meg Huskin Flights are cancelled overseas. Partial refund. No one leaves. We unpack our bags and heave a sigh, And kiss our tourist dreams goodbye. And things are bleak. So much for romance. We hold our breath beneath our mask. We couldn’t go to Paris this year, So we took Paris and brought it here. We Googled art from the Louvre, And danced Can-Can like Moulin Rouge. The downstairs neighbors hate us, But that’s just cuz they ain’t us. At least in our imagination, We redefine stay-cation.

Chorus: We sipped lattes and Keurig Cafe. We scrolled along the digital Seine. We wore berets on Barry Street, And went to Paris in our apartment. We saw a film on - How you say? Disnee Plus? About a rat that learned to cook. We drank champagne and no one needs to know We got it on sale at Trader Joe’s. You might call it gauche, But I just raise a toast! And when I looked up from my charcuterie board, I thought to myself “How could I ever get bored With someone who builds cityscapes in tiny rooms? If I’m stuck in Chicago, I’m glad it’s with you.”

MEG HUSKIN is a multi-hyphenate musician with roots in Chicago and Wisconsin. As a composer, Meg often explores language, storytelling, and character. Her compositions have been heard most recently with Lynx Project’s 2020 Autism Advocacy Series and she won Second Prize at SongSLAM Chicago 2019. Most most recently, she’s been surviving a pandemic, and exploring online fan communities by writing a TikTok Musical based on a fictional dead werewolf, which has been received positively by her thousands of followers. This Fall, Meg will enter the Masters of Composition program at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Soprano ALANNAH SPENCER is a natural story-teller at ease in both operatic and song repertoire. Alannah has an affinity for performing overlooked operatic gems. Most recently, she portrayed Luise in Eugen d’Aubert’s rarely seen comedic opera Die Abreise with Evanston Chamber Opera. Never one to forsake the classics, Alannah has performed Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel. Alannah is the vocalist for the voice and percussion duo VoxBox, and is a founding member of the feminist opera collective the Valkyrie Ensemble. Pianist JENNIFER ALLOR made her orchestral debut with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in 2002 and with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra in 2005. She has studied with many distinguished teachers including Thomas Otten and Daniel Shapiro. She holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An active performer and chamber musician, she regularly performs in the Chicagoland area with her sister, soprano Emily Rebecca Smith.


HARRINGTON | Tribute to Jane Addams Elizabeth Shuman, soprano | Young Jee Cho-Park, piano Tribute to Jane Addams Text by Eleanor Daugherty We all of us have the dream in our hearts when we are young. It is not our dream -- It is the World's Dream whispering to us. You have heard them say -- "Who are you that you can change the world? This is the egotism of youth. I thought that too when I was young." O brave young hearts, beat more confidently. Do not listen to the distracting voices of worldliness and failure, these sordid hearts who have abandoned the Quest. I, your sister, have seen the sun upon the heights. Come with me. We will brave the renunciations and terrors and loneliness And we will never forsake each other. We will listen to those who have won in the Quest. It is they who tell us to have more faith, to fight more bravely. Let us set forth together. We have need of one another. When they shall tell us we are lost, that we have abandoned success for fanatic dream, We will drown their shout with a Song. O self reliant hearts, come with me. Put your faith in the dream for it is the World's Dream. I am not alone and there are greater than I who call to us. I shall go on till death.

BRANDON HARRINGTON is a Chicago based composer and arts advocate. He is a founding member of the Chicago Composers Orchestra, serving on its board since inception. He is also board treasurer of Access Contemporary Music. Beyond his musical life, Brandon is an accountant working in the affordable housing industry. Soprano ELIZABETH SHUMAN has recently been featured in Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, a polyphonic experimental concept contemplating the melodies of Strauss and Bach interposed with songs from the children's teeth-brushing podcast, “Chompers.” Elizabeth appears regularly with Chicago Choral Artists, Marion Consort, and Vox 3 Collective. An avid explorer of early music, Elizabeth has performed in early music festivals in Boston and Berkely. She has also enjoyed solo performances at Friends of the Windows recital series, the Schubertiade festival, the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, Liederstube, and Early Music at the Barn. Soli Deo Gloria. Born in Incheon, South Korea, YOUNG JEE CHO-PARK began studying piano at the age of 5. She was a church pianist since she was eight years old and also was a choir accompanist during her elementary school years. After spending high school years as an active soloist and a collaborative pianist in New York, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from Wheaton College (Illinois) and completed her Master’s Program in Piano Performance and Collaborative Arts at Northwestern University. In addition to working as a collaborative pianist for numerous instrumentalists and singers in the Chicagoland area, Young jee is an educator and piano instructor.


FOURTH COAST ENSEMBLE is a classical vocal quartet specializing in the unique style and repertoire of vocal chamber music. Celebrated for "doing everything an organization can to sustain the viability of art song in Chicago” (Vocal Arts Chicago), Fourth Coast Ensemble embraces a repertoire that spans the history of the genre, from Schubert and Brahms to composers of the present day, including Lita Grier, Andrea Clearfield, and Lori Laitman. Founded in 2013, the ensemble commissioned its first world premiere song cycle in 2018, I-Thou, by Chicago composer Wayland Rogers. In 2019, Fourth Coast became the first and exclusive Chicago presenter of songSLAM, a competition for new art song. In addition to producing its Chicago-area concert season, Fourth Coast has accepted residencies with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago and Baroque on Beaver festival (Beaver Island, MI); led panel discussions at Northwestern University and Olivet Nazarene University; and performed as guest artist at College of DuPage, Lewis University, and Roosevelt University. Fourth Coast Ensemble has cultivated a loyal and growing audience through imaginative programming and intimate performances, and earned a reputation of excellence “built on the quality of its small roster of artists” (Vocal Arts Chicago). The ensemble's core members - soprano Sarah van der Ploeg, mezzo-soprano Bridget Skaggs, tenor Ace Gangoso, and bass-baritone David Govertsen - perform regularly with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Haymarket Opera, Chicago a cappella, Chicago Fringe Opera, Chicago Folks Operetta, the Chicago Ensemble, and Music of the Baroque. Fourth Coast Ensemble performs with a roster of elite collaborative pianists, including Dana Brown, Kuang-Hao Huang, Mark Bilyeu, Andrew Rosenblum, and Marianne Parker. The ensemble has recorded music of Lori Laitman for a future CD release. MISSION STATEMENT Fourth Coast Ensemble is a vocal chamber quartet committed to performing programs of creative and accessible vocal chamber music. With a repertoire spanning Romantic to Contemporary, Fourth Coast Ensemble presents salon-style performances in venues ranging from parlor to concert hall. The goal at each performance is to communicate an atmosphere of warmth, variety, and genuine expression. Fourth Coast Ensemble creates a dialogue that invites each audience member to feel comfortable, as though they were listening to music in their own living room surrounded by friends. SPARKS & WIRY CRIES began in 2009 as a podcast and online magazine with a vision to contextualize art song in the sharing of recordings, interviews, and articles by prominent artists and scholars. In 2012, the Casement Fund, Ltd. encouraged co-founders Martha Guth and Erika Switzer to expand their vision and curate an art song recital series based in New York City. In 2015, Sparks received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and grew to include the songSLAM competition and a commissioning program. Since 2018, the songSLAM FESTIVAL and Art Song Magazine are actively engaging in current conversations through insightful publishing, programming, and commissioning.


Friends of Fourth Coast Donations as of July 1, 2020-April 8, 2021 $10,000+ Anonymous $5,000+ Carolyn and Peter Pereira Kathleen Arthur and Stephen Wood $2,500+ Kent Dymak and Theodore Foss $1,000+ Dana Brown Fred Donner Anonymous $500+ Francisco Salgado and Nathaniel Pusey Zachary Vanderburg and Felipe Ramos Barajas $250+ Dr. and Mrs. Peter Lagios Ellen and Craig Mandel Jennifer Marling Samme Orwig and Clark Costen Joan and James Shapiro Bridget Skaggs and Elliot Mandel Susan and Mel Skaggs Anonymous $100+ Craig Endicott Patrice Fletcher Joanne and Ken Gaines Marge Sanders Gambow Vivan Garfein and Michael Abram James Halstead Deborah Harris Bridget Henson Kuang-Hao Huang Mary Kenny Maricca Lutz Jordan Mandel Jeremy McElroy and David Beil Mary Naftzger Bob Oldershaw Kerstin and David Wellbery Paul Wiggin

SUPPORT FOURTH COAST ENSEMBLE AND CHAMPION THE POWER OF SONG Our concerts are made possible by the generosity of music lovers like you! With your help, we will continue to bring the best vocal chamber music to Chicago and the US. It is easy to become a Friend of Fourth Coast by giving today! $50+ Mark Bilyeu Jesse Blumberg Rene Blüße Lisa DiChiera Marie and Michael Doyle Kathy Erlandson Maribeth Fencl Bob and Judy Freilich Paula and Michael Getman Barbara Goering Marshall Jacobson Caitleen Kahn and Zachary Kaplan Gayle and Ira Kopin Mary Lutz-Govertsen and David Govertsen Sarah Ma Jenifer Stelmack and Chris Galazaga Marjorie Stinespring Roger Wilson Carolyn Williams Meza Sharon van der Heide


2021 HD SEASON ORIGIN STORIES "doing everything an organization can to sustain the viability of art song in Chicago” -Vocal Arts Chicago

Made possible by Anonymous support from Fourth Coast Ensemble’s 2021 HD Technology Sponsor


Generously made possible by

February 20, 2021 | 7pm CST Featuring Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

Carolyn and Peter Pereira, and Fred Donner

TENOR | BASS DUO March 20, 2021 | 7pm CST Featuring Yasuko Oura, piano Generously made possible by

Ted Foss and Kent Dymak

QUARTET REMIX April 6, 2021 | 7pm CST Featuring Kuang-Hao Huang and Yasuko Oura, piano in partnership with

songSLAM CHICAGO Generously made possible by

Dana Brown

Sarah van der Ploeg, soprano Bridget Skaggs, mezzo-soprano

April 11, 2021 | 7pm CST Featuring emcee Jake Heggie Ace Gangoso, tenor David Govertsen, bass