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

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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.

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.

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. 

May 23, 2020, at 7:30 p.m

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | 1037 SW Broadway, Portland


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 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: 
Facebook: /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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