* Updated Date * Artemisia Vocal Trio performs new works by the Chicago Composers Consortium

For our first concert of 2021, the Chicago Composers’ Consortium is delighted to be collaborating with the local vocal group Artemisia Vocal Trio - Kaitlin Foley, Alexandra Olsavsky, and Diana Lawrence – with the added participation of Beena David.

The concert will be broadcast on Friday, April 30 at 7:30 pm Central Time on the CCC’s own YouTube channel (Concert Link). It will feature seven works for vocal trio and quartet by CCC composers Kyong Mee Choi, Kathleen Ginther, Martha Horst, Timothy Ernest Johnson, Laura Schwendinger and Elizabeth Start. Most of these pieces are premieres. The singers will also talk about their experience with the different compositions as part of the program.

This performance will NOT have the performers stitched together! The singers of Artemisia decided to be their own pod during the pandemic, so they have been able to rehearse and perform together. Therefore, despite the fact that the program will be recorded without an audience in Ganz Hall for broadcast, it will be a like an in-person concert in every other way.

Over the course of the 30+ year history of the Consortium, we have only rarely worked with vocal groups. We are happy to be remedying this notable lack with a fresh exciting program in April.

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for this unique program by a dynamic, young, local group!

What: Chicago Composers’ Consortium presents the Artemisia Trio
When: Friday, April 30 7:30
Where: The YouTube Channel of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium

Featured Works:

Pale Courage by Kyong Mee Choi

Give Sorrow Words by Kathleen Ginther

Hand Games by Martha Horst

Un jour de les voix des femmes by Timothy Ernest Johnson

STARS and All Those That Love You by Laura Schwendinger

Uncertain Futures by Elizabeth Start

To pique your interest even further about this concert, here are a few words by the composers about their pieces.

Martha – As a little girl growing up in twentieth century America, I learned hand games on the playground and from my mother, who learned them when growing up in the Appalachian Mountains. All third grade girls knew multiple moves, songs, rhythms, and patterns for various songs. The songs in my work titled Hand Games are a celebration of this rich American folk music tradition.

Tim J- In my “Un jour de les voix des femmes”, Emily Dickinson’s beautiful poem “A Day” acts as a frame around a musical exploration of other poems by Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Sophie d’Arbouville. I hope that Artemisia finds the perfect vehicle for their fun, eclectic and socially relevant approach to performance and repertoire in this music.

Kyong Mee – <Pale Courage> is a true story about the composer’s grand-aunt who chose starvation to death to fight for her dream to be educated and independent instead of being forced to marry a man who she did not know. Her father’s refusal and denial to accept her wish to go to school continued as well as her hunger strike, which led to her death. The composer wrote the text of the piece. This story also becomes the 3-act Opera, <Pale Courage> which is in the work-in-progress.

Betsy – In addition to real life and death struggles, this past year has included soul-searching on personal and national/international levels, refocusing discussions, and hope of re-imagined future dynamics, all of which are uncertain at this time. All three of the Conrad Hilberry poems I set here  present situations where the future is anticipated, but the realities unknown. The first tells us “when I’m hungry enough….. I will know what the goat knows”, but what is that? The second, looking at a relationship of two people with analogs to geometry, ends wondering if their lines will converge into a point or diverge obtusely. The final poem sets “moon” as a “metaphor for what we leave unsaid”, and the poem ends with the moon, “appalling”, about to speak.

Laura – STARS for four woman’s voices and set to a poem by the Canadian Marjorie Pickthall Pickthall published much of her work while she was still young, and died at only 39. John Garvin, writing in Canadian Poets, “evident that a genius of a rare order had appeared in Canadian literature.’’ (A) writer of pain and presence whom we all, male and female alike, ought to read” In my setting, I have sought to capture the exquisite beauty of the heavens, and that feeling we all have when we look up at the stars in awe but also how small and alone it can make us feel in the face of the utter vastness. ALL THOSE WHO LOVE YOU is for Woman’s Voices, from the Songs of Solomon, is about spiritual and romantic love. It is from my six Choral settings, commissioned by the Marsh Chapel Choir and was performed by them at Carnegie Hall in 2012. These two settings are paired to capture two kinds of wonder, human love and transcendental awe.

KC – In addition to the universal sorrow and grief of the past year, ’Give Sorrow Words’ had a more specific impetus – an article in Vanity Fair by Ta-Nihisi Coates about Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor. This article affected me deeply. I was blown away by the courage of this woman in facing the unimaginable loss of her daughter. I wrote ‘Give Sorrow Words’ thinking of all the mothers, and all the fathers, and everyone who has lost a child during this year of tragedy. The words are by Shakespeare and Rumi.


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