Deepening Relationships with Visionary Composer Melissa Dunphy

I feel, on a deeper level, as though this is part of what Resonance can do. We can help bring innovative new choral works to life, works that can shine a light on some of the most challenging issues our society faces today. We can promote existing works that haven’t yet found a wide audience. And we can partner closely with visionary composers like the amazing Melissa Dunphy, who I am now grateful to call my friend.
— Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director
Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon with composer Melissa Dunphy

Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon with composer Melissa Dunphy

About two years ago, I was finalizing repertoire for our 2017-18 season's concerts. Resonance singer Christine Johnson reached out to me and said that she knew an amazing piece I should consider for our BODIES concert collaboration with Pride Northwest. It was called "What Do You Think I Fought for at Omaha Beach?", and it was by a composer whose work I didn't yet know, Melissa Dunphy. Christine had performed it with her previous choir, the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, and Melissa Dunphy had been their composer in residence.

I was blown away by this piece. It set the Maine Senate testimony of an unassuming elderly WWII veteran, Phillip Spooner, who was asked whether he believed in equal rights for gay and lesbian people. He asked, "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?" and explained that he fought for equality, not so that his gay son would have fewer rights than his other sons. I found the text extraordinarily moving, but I also felt like the composer had created a special kind of musical magic. The music created a sense of dramatic arc, with intense ebbs and flows that highlighted the emotion behind the text. And it was so beautifully written for the voice. "Who is this composer?," I thought.

So, as one does in the modern age, I did a deep dive into Google and found all of Melissa's works on her website. She has composed a treasure trove of exquisite choral music with texts that engage deeply with some of the most challenging social and political issues of our time. I programmed Melissa's multi-movement American DREAMers on the next season, for the fall of 2018.

Fast-forward to the fall of 2018, when the fall season began accompanied by the heartbreaking and courageous Senate testimony of Christine Blasey Ford in the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. For me, and for many women I know, one of the most frustrating aspects of the hearings was hearing how Dr. Ford was personally attacked, and learning that she and her family had been threatened, for telling her story. I stomped around feeling helpless until I realized what I could do, in my own sphere -- I could amplify this story by commissioning it to be set to music. And I could pair it with the unfortunately parallel testimony of Anita Hill, two and a half decades earlier. Conveniently, Resonance had already programmed a concert with our female singers called Women Singing Women for February of 2019.

By now you must see where this is going (and maybe you have heard this amazing work!) -- I reached out to Melissa, knowing her to be the ideal composer for this project, and asked whether there was any chance she'd have time to compose something by January 2019 (just three months away at that point! Not the ideal turnaround time....) She immediately said yes, having had a similar experience watching Dr. Ford's testimony.

Melissa's work LISTEN was phenomenal, and our performances sold out. Audiences didn't just shed gentle tears, but they sobbed audibly. It provided a kind of collective catharsis that many of us needed.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to give a joint presentation at the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference with Melissa. I proposed this session, on the Innovation and Social Conscience in the Music of Melissa Dunphy, because I believe conductors NEED to know her work. The session was a blast -- like getting to sit up in front of conductors I know and love, with a composer I know and love, and talking about music and issues that are deeply important and personal to me. (Also, if you haven't heard Melissa speak before, she is brilliant and funny and wise, and I would delightedly shoot the breeze with her for hours!) And afterwards, many conductors came up to me and thanked me for bringing Melissa's work to their attention.

I feel, on a deeper level, as though this is part of what Resonance can do. We can help bring innovative new choral works to life, works that can shine a light on some of the most challenging issues our society faces today. We can promote existing works that haven't yet found a wide audience. And we can partner closely with visionary composers like the amazing Melissa Dunphy, who I am now grateful to call my friend.

AUDITION ANNOUNCEMENT — Auditions for An African American Requiem Choir Officially Announced

Northwest singers invited to be a part of this groundbreaking concert!  (image by Oregon Symphony)

Northwest singers invited to be a part of this groundbreaking concert! (image by Oregon Symphony)

My vision for this piece is that the choir is made up of folks from all walks of life who share in the common experience of humanity.
— Damien Geter, Composer of "An African American Requiem"

For immediate release:Monday, November 14, 2019
Email: info@resonancechoral.org 
Web:
resonancechoral.org
Media Contact: Liz Bacon Brownson 
Phone: 971-212-8034

PORTLAND, OR — Resonance invites experienced singers from around the Northwest to audition for a unique and groundbreaking performance opportunity. The 120-voice choir (including Resonance Ensemble’s core group + members of Kingdom Sound Gospel Ensemble ) will perform as the African American Requiem Choir for the world premiere of Damien Geter's An African American Requiem. This revolutionary work will be performed in Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with the Oregon Symphony on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

“We know firsthand that singing in a choir can bring people together like nothing else.” says Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon. “We are seeking skilled singers from all of Portland's communities to bring this important work to life.”

Auditions will take place on November 18th and 19th.

For more information on how to schedule and prepare for an audition CLICK HERE.

For more information about An African American Requiem CLICK HERE.


“Beautiful Minds” to feature world premiere of Portland Composer Brandon Stewart's "Alone"

It is about feeling alone in spite of all the evidence to the contrary - living with a void, both inside and out - feeling like only death would give me peace - feeling like nothing was keeping me here aside from some instinct to live.
— Brandon Stewart, Composer

On Saturday & Sunday, Oct 5 & 6, Resonance will feature the world premiere of Portland composer Brandon Stewart’s “AlonE”, setting a Sara Teasdale poem that depicts depression and the contemplation of suicide. The following is Stewart’s program notes.

Sara Teasdale's “Alone” is a poem very close to my heart and has been ever since I first stumbled upon it during my undergraduate studies. It so simply, yet eloquently, put into words the emotional state in which I had been living for a very long time. When I first started working on the piece, my goal was to use it to show how prolific depression was and still is in our society – to take a step back from that misery and analyze it from a new and slightly more optimistic perspective; “We are not alone in our loneliness.”

Brandon Stewart, Composer of “Alone” to premiere on “Beautiful Minds” Oct 5 & 6.

Brandon Stewart, Composer of “Alone” to premiere on “Beautiful Minds” Oct 5 & 6.

But the more I lived with this poem, the more I realized that is not what “Alone” is about. It is about feeling alone in spite of all the evidence to the contrary - living with a void, both inside and out - feeling like only death would give me peace - feeling like nothing was keeping me here aside from some instinct to live. “Alone” is about a woman who succumbed to her illness at the age of 48. And so, these were the things I sought to convey in the finished piece.
I invite everyone reading this note to read Teasdale's words through that lens and to allow yourself to feel what she is describing for the duration of this piece. My hope is that visiting this darkness for seven minutes will give you a new perspective on what it might feel like to live there every day. — B. Stewart (2019)


Beautiful Minds, a concert performed by the region’s finest singers sharing musical stories about living with depression, anxiety, and trauma, will open on October 5th at 7:30pm with a second performance on October 6 at 4:00pm, both at Cerimon House in NE Portland. CLICK HERE for tickets.

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Board President Dinah Dodds leaves a great void.

Photo credit: Rachel Hadiashar

Photo credit: Rachel Hadiashar

There is little I can say that can speak to the depth of gratitude and love I have for Dinah, and that I know so many others share.
— Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director

It is with utmost sadness that we share the news that our president and friend Dinah Dodds passed away late Thursday evening after a brave battle with cancer. 

There are few words to express the enormity of this loss. Dinah was simply a remarkable human being — a vibrant and passionate leader who devoted her life to the pursuit of knowledge and public service to the arts. We were fortunate she chose to dedicate so much of her time to Resonance Ensemble. She had a profound impact on all of us and leaves behind a lasting legacy. 

Dinah served on the Resonance Board of Directors from 2014 until her death, serving as our president over the last two years. Under Dinah’s devoted leadership, we have developed our current social justice focus, commissioned multiple major new choral works, created a Poet in Residence position, received a national award from Chorus America, and received a major grant to support our upcoming collaboration with the Oregon Symphony: the world premiere of Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem, which Dinah had championed. 

Dinah received an award from Bethel A.M.E Church for her work building community and understanding through music. It is noteworthy that these accomplishments all took place after she was living with cancer, and she led Resonance’s meetings with energy, insight, and passion. 

“There is little I can say that can speak to the depth of gratitude and love I have for Dinah, and that I know so many others share, “ says Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon, “I can't imagine a human who better epitomizes generous service to others. Her passing leaves a great void for all of us.”

Dinah is lovingly remembered by her family, friends, students, and by so many people whose lives were enriched by knowing her. We are grateful for her commitment to education and the arts, and for her compassionate approach to leadership. Her loved ones are in our thoughts as they go through these most difficult times. 

Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

You are welcome to leave your condolences via email or our Facebook page.

Please note: all these beautiful images of Dinah (save for the obvious cell-phone selfies) were taken by one of Dinah’s favorite photographers Rachel Hadiashar)

Resonance Ensemble Presents: "Beautiful Minds"

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PORTLAND, OR — In honor of World Mental Health Day, Resonance Ensemble kicks off its 2019-20 season with Beautiful Minds, a concert performed by the region’s finest singers sharing musical stories about living with depression, anxiety, and trauma. The concert will open on October 5th at 7:30pm with a second performance on October 6 at 4:00pm, both at Cerimon House in NE Portland.

“As with all of Resonance concerts, we will perform thought-provoking new vocal music that shines a light on different and often neglected perspectives, in this case mental illness,” says Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon. “The power of music to heal is never more present than when artists create work that highlights a universal struggle.” 

Music will be featured that will share stories that foster understanding, with a goal of helping reduce the stigma of mental illness. The concert will include: 

Beautiful Minds will also serve to connect community members with mental health resources in the local Portland area.

 “We have partnered with Trillium Family Services and their KEEP OREGON WELL campaign as well as the Oregon chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, two local mental health organizations who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for Oregonians living with mental illness,” FitzGibbon says. 

‘We hope everyone will join us for this evening of tender, vulnerable music-making, whether they have a personal link to the themes, love to hear extraordinary new premieres, or come because they trust Resonance to create powerful programs that promote meaningful social change.” 


BEAUTIFUL MINDS

October 5, 2019 | 7:30 PM
October 6, 2019 | 4:00 PM
Cerimon House | 5131 NE  23rd Avenue, Portland

Tickets: $30 general; $25 senior; $15 student

Resonancechoral.org | 503.427-8701
#beautifulminds
#keeporegonwell

Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon and Damien Geter are available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034

About the Resonance Ensemble 2019-20 season: 

In its eleventh season, Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates thoughtful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners. 

Resonance Ensemble’s outstanding musicians give voice to the concerns, hopes, and dreams of all communities. Their concerts reflect this in the themes that reside in BEAUTIFUL MINDS, SAFE HARBOR, and AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM. 

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance Ensemble singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart. 

The groundbreaking work that Resonance Ensemble has been producing over the last few years has been noted by local media and national arts organizations. In Oregon Arts Watch, Matthew Andrews described Resonance this June as “Part social commentary, part group therapy, and part best damn choir show in town." Chorus America honored Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon this summer with the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal for her work rededicating Resonance to promoting meaningful social change, and for the meaningful community partnerships she creates. For the tribute to Dr. FitzGibbon, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaJMVozrcPo

About Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon:

Katherine FitzGibbon is Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week. With Resonance, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Oregon Poet Laureate, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance partners with local artists and community organizations to explore questions of equity and inclusion.  

Dr. FitzGibbon was just named the winner of the 2019 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Given periodically by Chorus America, the nation’s premier organization supporting the advancement of choral music today, the Louis Botto Award recognizes a mid-career choral leader for her exceptional work in developing a professional choral ensemble. An independent panel selected Dr. FitzGibbon to receive the award, which will be presented at Chorus America’s 2019 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be held June 26–29.

Dr. FitzGibbon is also Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” A faculty member at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival, Dr. FitzGibbon has also conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She is a lyric soprano and music historian whose research on German choral music and politics has been presented and published internationally. 

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Resonance Ensemble receives $100,000 Creative Heights Grant

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Resonance Ensemble Receives $100,000 Creative Heights Grant to Premiere Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem

PORTLAND, OR —Resonance Ensemble has been awarded a $100,000 grant from The Oregon Community Foundation Creative Heights Initiative. The grant will help fund the world premiere of composer Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem, a pivotal work memorializing the lives of African Americans lost to racist violence in the United States, and the first work of its kind to be performed in Oregon. The work, a commission by Resonance Ensemble, will be presented by Resonance in partnership with the Oregon Symphony on Saturday, May 23, 2020, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

“Resonance is thrilled to receive this grant from The Oregon Community Foundation,” offers Resonance’s Artistic Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon. “As yet, there has not been a Requiem written in memory of African Americans who have lost their lives to racial violence; this will be a groundbreaking project that we believe can have a tremendous impact on all Oregonians. We are proud to partner with the Oregon Symphony as a conduit for Damien Geter’s incredibly important work.” 

This concert-length work draws upon classical, jazz, and folk traditions. The Requiem uses the traditional Latin Requiem text for many movements but also incorporates spirituals and texts from civil rights activists Ida B. Wells, Eric Garner, Jamilia Land, and Antwone Rose. The final movement is scored for orchestra and narrator, with words penned and performed by African American poet and Portland resident S. Renee Mitchell.

“I am so grateful to The Oregon Community Foundation for seeing the value in our work,” says Geter. “This funding will help us to have timely and crucial conversations with Oregonians and hopefully beyond. I consider myself an activist through my art, and this Requiem is a perfect marriage of these passions.”

The premiere will feature a choir specially assembled by FitzGibbon, the African American Requiem Choir, featuring professional singers of Resonance Ensemble and Kingdom Sound Gospel Choir and representatives of other area choirs, and four renowned African American soloists: Brandie Sutton, soprano; Karmesha Peake, mezzo-soprano; Bernard Holcomb, tenor; and Kenneth Overton, baritone. 

I am so grateful to The Oregon Community Foundation for seeing the value in our work.
— Damien Geter, Composer
Resonance Ensemble Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon with composer Damien Geter

Resonance Ensemble Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon with composer Damien Geter

ABOUT DAMIEN GETER:

Composer Damien Geter infuses classical music with various styles from the black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice. Also a bass-baritone, Damien's 2019-2020 season includes appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Eugene Opera, Resonance Ensemble, and Third Angle New Music. His most recent composition, The Talk: Instructions for Black Children When They Interact with the Police, was premiered with Resonance Ensemble in June 2019.  He is thrilled about the production of An African American Requiem, in partnership with Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony. For more about Mr.Geter’s work, visit damiengetermusic.com 

ABOUT RESONANCE ENSEMBLE:

Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates powerful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and does so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners.

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart. As Oregon Arts Watch recently wrote, “They do social justice music justice: their concerts are part social commentary, part group therapy, and part best damn choir show in town.”

For more information about Resonance Ensemble, visit resonancechoral.org or contact RE’s Box Office, (503) 427-8701. 

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Resonance Ensemble announces its eleventh season: “Programming with Purpose”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2019

Part social commentary, part group therapy, and part best damn choir show in town.
— Matt Andrews, Oregon Arts Watch (June 2019)

Resonance Ensemble announces its eleventh season:
 “Programming with Purpose”

PORTLAND, OR — Resonance Ensemble announces its 2019-20 season with an emphasis on new music that highlights underrepresented perspectives. The season will kick off with BEAUTIFUL MINDS on October 5 and 6, 2019; SAFE HARBOR on March 1, 2020; and, in partnership with the Oregon Symphony, the world premiere of Resonance’s commission of Damien Geter’s AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM on May 23, 2020. 

Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon says, “We’ve planned a season where every concert is lovingly curated with brilliant and thought-provoking new vocal music, sung by the region’s finest singers. All are welcome to these performances, whether they have a personal link to the themes, love to hear extraordinary new premieres, or come because they trust Resonance to create powerful programs that promote meaningful social change.” 

Each concert will feature an original new poem by Resonance’s Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell.

BEAUTIFUL MINDS
October 5, 2019 | 7:30 PM and October 6, 2019 | 4:00 p.m.
Cerimon House | 5131 NE  23rd Avenue, Portland

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In the United States, almost half of all adults will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Our opening concert, Beautiful Minds, focuses on the perspectives of those who experience mental illness and trauma. In honor of World Mental Health Day, we perform selections that share individual stories and challenge all of us to support those who are battling mental illness. 

Music will include Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Scenes from Unremembered, Jake Runestad’s Please Stay, a Sonic Meditation by Pauline Oliveros, An Atom of Faith by Lisa Bielawa, Melissa Dunphy’s O Oriens, an excerpt from Next to Normal, and the world premiere of Portland composer Brandon Stewart’s Alone.

SAFE HARBOR
March 1, 2020| 4:00 PM
Alberta Rose Theatre | 3000 NE Alberta Street

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Immigration and asylum are ever-present in current political and public debate in the United States. In Safe Harbor, Resonance explores varying experiences of coming to the U.S. through brilliant new music that tells the stories of immigrants and refugees. Composers include Eric Banks, Melissa Dunphy, John Muehleisen, Caroline Shaw, and Ysaye Barnwell. Resonance will give the world premieres of “Mother of Exiles,” by Portland composer Theresa Koon, and a new commissioned work by guest composer and performer, Portland violinist/looper Joe Kye, integrating folk music from his native Korea with American folk music and improvisation. 

AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM  
May 23, 2020, at 7:30 p.m

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | 1037 SW Broadway, Portland

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Oregon Symphony and Resonance Ensemble join forces to present the world premiere of An African American Requiem, Portland composer Damien Geter’s bold, thought-provoking musical response to violence against African Americans in the United States. Combining traditional Latin Requiem texts with civil rights declarations, poetry, and the famous last words of Eric Garner, “I can’t breathe,” this performance will honor past and present victims of racial violence and spur reflection on how to build a more hopeful future. 

For more details about An African American Requiem, click here.

Season subscriptions are on sale now. Season subscribers will have access to deeply discounted tickets to our season concerts, including the Requiem world premiere in Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall as well as the other amazing concerts on this season’s series. Subscription packages offer savings off of single ticket prices, exclusive benefits and personalized customer service. Regular full-season subscriptions are available for $300, $200 and $150 and include guaranteed tickets to all of the Resonance Ensemble concerts. For more information about subscriptions, click here or contact RE’s Box Office, (503) 427-8701. Single tickets are available online to the general public starting September 1, 2019.

Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon and Damien Geter are available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034

About the Resonance Ensemble 2019-20 season: 

In its eleventh season, Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates thoughtful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners. 

Resonance Ensemble’s outstanding musicians give voice to the concerns, hopes, and dreams of all communities. Their concerts reflect this in the themes that reside in BEAUTIFUL MINDS, SAFE HARBOR, and AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM. 

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance Ensemble singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart. 

The groundbreaking work that Resonance Ensemble has been producing over the last few years has been noted by local media and national arts organizations. In Oregon Arts Watch, Matthew Andrews described Resonance this June as “Part social commentary, part group therapy, and part best damn choir show in town." Chorus America honored Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon this summer with the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal for her work rededicating Resonance to promoting meaningful social change, and for the meaningful community partnerships she creates. For the tribute to Dr. FitzGibbon, click here.

For more information: 
Website:/resonancechoral.org
Facebook: /resonanceensemblepdx
Instagram:/resonanceensemblepdx
Twitter: /resonanceensemblepdx

About Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon:

Katherine FitzGibbon is Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week. With Resonance, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Oregon Poet Laureate, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance partners with local artists and community organizations to explore questions of equity and inclusion. 

Dr. FitzGibbon was just named the winner of the 2019 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Given periodically by Chorus America, the nation’s premier organization supporting the advancement of choral music today, the Louis Botto Award recognizes a mid-career choral leader for her exceptional work in developing a professional choral ensemble. An independent panel selected Dr. FitzGibbon to receive the award, which will be presented at Chorus America’s 2019 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be held June 26–29.

Dr. FitzGibbon is also Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” A faculty member at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival, Dr. FitzGibbon has also conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She is a lyric soprano and music historian whose research on German choral music and politics has been presented and published internationally. 

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The Oregon Symphony and Resonance Ensemble present the World Premiere of Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem

IMAGE CREDIT: The Oregon Symphony

IMAGE CREDIT: The Oregon Symphony

Resonance Ensemble is thrilled to announce our upcoming collaboration with the Oregon Symphony to premiere Damien Geter's pivotal work, An African American Requiem, in Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on May 23, 2020.

Very shortly we will be announcing our NEW season subscription packages. Season subscribers will have access to deeply discounted tickets to our season concerts, including the Requiem world premiere in Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall as well as the other amazing concerts on this season’s series.

Please stay tuned for information on how to purchase your season subscription, so you won't miss this world premiere and all of Resonance's powerful concerts promoting meaningful social change, all at great prices and with exciting new perks!

Through innovative new works, the Symphony has moved audiences and sparked conversations about many challenging issues we face today including immigration, the environment, and homelessness. When Resonance Ensemble proposed this partnership we enthusiastically agreed.
— Scott Showalter, Oregon Symphony President
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 15, 2019 

“We are living in communities that are like war zones.”
Jamilia Land, California Families United for Justice
Quoted in
An African American Requiem

The Oregon Symphony and Portland’s Resonance Ensemble present the World Premiere of Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem on May 23, 2020 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 

PORTLAND, OR — The Oregon Symphony and Portland’s Resonance Ensemble are honored to announce a new Special Concert to their 2019/20 Seasons: the world premiere of composer Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem, a pivotal work honoring the lives of African Americans lost to racist violence in the United States, and the first work of its kind to be performed in Oregon. The concert will be presented Saturday, May 23, 2020, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

“In 2017, Damien Geter approached us with the idea to compose An African American Requiem, and Resonance Ensemble enthusiastically commissioned it,” explains Resonance’s Artistic Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon. “As yet, there has not been a Requiem written in memory of African Americans who have lost their lives to racist violence over the last four centuries; this will be a groundbreaking project that we believe can have tremendous impact on Oregonians. It serves as a commentary on the war of racism whose increasing casualties are left unnumbered and counting. Damien’s work is extraordinary and moving, and we knew from the beginning that our ideal collaborator on this premiere would be the Oregon Symphony.”

“Music has the power to inspire, educate, and heal,” says Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter. “Through innovative new works, the Symphony has moved audiences and sparked conversations about many challenging issues we face today including immigration, the environment, and homelessness. When Resonance Ensemble proposed this partnership we enthusiastically agreed.”

“This is the largest work I’ve ever written, and I feel like I’ve been writing it my entire life - not in terms of time, but in terms of being a black man in today’s America, and also through various influences of music,” explains Geter. “I hope that this leads to important conversations in Oregon and beyond. As someone who considers himself an activist through art, the Requiem is the perfect marriage of the two: art + activism.”

The premiere will feature a choir specially assembled by FitzGibbon for this work, the African American Requiem Choir, with the professional singers of Resonance Ensemble and Kingdom Sound Gospel Choir featured, and four renowned African American singers: Brandie Sutton, soprano; Karmesha Peake, mezzo-soprano; Bernard Holcomb, tenor; and Kenneth Overton, baritone. The final movement will be scored for orchestra and narrator, with words penned and performed by African American poet and Portland resident, S. Renee Mitchell.

“We are thrilled to bring this work to the hall,” says FitzGibbon, “and we welcome all people to experience it.”


AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM   

WHEN: Saturday, May 23, 2020 | 7:30 pm
WHERE: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
COST:  $20-$100
SINGLE TICKETS: orsymphony.org 
(for a better value - buy a Resonance Season Subscription! Details coming soon! )

MORE ABOUT THE WORK
This concert-length work honors African American victims of lynching past and present by hanging and by other violence, with music that draws upon classical, jazz, and gospel traditions. The Requiem will use the traditional Latin Requiem text for many movements but also incorporate spirituals (“There’s A Man Goin’ Round” and “Kumbaya”) and texts from civil rights activists Ida B. Wells, “Lynching is a Color-Line Crime,” and Jamilia Land, “We are living in communities that are like war zones.” One movement is dedicated solely to Eric Garner’s famous last words, “I can’t breathe,” and uses no wind instruments but rather a tenor soloist who sings over the constant roar of percussion instruments in an effort to be heard over them. Another movement recognizes children who have been killed and uses a line from a poem by Antwon Rose, “I am confused and afraid.” The final movement will be scored for orchestra and narrator, with words penned and performed by African American poet and Portland resident S. Renee Mitchell.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:
The premiere will feature a choir specially assembled for this work, the African American Requiem Choir, featuring Resonance Ensemble and members of other Portland-area choirs. Assembled by Katherine FitzGibbon, this choir will represent the racial and ethnic diversity of the broader Portland community. As Damien Geter writes, “My experience has been that the choral singers themselves form a new community through the rehearsal and performance process.”

The solo vocal quartet consists of four renowned African American singers: Brandie Sutton, soprano; Karmesha Peake, mezzo-soprano; Bernard Holcomb, tenor; and Kenneth Overton, baritone.

Note to Journalists: Damien Geter and Katherine FitzGibbon are available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034.

Community panel discussions will be announced in the coming months.

ABOUT DAMIEN GETER:
Composer Damien Geter infuses classical music with various styles from the black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice. Also a bass-baritone, Damien's 2019-2020 season includes appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Eugene Opera, Resonance Ensemble, and Third Angle New Music. His most recent composition, The Talk: Instructions for Black Children When They Interact with the Police, was premiered with Resonance Ensemble in June 2019.  He is thrilled about the production of An African American Requiem, in partnership with Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony. For more about Mr.Geter’s work, visit damiengetermusic.com 

ABOUT RESONANCE ENSEMBLE:
Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates powerful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and does so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners.

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart. As Oregon Arts Watch recently wrote, “They do social justice music justice: their concerts are part social commentary, part group therapy, and part best damn choir show in town.”

#anafricanamericanrequiem
#resonanceensemble
#oregonsymphony

Website:/resonancechoral.org
Facebook: /resonanceensemblepdx
Instagram:/resonanceensemblepdx
Twitter: /resonanceensemblepdx

ABOUT RESONANCE ENSEMBLE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR KATHERINE FITZGIBBON
Katherine FitzGibbon is Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week. With Resonance, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Oregon Poet Laureate, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance partners with local artists and community organizations to explore questions of equity and inclusion.  

Dr. FitzGibbon was just named the winner of the 2019 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Given periodically by Chorus America, the nation’s premier organization supporting the advancement of choral music today, the Louis Botto Award recognizes a mid-career choral leader for her exceptional work in developing a professional choral ensemble. An independent panel selected Dr. FitzGibbon to receive the award, which will be presented at Chorus America’s 2019 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be held June 26–29.

Dr. FitzGibbon is also Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” A faculty member at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival, Dr. FitzGibbon has also conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She is a lyric soprano and music historian whose research on German choral music and politics has been presented and published internationally. 

ABOUT THE OREGON SYMPHONY:
The multi-Grammy-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar, it serves over 300,000 people annually through more than 110 performances and award-winning education and community engagement programs. Through All Classical Portland and American Public Media’s SymphonyCast and Performance Today the Symphony reaches over 15 million listeners. Now in its 124th year, the Oregon Symphony is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi.

Known for innovative programming, the Symphony gained national recognition for its ground-breaking Sounds of Home Series which revolutionized the role of the arts in addressing three of the most critical social issues of the day: immigration, the environment, and homelessness. This series made a powerful impact in the community through innovative art, cross-sector partnerships with 37 organizations, and civic leadership and culminated with the recording of Oregon Symphony’s commission, emergency shelter intake form, by composer Gabriel Kahane to be released in March 2020.

At a time when many orchestras are reducing their classical programming, the Oregon Symphony is continuing to invest in the art form. In the 2018/19 season the Symphony premiered more than 20 compositions, including works by eight living composers such as John Adams, Unsuk Chin, and John Corigliano, to name a few. Effective with the 2019/20 season, the Symphony is expanding its Classical Series to 18 weeks. The schedule includes the return of the Symphony’s popular SoundSights concerts which were first presented in 2016/17. These visually stunning programs incorporate a rich tapestry of artistic elements which particularly appeal to new audiences.

About Resonance Poet in Residence and African American Requiem librettist/narrator S. Renee Mitchell:
S. Renee Mitchell is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur-thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault, and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to the community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voices, and their places in the world. For more about Ms. Mitchell’s work, visit ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com 

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THE TOP TEN WAYS WE WORKED TO REFLECT  THE BEST OF HUMANITY IN 2018-2019

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A true reflection of the best of humanity every time.
— Mimi Sei, Audience Member

At the end of August last year, we asked Resonance supporter Mimi Sei if we could publish her beautiful quote in our soon-to-be-printed season brochure.  "Of course!" she said. "I just love what I experience at your concerts! Please feel free to share my words." 

That conversation doesn't seem so long ago. On Sunday, June 9th we closed our final performance of Intensive Care at the beautiful Cerimon House, and looked back at this season, which produced 4 concerts - 3 of which were sellouts- 5 premieres and countless relationships. It has been quite a year. 

Women Singing Women , February 2019  (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Women Singing Women, February 2019 (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

In keeping with the celebration of this tenth season and Mimi's sentiment, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to describe ten ways Resonance Ensemble worked to “truly reflect the best of humanity” this year. 

THE TOP TEN WAYS RESONANCE ENSEMBLE WORKED TO REFLECT  THE BEST OF HUMANITY IN 2018-2019

  1. Programming with Purpose. This year we were awarded a year of monthly meetings with Arts & Culture consultant George Thorn through RACC’s Cultural Leadership Program. Through this work with George we have been given the tools we need to build on the shift in our mission focus, organizational development and long range strategic planning. Consequently, our 2018-19 season started with a strong board of directors, a clear plan, and a season of concerts that intentionally addressed themes highlighting diverse solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing arts, and community partners. 

Derrick McDuffey conducts professional gospel ensemble, Kingdom Sound. — October 2018 ( Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Derrick McDuffey conducts professional gospel ensemble, Kingdom Sound. — October 2018 (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Building Community.  Our season opened with our first Giltner House fundraising party! In September a houseful of Resonance supporters enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and drinks and enjoyed special performances by Resonance artists, up close and personal. This kickoff to our tenth season was held at the one-of-a-kind Giltner House, a historic home restored by host John McCullough, who continues the tradition begun by its original owners almost a century ago: supporting arts and culture in our community.

Giltner House Fundraiser — September 2018  (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Giltner House Fundraiser — September 2018 (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

3. Amplifying Voices of Color.  In October Resonance featured music that spoke to the lived experiences of racial inequality in the United States at the oldest A.M.E black church in Oregon, Bethel A.M.E.. This concert included the world premiere of Damien Geter’s first movement of An African American Requiem, which we will premiere in 2019-2020 season. (Stay tuned for an upcoming exciting announcement!)

BRAVO Youth Orchestra performs at our HIDDEN VOICES concert at Bethel A.M.E. Church — October 2018  (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

BRAVO Youth Orchestra performs at our HIDDEN VOICES concert at Bethel A.M.E. Church — October 2018 (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

4. Tangible Connection.  We’re talking to you, Reverend Terry McCray and Bethel A.M.E. Church, BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Derrick McDuffey and Kingdom Sound, pianists Kira Whiting and David Saffert, Resonance Poet in Residence S. Renee Mitchell, Randall Stuart and Cerimon House, guest artist Maria Karlin, composers Melissa Dunphy, Ben Kinkley, Renee Favand-See, Stacey Phillips, Joan Szymko, and Stephen Caldwell, flutist Sarah Tiedemann, and Portland Percussion Project. 

Maria Karlin sings her arrangement of Suzanne Vega’s  Blood Makes Noise —February 2019  (Photo Credit Rachel Hadiashar)

Maria Karlin sings her arrangement of Suzanne Vega’s Blood Makes Noise—February 2019 (Photo Credit Rachel Hadiashar)

5. Amplifying Women’s Voices. In February Resonance embarked on an exploration of music by women about their experiences as women in our second concert of the season, Women Singing Women. The afternoon included the world premiere of a new commission, LISTEN, from award-winning composer Melissa Dunphy, with texts by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Prof. Anita Hill. 

The women of Resonance at Cerimon House for  Women Singing Women , February 2019  (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

The women of Resonance at Cerimon House for Women Singing Women, February 2019 (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

6. Offering Encore Performances of Important Music. When we debuted Women Singing Women in February, the concert was sold out with a substantial waiting list. It was clear to the Resonance Ensemble Board that this music needed a second performance. We were truly delighted to be able to present it a second time in May to yet another sold out crowd. 

Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon  (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

7. Fully funding our Crowdsourcing Campaign for our First CD! Celebrating our 10th season was the perfect excuse to focus on the launch of our first CD, "LISTEN."  Hours in the recording studio created the music, but we needed help with production and were overwhelmed at the response to our ask. It was with great amounts of gratitude that we announced at our final concert that through the support of our Kickstarter campaign, we have produced the music we worked so hard to record. 

Intensive Care Concert — June 2019 ( Photo Credit Rachel Hadiashar )

Intensive Care Concert — June 2019 (Photo Credit Rachel Hadiashar)

8. Tackling Challenging Subject Matters. Our final performance of our season reflected on all whose early days of parenthood are different than envisioned -- with babies born early, babies sick, babies lost. Several of us in the Resonance family have experienced these challenges, and experienced them together. Damien Geter offered an incredibly moving world premiere of The Talk: Instructions for Black Children When They Interact with the Police. Long-time Resonance artist Ben Kinkley premiered the song he wrote for his son Gabe on that concert. And we gave the West Coast premiere of composer Stephen Caldwell’s moving work, Pre-Existing Condition, written to honor his son’s birth with a congenital heart defect, setting original texts and poems by ee cummings. We revisited our 2014 commision from Renee Favand-See, Only in Falling, setting poems of Wendell Berry in memory of her beloved infant son Owen.

Poet in Residence S. Renee Mitchell performs with the choir for the world premiere of Damien Geter’s piece  The Talk: Instructions for Black Children When They Interact with the Police. (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Poet in Residence S. Renee Mitchell performs with the choir for the world premiere of Damien Geter’s piece The Talk: Instructions for Black Children When They Interact with the Police. (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Katherine Fitzgibbon with her award from Chorus America. — June 2019

Katherine Fitzgibbon with her award from Chorus America. — June 2019

9. Receiving Awards for Important Work. On June 27, 2019, Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon took the stage in Philadelphia to be recognized by Chorus America as she received the Louis Botto Award for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Ongoing proof of the national recognition we are receiving for our work.

10. Looking to the Future. The work goes on.  As we get ready to announce our 2019-2020 season, we continue to make connections that will allow us to fulfill the work of our mission on a grander scale in the years to come. We are grateful to all of you for your support and participation in Resonance’s mission. 

Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon and Board Member and composer/artist Damien Geter at a 2018-19 Resonance Gratitude event — June 2019  (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon and Board Member and composer/artist Damien Geter at a 2018-19 Resonance Gratitude event — June 2019 (Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar)

Our LISTEN Album project is 100% Funded!

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


With your help, our LISTEN album is now 100% funded on Kickstarter! As a thank you to our supporters, we offer $10 off to EVERYONE (you, and you, and you!) for the next 24 hours!

Buy your tickets for our June 9th performance of Intensive Care —Expecting Love, Learning Hope before midnight tomorrow night (5/31/2019) and get $10 off general admission pricing! Simply head over to our website, click "tickets" and enter promo codeGOALZin the "Have a code?" section.

And of course, since we still have two days to go before the Kickstarter campaign is over - there is still time for you to donate and be a part of this wonderful album's creation! (Every dollar helps!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

#ONESIPFOREVERYDONATION

We are so grateful to you for your support of Resonance Ensemble.

For more information please reply to this email, visit our Kickstarter page hereor contact our Kickstarter organizer below. 

Kickstarter Organizer: 
Liz Bacon Brownson
Board Member, Resonance Ensemble
resonancechoral.org
Email: liz@ohcreativepdx.com

 

This is Resonance Music. We invite you to listen.
— Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director

PRESS RELEASE – INTENSIVE CARE - expecting love • learning hope

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Profound. Moving. Deeply nourishing. — Sally Retecki, Audience Member

Resonance Ensemble presents “INTENSIVE CARE,”
featuring the west coast premiere of
Stephen Caldwell’s PRE-EXISTING CONDITION
as well as release of Resonance Ensemble’s debut album, LISTEN.  


PORTLAND, OR — On Sunday, June 9th at 4 PM, Resonance Ensemble will close its 2018-19 season with a concert tackling a situation many face. Join Resonance Ensemble at Cerimon House in a performance reflecting on all whose early days of parenthood are different than envisioned -- with babies born early, babies sick, babies lost. Often invisible stories, they are also stories mixed with hope and transformational love.

In this concert, Resonance Ensemble will give the West Coast premiere of Stephen Caldwell’s Pre-existing Condition, composed to honor his own son’s birth with a congenital heart defect. Caldwell sets original texts about his experience, as well as tender poetry by ee cummings. The choir will also revisit Renee Favand-See’s deeply personal Only in Falling, setting poems of Wendell Berry in memory of her beloved infant son Owen.

“I hope everyone can join us for this afternoon of exceptional music where we will hold space for all the parents and families who have experienced the welcoming of a child through the chaos of ERs and extended ICU stays, as well as families who have lost a child.” says Artistic Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon. “These are certainly heavy themes but ones that contain stories of hope through the fear, love through the grief. We are all transformed when we bear witness to the courageous stories of others.”  

Other notable moments will include:

  • Q & A after the concert with Resonance Ensemble’s Artistic Director Kathy FitzGibbon and other artists on the program.

  • Portland writer and Resonance Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell, performing an original poem written especially for the concert.

  • Performances by accomplished flutist, Sarah Tiedemann, and the Portland Percussion Group.

  • Portland favorite Kira Whiting on piano.

The concert also marks the release of Resonance Ensemble’s debut album, LISTEN, featuring many of the ensemble’s favorite pieces, including the world premiere recordings of Favand-See’s Only In Falling as well as the recently commissioned work of Melissa Dunphy, LISTEN, setting the courageous Senate testimony of Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford.

“When we perform these new works, there is an invitation to feel our shared humanity and our connection with one another.” says FitzGibbon, “Witnessing transformation heals the creative artist, the performers, and the audience. It is a powerfully inspiring thing. I hope everyone can join us on June 9th.”

Resonance Ensemble Presents: INTENSIVE CARE
WHEN: Sunday, June 9 | 4 pm
WHERE: Cerimon House — 5131 NE 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211

COST:
$30 GENERAL ADMISSION
$25 SENIOR
$15 STUDENT/ARTIST
$5 ARTS FOR ALL

TICKETS: resonancechoral.org/intensivecare


Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon, Stephen Caldwell, and Renee Favand-See are available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034

About the Resonance Ensemble 2018-19 season:

In its tenth season, Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates thoughtful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners.


Resonance Ensemble’s outstanding musicians give voice to the concerns, hopes, and dreams of all communities. Their concerts reflect this in the themes that reside in HIDDEN VOICES (October 2018), WOMEN SINGING WOMEN (February 2019), and INTENSIVE CARE (JUNE 2019).


Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart.


For more information:

Website:/resonancechoral.org

Facebook: /resonanceensemblepdx

Instagram:/resonanceensemblepdx

Twitter: /resonanceensemblepdx

Hashtag: #HearUsRoar



About Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon:

Katherine FitzGibbon is Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week. With Resonance, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Oregon Poet Laureate, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance partners with local artists and community organizations to explore questions of equity and inclusion.


Dr. FitzGibbon was just named the winner of the 2019 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Given periodically by Chorus America, the nation’s premier organization supporting the advancement of choral music today, the Louis Botto Award recognizes a mid-career choral leader for her exceptional work in developing a professional choral ensemble. An independent panel selected Dr. FitzGibbon to receive the award, which will be presented at Chorus America’s 2019 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be held June 26-29.

Dr. FitzGibbon is also Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” A faculty member at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival, Dr. FitzGibbon has also conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She is a lyric soprano and music historian whose research on German choral music and politics has been presented and published internationally.


About Stephen Caldwell

Dr. Stephen Caldwell is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas, and conducts both the nationally-renowned Schola Cantorum and Women’s Chorus. His original, award-winning compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the world including, “Since We Loved,” a piece that Resonance will premiere on their next concert.  The 20-min work for choir and instruments depicts the emotional journey of parents who have children born with congenital heart defects. The sold-out premiere received a 5-minute standing ovation, and the work was soon after featured by the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association. Dr. Caldwell holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado, two Master of Music Degrees in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Temple University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University.

About Renée Favand-See

Renée Favand-See is a composer and soprano who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her works explore the music of words, of natural and made environments, of emotions and spiritual questions. Among her commissions are works for Resonance Ensemble, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Lucy Shelton and Eighth Blackbird, Sequitur, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, American Opera Projects, Wet Ink Ensemble, Outer Voices Festival, coloratura soprano Alissa Rose and cellist Ha-Yang Kim. Other groups who have performed her music include The Julians; Friends of Rain; Electrogals; Del Sol String Quartet; Peabody Trio; and many singers, including Jesse Blumberg, Blythe Gaissert, Anna Haagenson, Jennifer Aylmer, Kristin Norderval, and William Ferguson. Renée is a member of Cascadia Composers and its offshoot of women, Crazy Jane Composers.

Renée has written chamber, orchestral, choral, and electronic pieces, as well as music for video and dance, including collaborations with Ten Tiny Dances in Portland, TRIP Dance Theatre in Los Angeles, Group Motion in Philadelphia and video artist Christine Sciulli in New York City. Her works are featured on Five Borough’s “Five Borough Songbook” on GPR Records; Sequitur’s ”To Have and to Hold” available on Koch, and on Prism Quartet’s “Dedication” on Innova.

Renée holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the Eastman and Yale Schools of Music, respectively. Renée teaches music composition and theory at Portland State University and for summer programs including Young Musicians and Artists (YMA) and The Walden School.

About Resonance Poet in Residence S. Renee Mitchell:

Renee Mitchell is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur\thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault, and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voice, and their place in the world. For more about Ms. Mitchell’s work, visit ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com

About Cerimon House

Cerimon House is a nonprofit arts & humanities organization, and a popular event space located in the heart of the Alberta Arts District of Portland, Oregon. It is a convening space for events that uplift and bring about conversations that inspire. For more information about Cerimon House, visit cerimonhouse.org

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Portland Choral Director, Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon, Receives Louis Botto Award

Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar

Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar

Portland Choral Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon
Receives Prestigious Louis Botto Award from Chorus America

Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director of Resonance Ensemble, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal.

Given periodically by Chorus America, the nation’s premier organization supporting the advancement of choral music today, the Louis Botto Award recognizes a mid-career choral leader for her exceptional work in developing a professional choral ensemble.

Said president and CEO Catherine Dehoney, “Chorus America is thrilled to honor these exceptional choruses and choral leaders who inspire our colleagues and enrich our communities through their outstanding work.”

“As founder and artistic director of Resonance Ensemble, FitzGibbon has captained a bold organizational shift—from its original mission exploring links between music, art, poetry, and theatre, to a new focus exclusively on presenting concerts that promote meaningful social change. Resonance has intentionally diversified the demographics of their board of directors, and engaged a poet-in-residence (S. Renee Mitchell) whose work highlights intersections of marginalized people. FitzGibbon invites community partners (Portland Pride, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Cerimon House, BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Bethel AME Church) into the long-term planning process for each concert, and seeks out venues in Portland’s diverse and under-represented neighborhoods. Under her vision, the organization’s budget has grown almost tenfold since its inception a decade ago, and FitzGibbon has consistently prioritized paying her singers a competitive wage." (taken from the Chorus America Website)

An independent panel selected Dr. FitzGibbon to receive the award, which will be presented at Chorus America’s 2019 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be held June 26-29.

For more information about Dr. FitzGibbon and Resonance Ensemble, visit resonancechoral.org
For more information about Chorus America, visit chorusamerica.org

Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon is available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034


About the Resonance Ensemble 2018-19 season:

In its tenth season, Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates thoughtful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners.

Resonance Ensemble’s outstanding musicians give voice to the concerns, hopes, and dreams of all communities. Their concerts reflect this in the themes that reside in HIDDEN VOICES (October 2018), WOMEN SINGING WOMEN (February 2019), and INTENSIVE CARE (JUNE 2019).

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart.

Writing "LISTEN", an emotional process for composer, Melissa Dunphy

Melissa Dunphy, composer at work.

Melissa Dunphy, composer at work.

Trigger Warning: sexual assault

Melissa Dunphy, composer of LISTEN - commissioned by Resonance for Women Singing Women - shared these thoughts about writing this piece based on the testimony of Prof. Anita Hill and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and how relatable the texts are to her own experiences as a woman.

Dunphy will be at next week's performance, and is participating in the artist talk back session after the concert. We hope you will join us next Sunday, February 3 at 4pm at Cerimon House.

"Writing LISTEN was an emotional process. The first hurdle was deciding which excerpts from the testimonies of Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford to set, which meant reading and listening and living inside these women’s harrowing stories for an extended period. And like most women, the most discomfiting aspect of listening to their testimony is the recognition. When I first heard about Ford’s experience, I was disturbed by its similarity to an incident that happened to me. I went to an all-girls private school, and we sometimes partnered with an all-boys private school for musicals. One night when I was 15, after a performance, while we were still on stage, one of the boys in the musical forcibly put his mouth and tongue on me as I struggled, shocked and horrified. Two days before Ford’s testimony, I posted about this on Facebook, and at least one my school friends remembered it happening, while others knew exactly which boy I was talking about. Something I mentioned in the discussion of the incident was that the worst part was the way he laughed when he saw my disgust and humiliation. So when Ford in her testimony the same week said almost the exact same words about Brett Kavanaugh’s laughter and its impact on her, my blood ran cold. 

As I was finalizing the piece today and going through it for the last time, I started crying. I can count on the fingers of one hand the times this has happened to me while composing. It’s interesting that it most often happens when I’m setting texts for women’s choruses. Something about massed women’s voices is incredibly powerful, both musically and symbolically, at this moment. I also grew up singing in all-girl choruses, so I think there’s something very deep that I identify with in the sound of a treble choir."

- Melissa Dunphy, composer

PRESS RELEASE – Resonance Ensemble presents “Women Singing Women” featuring the world premiere of a major commission by Melissa Dunphy

Katherine FitzGibbon  Artistic Director

Katherine FitzGibbon
Artistic Director

Melissa Dunphy  Award Winning Composer

Melissa Dunphy
Award Winning Composer

S. Renee Mitchell  Poet in Residence

S. Renee Mitchell
Poet in Residence

Resonance Ensemble presents “Women Singing Women” featuring the world premiere of a major commission by Melissa Dunphy

PORTLAND, OR — On Sunday, February 3rd at 4 PM, Resonance Ensemble embarks on an exploration of music by women about their experiences as women, including the world premiere of a new commission by Melissa Dunphy. Join Resonance Ensemble at Cerimon House for WOMEN SINGING WOMEN, a concert of audacious new music by female composers celebrating the experiences, questions, autonomy, and generally kick-ass nature of women. 

The afternoon is dedicated to music made by women, spotlighting works by female composers and poets. Featured composers include Suzanne Vega, Carol Barnett, Lori Laitman, Ysaye Barnwell, Joan Szymko, and more.

“Last summer, Resonance had already announced this February’s concert celebrating women’s voices. But this fall, watching the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and thinking about the ways women are often not heard, not believed, and even threatened and maligned for speaking out, I wanted Resonance to create a musical opportunity for audiences to reflect on the ways our culture often dismisses women’s points of views,” Artistic Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon recalls. Dr. FitzGibbon was inspired to reach out to award-winning composer Melissa Dunphy, known to Resonance audiences for her brilliant works American DREAMers and What Do You Think I Fought for at Omaha Beach. Ms. Dunphy accepted the commission, and has been writing a new work, LISTEN, setting texts from Senate testimony given by Prof. Anita Hill and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The work will be premiered at this concert and then recorded for Resonance’s forthcoming album, to be released in June.

“Over the years, women composers have often been neglected when it comes to recognition in concert programming and other inclusion in music histories,” FitzGibbon says. “With this concert, Resonance shines a light on the work of women composers and poets. These artists bring our attention to women’s experiences in society, ranging from oppression and minimization to empowerment and success.”

Other notable moments will include:

  • Q & A after the concert with Katherine FitzGibbon, Melissa Dunphy, and other artists on the program.

  • Portland writer and Resonance Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell, performing an original poem written especially for the concert.

  • Maria Karlin from Portland’s favorite Spaghetti-Western and Film Scoring band, Federale, performing an original arrangement of Suzanne Vega’s “Blood Makes Noise.”

  • Portland favorite Kira Whiting on piano.

Says FitzGibbon, “I hope everyone will join us to listen closely and celebrate the tremendous contributions women artists have made.”

Resonance Ensemble’s 2018-2019 season is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council

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WHEN: Sunday, February 3 | 4 pm
WHERE: Cerimon House — 5131 NE 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211
COST:
$30 GENERAL ADMISSION
$25 SENIOR
$15 STUDENT/ARTIST
$5 ARTS FOR ALL

TICKETS: resonancechoral.org/womensingingwomen

Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon and Melissa Dunphy are available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034

About the Resonance Ensemble 2018-19 season:

In its tenth season, Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates thoughtful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners.

Resonance Ensemble’s outstanding musicians give voice to the concerns, hopes, and dreams of all communities. Their concerts reflect this in the themes that reside in HIDDEN VOICES (October 2018), WOMEN SINGING WOMEN (February 2019), and INTENSIVE CARE (JUNE 2019). 

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart.

For more information:
Website:/resonancechoral.org
Facebook: /resonanceensemblepdx
Instagram:/resonanceensemblepdx
Twitter: /resonanceensemblepdx
Hashtag: #HearUsRoar

 About Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon:

Katherine FitzGibbon is Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week. With Resonance, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Oregon Poet Laureate, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance is currently partnering with several local arts and community organizations to explore questions of arts equity and inclusion, both in musical programming and in a new series of round table discussions we will present in 2018.

Dr. FitzGibbon is also Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” A faculty member at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival, Dr. FitzGibbon has also conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She is a lyric soprano and music historian whose research on German choral music and politics has been presented and published internationally.

About Melissa Dunphy

Composer Melissa Dunphy specializes in political, vocal, and theatrical music. She first came to national attention when her large‐scale work the Gonzales Cantata was featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, National Review, Fox News, and on The Rachel Maddow Show, and was staged by American Opera Theater in a sold‐out run. Other notable works include the song cycle "Tesla's Pigeon," which won first place in the NATS Art Song Composition Award, and choral work "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?" which won the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Competition and has been performed by ensembles including Chanticleer and Cantus. Dunphy has been composer‐in‐residence fo the Immaculata Symphony Orchestra, Volti, and the St. Louis Chamber Chorus. She also composes frequently for theater and is Director of Music Composition for the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference. Dunphy has a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.M. from West Chester University. For more information about Dr. Dunphy, visit melissadunphy.com.

About Resonance Poet in Residence S. Renee Mitchell:

Renee Mitchell is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur\thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault, and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voice, and their place in the world. For more about Ms. Mitchell’s work, visit ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com

About Cerimon House

Cerimon House is a nonprofit arts & humanities organization, and a popular event space located in the heart of the Alberta Arts District of Portland, Oregon. It is a convening space for events that uplift and bring about conversations that inspire. For more information about Cerimon House, visit cerimonhouse.org

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You Make This Vital Work Possible.

Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar

Photo Credit: Rachel Hadiashar

Dear Resonance Supporter,

As Resonance Ensemble celebrates its tenth season, I’ve been reflecting on how we’ve stayed true to our founding ideals, and at the same time evolved in a way I couldn’t have anticipated a decade ago.  

In a city rich with great art, Resonance Ensemble is unique. Our concerts are thoughtfully programmed to reflect our times from a variety of often-neglected viewpoints. We collaborate with artists who create for the world in which we live — artists like Resonance Poet in Residence S. Renee Mitchell, who writes a thought-provoking poem for each concert, each one stunningly beautiful and perfectly capturing the essence of themes of the show. Artists like Damien Geter, Resonance singer and composer, who is working on his powerful African American Requiem, to be premiered next season by Resonance Ensemble. Artists like composer Melissa Dunphy, whose work you’ve heard in previous concerts, and who is writing a specially commissioned piece for our February 2019 concert, Women Singing Women

Your contributions help us touch lives. Anyone who seeks a meaningful artistic experience will find it with Resonance Ensemble, whether as a singer, a collaborator, or an audience member.

You make this vital work possible. Ticket sales cover a fraction of our costs. Every dollar you give directly supports our performances and our mission.

Your gift to Resonance can be used in many ways. For example:

  • Your donation of $50 pays for sheet music for one piece performed at a concert.

  • Your donation of $350 pays the fee for an artist for one of our concerts.

  • Your donation of $4,000 pays for the commission of a new work.

Please send your gift today. Resonance Ensemble relies on your support. We are committed to using music as a way to better understand other perspectives, and to inspire positive change in our community. Your donation makes our community better. Right here. Right now.

Along with our artists, staff, and board, I thank you for your generous partnership and support.

Sincerely,

Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director
Resonance Ensemble

ARE YOU LISTENING

On October 21, 2018, Resonance Ensemble's Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell premiered this original work at HIDDEN VOICES, the opening concert of our tenth season. The concert took place at Bethel A.M.E. church, the oldest continuously operating black church in Portland, Oregon.

photo credit:  Rachel Hadiashar

photo credit: Rachel Hadiashar

This afternoon - we are here -  here together
And together, we will dream
Dream of our community becoming better
It is so much better when we listen
Listen to recognize yourself in the other
Recognize yourself in someone else’s pain
Someone else’s laughter  - struggles -  singing
Singing in spite of their struggles
Rising in spite of the ache
Are you listening?

This afternoon, the vibrations of our Resonance
Will be deep and provocative
And echoing with hope
Bravo Youth Orchestra will string together a piece of Adoration
Connected to a Price you’ll never pay
Keep listening

Kingdom Sound will be humming with a harmonious anointing
Singing hymns and Negro spirituals
And you will hear words that will move you
Words that will uncover wounds
Wounded words that - just might - disturb and distress you
Keep listening

Keep listening to the words
The words that will be spoken
And the words that will be sung by this ensemble behind me
Words that will - implore - you to think
Think about - what freedom really means
You will hear words that will teach us love indeed
Words that will offer a prayer
A prayer for showers of blessing
Blessings to fall down repeatedly
Fall down on Even Me
Keep listening

Listen to the voices
Voices that reflect the words of children
Undocumented children who walked for miles
Countless miles and endless days
Carrying water to keep de-hydration at bay
Because crossing the border is incredibly
Difficult - dangerous  -  and often deadly
So children are told to keep quiet
Be quiet – don’t talk
Keep quiet so adults could listen
Listen adequately for armed adversaries
And rattlesnakes that hide under rocks
And stinging scorpions whose venom they store in their tails
Can cause numbness and vomiting and convulsions for up to 72 hours
The voices of children within these songs today
Are trying to tell you their story
Keep listening

Keep listening
Because the existence of these youthful voyagers
And their growing presence in our public schools
Should move us to have mercy
Recognize the commonality of their deepest longing
So until then, these songs you will hear this evening are necessary
They - undeniably - speak the truths of these dreamers
Their words will be sung in acapella
And the singing and the  swaying to a certain rhythm
Will re-tell tales of resisting a racist system
Of adjusting - of acclimating - of adapting
Of forgetting native language in order to fit in
Fit in to an unfriendly and foreign land
To a point where these children’s
Smiles, their laughter, their cultural dances
Their claps and their twists - as if picking limes
Become spiritual acts of defiance
Against hostile words both spoken and imagined:

Go back home, illegals. You don’t belong here.

Aqui estamos
Here we are
We are here
Here, where we belong
Are you listening

Listen - listen to the makings of an African American requiem
An original musical act of remembrance
Of the history America tries - so hard-  to forget
Listen to words that will remind you
Of how much emancipation actually cost
The black lives that matter
But are – even today - continuously lost
Not just lost - But taken
Historically hung by the neck and then barbecued at picnics
With smiling white children serving as intergenerational witnesses
Intoxicated with the nostalgic aroma of hate
And indoctrinated to mindlessly press repeat
Generation after generation after generation
Keep listening
Keep listening
Because Damien has weaved black trauma
Into a stunning orchestral score
And as a member of “one of Oregon’s most valuable musical resources”
Has created an opportunity to have some of the city’s best voices
Sing so sweetly about the casualties of
The seemingly never-ending war on racism
Keep listening – Please, keep listening
Listen to words about how difficult it is sometimes just to breathe
Keep listening  -  Lean in - And listen
Because these words are intended to move you
Move you closer toward our shared humanity
We are teaching you
To travel with us into deep rivers
And not drown from heartbreak
Are you listening

Will you stand by me
Despite my faults and my failures
Will you understand
The times when I need to just catch my breath
Will you watch with me
As the storm passes over
Will you look closely
To make sure your actions – your beliefs – and your politics
Reflect the world we all say we want to see
The world where each one of us
Gets to experience what freedom actually means
Will you hear our hidden voices?
Will you pay attention to the chorus of possibilities
It is all we ask

Are you listening?

© 2018 S. Renee Mitchell

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ABOUT S. RENEE MITCHELL

S. Renee Mitchell, POET IN RESIDENCE, is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur\thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voice, and their place in the world. You can find out more about Renee’s work at ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com.

Resonance Ensemble announces its 2018-2019 Season!

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For immediate release: — September 19, 2018
Email: info@resonancechoral.org
Web:
resonancechoral.org
Media Contact— Liz Bacon Brownson
Phone: 971-212-8034

A true reflection of the best of humanity every time.
— Mimi Sei, Audience Member

Resonance Ensemble announces its tenth season, featuring programming that reflects our times.

PORTLAND, OR — Resonance Ensemble announces its upcoming tenth anniversary season, with an emphasis on new music that highlights underrepresented perspectives. The season will consist of a fundraising concert event, RESONANCE AT THE GILTNER HOUSE, on September 29, 2018; HIDDEN VOICES on October 21, 2018; WOMEN SINGING WOMEN on February 3, 2019; and INTENSIVE CARE on June 9, 2019.

Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon says, “I am delighted to announce that we will present major premieres at every concert this season.”

  • In our opening concert, Hidden Voices, we will give the world premiere of a movement from bass-baritone and composer Damien Geter’s forthcoming Requiem. This piece is based on the quotes of African-American men killed by police; the full work will be premiered by Resonance next season. Hidden Voices also includes the West Coast premiere of Melissa Dunphy’s American Dreamers, with texts by five young Americans who came to the U.S. as undocumented children.

  • In our February concert, Women Singing Women, we will give the world premiere of a new work by Portland composer Joan Szymko.

  • Intensive Care will feature the West Coast premiere of Stephen Caldwell’s Pre-existing Condition, composed to honor Caldwell’s own son, who was born with a congenital heart defect. We will also return to the work of Renée Favand-See with the release of our first CD, Only in Falling, showcasing Favand-See’s beautiful music that celebrates the short but precious life of her beloved son, Owen.

Other noteworthy moments of the season:

  • Portland writer and Resonance Ensemble Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell will perform an original work written for each performance.

  • Compositions by local composers

  • Q & A talks after each concert with Resonance Ensemble Artistic Director, composers, and artists.

Resonance Ensemble opens its 2018-2019 season with a benefit concert on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm. This celebration of the season will be held at the one-of-a-kind Giltner House, a historic home restored by host John McCullough, who continues the tradition begun by its original owners almost a century ago: supporting arts and culture in our community. Attendees will enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and drinks while mingling with Resonance Ensemble members, along with musical performances, up close and personal. Space is limited. Order individual tickets for $75 at resonancechoral.org -- or become a season subscriber and a ticket is included!

“As always, you can look forward to hearing extraordinary solo and ensemble singers perform diverse repertoire, with heart and passion,” says Dinah Dodds, president of Resonance Ensemble’s Board of Directors and long time supporter of the organization. “We are on a path to making a real difference in our community by offering thoughtful, thematic concerts that work to inspire all of us to think and feel and possibly have a transformational experience as a result.”

HIDDEN VOICES — Uplifting Voices of Color (October 21, 2018, at 4:00 p.m.) is a collaboration with Bethel A.M.E. Church, the oldest continuously operating black church in Portland, and the only African Methodist Episcopal Church in the state of Oregon. Resonance Ensemble will perform with the BRAVO Youth Orchestra and members of the NE-PDX Ensemble, a new regional collective of gospel and spiritual singers. (Bethel A.M.E. Church is located at 5828 NE 8th Avenue, Portland)

WOMEN SINGING WOMEN — Hear Us Roar (February 3, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.) will be performed at the beautiful Cerimon House, and features the women of Resonance Ensemble as they sing audacious new music by female composers. These works celebrate the experiences, questions, autonomy, and generally kick-ass nature of women of all backgrounds and colors. Yes, all women. (Cerimon House is located at 5131 NE  23rd Avenue, Portland)

INTENSIVE CARE — Expecting Love, Learning Hope (June 9, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.) at the Cerimon House closes our season. This concert reflects on parents whose early days of parenthood are different than envisioned -- with babies born early, babies born sick, babies lost. These are often invisible stories, but they are also stories of hope and of transformational love. (Cerimon House is located at 5131 NE  23rd Avenue, Portland)

Season subscriptions are on sale now. Subscription packages offer savings off single ticket prices, exclusive benefits and personalized customer service. Regular full-season subscriptions are available for $150 and include guaranteed tickets to all of the Resonance Ensemble concerts, plus a ticket to the Resonance Ensemble Giltner House Benefit concert on September 29th, 2018. Also available this year are VIP Subscriptions which offer all the subscriber benefits PLUS a guest pass to bring a friend to one of the three exciting concerts of the season, plus reserved seating to all concerts. For more information about subscriptions, visit resonancechoral.org or contact RE’s Box Office, (503) 427-8701. Single tickets are available online to the general public.


CALENDAR

Saturday, September 29th, 2018 — 7:00 p.m.
RESONANCE AT THE GILTNER HOUSE
The Giltner House — 1729 NE Siskiyou Avenue, Portland

Sunday, October 21st, 2018 — 4:00 p.m.
HIDDEN VOICES
Bethel A.M.E. Church — 5828 NE 8th Avenue, Portland

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 — 4:00 p.m.
WOMEN SINGING WOMEN
Cerimon House — 5131 NE  23rd Avenue, Portland

Sunday, June 9th, 2019 — 4:00 p.m.
INTENSIVE CARE
Cerimon House — 5131 NE  23rd Avenue, Portland


Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon is available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034

About the Resonance Ensemble 2017-18 season:

In its tenth season, Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble based in Portland, Oregon, creates thoughtful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance Ensemble works to amplify voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners.

Resonance Ensemble’s outstanding musicians give voice to the concerns, hopes, and dreams of all communities. Their concerts reflect this in the themes that reside in HIDDEN VOICES (October 2018), WOMEN SINGING WOMEN (February 2019), and INTENSIVE CARE (JUNE 2019).

Under Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble has performed challenging and diverse music, always with an eye toward unusual collaborations with artistic partners from around Portland: poets, jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, painters, dancers. The Resonance Ensemble singers are “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week), with gorgeous vocal tone, and they also make music with heart.

For more information:

Website:/resonancechoral.org
Facebook: /resonanceensemblepdx
Instagram:/resonanceensemblepdx
Twitter: /resonanceensemblepdx

About Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon:

Katherine FitzGibbon is Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week. With Resonance Ensemble, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, the Oregon Poet Laureate, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance Ensemble is currently partnering with several local arts and community organizations to explore questions of arts equity and inclusion, both in musical programming and in a new series of round table discussions we will present in 2018.

Dr. FitzGibbon is also Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” A faculty member at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival, Dr. FitzGibbon has also conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She is a lyric soprano and music historian whose research on German choral music and politics has been presented and published internationally.


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Love emBodies You – S. Renée Mitchell

On June 24, 2018, Resonance Ensemble's Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell premiered this original work at BODIES, the third and final concert of our ninth season. The concert took place at Cerimon House, in Portland, OR. 

so no matter what was witnessed, whispered, shouted, or scribbled on your locker, lunch bag, note book or desk in that first period math class you hated so much

you do matter 
your body was never invisible
— S. Renee Mitchell, Poet in Residence
Photo Credit: Kenton Waltz

Photo Credit: Kenton Waltz

Love emBodies You
(c) 2018 S. Renee Mitchell

bodies  bodies  bodies
arms    legs      collarbone   shoulder
each limb holds thousands of portals
opportunities really
that all long for the tender touch of another

toes    lips   fingertips     honeyed eyes
all embody evidence  - proof really
of whether touches over the whole of our lives
have transmitted tenderness
|or dull aches from that frightful pinch on the back of the arm

all transferences - of love or of pain - are possible
through the touch of another

how then do we begin to find our own rhythm
to express the individual and unique melodies
buried within each of our bodies
blood memories of a lifetime of public and private interactions

what then, pray tell, could adequately express
the stanzas of your siren’s song

unquestionably
your "you ness" is indisputable
just as surely as is the two-haired mole
underneath your upper arm
off centered - just north of your elbow
its unmistakable presence is there - as are you

so no matter
what was witnessed, whispered, shouted, or scribbled
on your locker, lunch bag, note book
or desk in that first period math class you hated so much
you do matter
your body was never invisible

think back, if you will
to the resonance of fresh oxygen
filling your lungs for the first time
how you reminded all within earshot
that you have arrived

your presence on this earth
is irrefutable

it is only when public choices
of whom to embrace
where to touch
when private preferences are witnessed or imagined
that erupts a wrong note
generates discord and public disgust
emboldens closed minds - and closeted hypocrites
who attempt to erase queer relevance
erect psychological walls of hate
manufacture heartbreak
like it was a red-light special
giving one permission
to procure hated with a 2-for-1 discounting
- no coupon required

you there over listening to my words
what key does that type of misery sing in?
where on your body do you carry the ache
seeded from the ongoing trauma
of America’s same-sex shame

yes I am talking to you
you who have swallowed your melody
and imprisoned it in the back of your throat
it is time to sing a new song
think pretty thoughts
feel stunning
wave your rainbow high

today
in these particular moments we are sharing together
we will celebrate through songs
quotes - poetic intention
the struggle for marriage equality
today we will honor the lives
of those imprisoned for pursuing their passion
those hung on lonely rural fences
or beaten on busy city streets

today - we see you
we see you, you and you
we see you, you and even you

today
we will celebrate
how living for pleasure
made Oscar Wilde

together - we will witness
the cadence of a
feisty - gender bending song of perfect propriety
together - we will relate to Hannah’s relief
after discovering a comforting word - a magic word -
in her local library
that reminded her – finally
she was not alone
not even when she was once he

the lyrics of songs will be bold
the diverse musical styles will be woven into a whole
but ultimately all asking
 - how can we be a dream?
how can we sing a new song – individually and in unison?
how can our hopes fly over the rainbow?

today -  this gathering holds space for healing
it is here
where you are loved unconditionally
it is here - together
where you are your own self
and you are welcomed - seen - celebrated - complete
no assembly required

arms   neck     legs    shoulder
|each limb longs for the touch of another
toes   lips   fingertips    honeyed eyes
all embody evidence
of how love has entered our bodies

so  I ask you: who can sing your ballad but you?
look within to find your distinctive tempo
pluck words from lingering grief
unabashed gratitude and even shameless indulgence

craft your chorus with love
love that lifts and dwells and moves the stars
love open and strong
 - authentic and ancient
love that is loud, flamboyant  - and full of pride

so sorry  - that it took  - so long

Photo Credit: Kenton Waltz     ABOUT S. RENEE MITCHELL   S. Renee Mitchell, POET IN RESIDENCE, is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur\thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voice, and their place in the world. You can find out more about Renee’s work at  ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com.

Photo Credit: Kenton Waltz

ABOUT S. RENEE MITCHELL

S. Renee Mitchell, POET IN RESIDENCE, is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur\thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voice, and their place in the world. You can find out more about Renee’s work at ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com.

Resonance artist, Christine Johnson, on Pride, the power of music, and finding allies through art.

Christine Johnson, Soprano

Christine Johnson, Soprano

The fight for equality looms large in my experience as an LGBTQ person...
— Christine Johnson

I met my partner of 12 years in Saint Louis, and she and I enjoyed many Pride events there and in Portland.  In all that time, I never encountered a concert such as this - my amazing colleagues singing an entire program about the experiences of LGBTQ people!  It was such an exciting idea for me that I knew I had to be a part of it somehow.  After Resonance’s last concert ‘Souls’, I approached Kathy and told her so.  I would have been happy just to be an usher at the concert, but she asked me to sing, even knowing that my partner is pregnant and due two days after this concert.  I feel so grateful to be able to celebrate Pride in this way and it is a unique experience I will always treasure.  I am so thrilled to give my energy to Resonance, especially this season’s exploration of social justice issues.  This is important and powerful work that we musicians can do, especially in classical music.  Resonance is leading the way.

This concert’s theme brought to mind a piece I performed with the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus a number of years ago - Melissa Dunphy’s What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?  The simple text is powerful because of its plain English - yet it speaks to so many things that “make America a great nation” - service, sacrifice, freedom, equality.  The music is so effective because it is matter of fact - until someone asks, “Do you believe in equality for gay and lesbian people?” 

His answer distills everything, brings it into sharp focus - the basses anchor the sopranos singing a major third above: “What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?” That moment reminds me that we have allies everywhere, and it feels good - including one WW2 veteran, a “loyal, hard-working American….who did not raise four sons with the idea that our gay son would be left out”. 

The fight for equality looms large in my experience as an LGBTQ person and I’m so glad I can sing this piece again.

BODIES performs one performance only on June 24th at 4PM at Cerimon House in NE Portland. Tickets are on sale now, HERE.

 

PRESS RELEASE - Resonance Ensemble Teams with Pride Northwest and Local Artists to present BODIES at Cerimon House

Bodies banner - FB Main Page Banner.jpg

For immediate release: May 14, 2018
Email: info@resonancechoral.org
Tickets: resonancechoral.org
Media Contact— Liz Bacon Brownson
Phone: 971-212-8034

PORTLAND, OR — On Sunday, June 24th at 4 PM, join Resonance Ensemble for BODIES, as they celebrate gender identities, sexualities, and the LGBTQIA community’s work toward civil rights and understanding. This concert will be held at Cerimon House and in partnership with Pride Northwest and is an official Pride NW event.

Resonance Ensemble’s 2017-18 season is inspired by the events of this time of intense political and social upheaval, and aims to reflect the world we want to see: people coming together to gain new perspectives, and to be moved by our shared humanity. This inspiration merges beautifully with the mission of Pride Northwest - an organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting positive diversity, and educating all people by developing activities that showcase the history, accomplishments and talents of the LGBTQIA community.

BODIES features compositions and performances by LGBTQIA artists, including a selection from Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard; Dominick DiOrio’s The Visible World, a work about marriage equality from diverse historical perspectives; and a selection from composer Laura Kaminsky’s work As One, written for mezzo-soprano (Beth Madsen Bradford) and baritone (Damien Geter), which depicts the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world.

Other special guests include:

I had been envisioning a concert celebrating the artistic and civil rights work of the LGBTQIA community. What if Portland artists and supporters of this community shared an afternoon that showcased work of, for and about the cause? The power of community shines brightly when focused in the right direction.
— Katherine FitzGibbon, Artistic Director

Following the concert, the audience will have the chance for a conversation with the concert collaborators. Light refreshments will be available. 

Resonance Ensemble Presents: BODIES – An Official Pride NW Event

WHEN: Sunday, June 24, 2018 | 4 pm
WHERE: Cerimon House — 5131 NE 23rd Avenue
COST: $30 GENERAL ADMISSION | $25 SENIOR | $15 STUDENT/ARTIST | $5 ARTS FOR ALL

Note to Journalists: Katherine FitzGibbon is available for print, online, and broadcast interviews. If you would like more information on this event or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Liz Bacon Brownson at liz@ohcreativepdx.com or by calling 971-212-8034

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