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


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 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:
Facebook: /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

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

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