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
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



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 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 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

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