MMC June Program Wraps Up Successful Season!

By Mary Alice Brunner

Monday Musical wraps up its 2014-2015 season with a noon luncheon for members only followed by a performance by VOX 3 at 1:15 PM which is open to the public. VOX 3 will present “Blithe and Bonny”,

celebrating Shakespeare’s texts through vocal music. Performing from VOX 3 will be Jessica Coe, Magaly Cordero, and Ashlee Hardgrave, sopranos; Derek Boemler, baritone and James Morehead, piano.

 Pieces to be performed include Chansons de Shakespeare, Op. 28 by Ernest Chausson; Sonnet 30 and Sonnet 40 by Matthew Lawton; O vin dissipe la tristess from Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas; La Danse de Puck by Claude Debussy; Vier Shakespeare-Lieder, Op.31 by Erich Korngold; Who is Silvia? and It was a lover and his lass from Let Us Garlands Bring, Op. 18 by Gerald Finzi; Smatroll from Lyric Pieces, Op. 71 by Edvard Grieg; Sul fil d’un soffio etesio from Falstaff by Giuseppe Verde; Ophelia-Lieder, Op. 67 by Richard Strauss; Ophelia Rag by James Scott; and Music to Hear by George Shearing.

 VOX 3 Collective builds bridges between branches of art, culture, and history by focusing on three types of vocal music: Art Song, Opera, and Cabaret. From its inception in 2007, VOX 3 has sought to breathe new life into the recital genre with thoughtful programming and dynamic performances. VOX 3 members are graduates of some of the country’s finest conservatory programs and have appeared with opera companies and orchestras throughout the world. The company’s entertaining, educational concerts have been featured on WLUW, WBEZ, and WFMT radio, WOCH television, and recommended by critics and publications throughout Chicago.

 Soprano Jessica Louise Coe is a classical artist with a passion for art song repertoire and chamber music. In 2013 Ms. Coe was named a national finalist for the American Prize in Vocal Performance, (Art Song, professional division) as well as a semi-finalist in the professional Oratorio Division. Later that season she presented recitals of Benjamin Britten’s music in honor of his centenary at both GVSU’s Arts at Noon and First Park Congregational’s Music at Midday series in Grand Rapids, MI. Coe is on the board of the Chicago Chapter of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, (NATS), and a full-time faculty member at the Old Town School of Folk Music where she teaches voice and piano to students of all ages. She holds a B.M. from DePaul University, a M.M. from Roosevelt University, and she comes from the studio of counter-tenor Mark Crayton.

 Soprano Magaly Cordero is an active performer in the Chicagoland area. A native of Orlando, Florida, Magaly received her Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and her Master’s degree from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Magaly is also an active recitalist and church musician, and she sings with Milwaukee’s MacDowell Club. Magaly is also a professional cantor at various Catholic parishes in Chicago and its suburbs. Magaly currently studies with Sunny Joy Langton.

 Soprano Ashlee Hardgrave was recently characterized as a "vocal powerhouse" (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times) and "well sung" (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune) for her role as Sharon Graham in Master Class.  Active in recital, chamber music, opera, and cabaret, her past collaborators include Mode Ensemble, Writer's Bloc, Midwest New Musicals, Constellation, Anaphora Ensemble, ECN Danceworks, and the Space/Movement Project. She can be  heard on the albums Green Genes, VOX 3's Spirit Within and New Song, and has been broadcast on WLUW, WBEZ, WFMT, and WOCH. Ms. Hardgrave holds the M.M. from Roosevelt University and the B.A. from Arkansas Tech University.

 Baritone Derek Boemler is a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music where he earned his Master of Music in Voice and Literature studying under renowned vocal pedagogue W. Stephen Smith. In Chicago, Derek has appeared with the Grant Park Chorus and Northwestern’s acclaimed Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble (BCE) under the direction of Donald Nally. Derek is also an active voice teacher and coach in the Chicagoland area. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the College Music Society (CMS), he currently serves on the voice faculty at North Central College in Naperville, IL.

 Pianist James Morehead is the Music Director for VOX 3 Collective, the Artistic Director of Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, and the choir master/organist at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church in Burr Ridge, Illinois. He primarily works as a coach, accompanist and music director for the Theater Conservatory of  Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he has also served as Adjunct Professor of Music Theory/History and German Diction. James received his MM in Piano Performance and Music Theory from Roosevelt University and his BM from Duquesne University. Classically, James has performed at the Auditorium Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, Rockefeller Chapel, Chicago’s Gospel Festival, and Ravinia. Past collaborators include the Juliani Ensemble, the Grande Prairie Choral Arts Singers, Anaphora, Lyric Opera Kids and The Chicago High School for the Arts. He has also appeared as a featured pianist at the Green Mill, Mary’s Attic, the Tavern, Gentry on Halsted, Spin Nightclub, Davenport’s, the 410 Club, the Spot and the Casino.

Date and location – Monday, June 1, 2015; 1:15 PM at St. Joseph First United Methodist Church 2950 Lakeview Ave.,  in St. Joseph.  The program is open to the public.