Midsummer’s Music Festival presents two free winter concerts featuring Madison Bach Musicians and music students from Sturgeon Bay High School.
The two concerts will be held Friday, December 16, at 7:00 pm at the Old Gibraltar Town Hall in Fish Creek, and Saturday, December 17, at 3:00 pm at Prince of Peace Church in Sturgeon Bay. Both performances are open to the public and will be followed by receptions, where concertgoers can meet and mingle with the musicians and enjoy some tasty treats.
The lively repertoire includes Alessandro Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata, Nicola Matteis’ Diverse bizzarie Spra La Vecchio Sarabanda O’pur Ciaccona, and Georg Philipp Telemann’s Sonatina in A Minor for baroque bassoon and continuo. Student musicians from Sturgeon Bay High School will perform Sheep May Safely Graze at the Prince of Peace concert.
Midsummer’s Music Festival’s Assistant Artistic Director Allyson Fleck and Executive Director Russ Warren began coordinating plans between Madison Bach Musicians violinist Kangwon Kim and Sturgeon Bay High School music teacher Heidi Hintz at the beginning of the school year. Warren said, “We feel very fortunate to collaborate with Madison Bach Musicians and Sturgeon Bay High School for these concerts. It’s an excellent opportunity for the students to work with some of the top classical musicians in the country, and right in their own hometown!”
In addition to the concerts, Madison Bach Musicians will perform a selection of pieces at an assembly and workshop for music students at Sturgeon Bay High School on the afternoon of December 16.
While Madison Bach Musicians organization is comprised of 38 musicians, the following six make up the ensemble for the two concerts.
Chelsea Morris Shephard, soprano, gave an “exquisite” NYC recital debut with New York Festival of Song, for which she was also praised for her “beautiful, lyric instrument” and “flawless legato” (Opera News). This season, she joins the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago and makes return appearances with New York Festival of Song and Madison Bach Musicians. Ms. Morris Shephard will debut at Carnegie Hall in May 2017 as the soprano soloist in Brahms’ Ein deutches Requiem. In previous seasons, the versatile soprano has performed with Madison Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Haymarket Opera Company and Caramoor International Music Festival. Operatic roles include Beth/Little Women, title role/La Calisto, Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro, Lauretta/Gianni Schicchi, Lisa/The Land of Smiles, and Emily Webb/Our Town.
Kangwon Lee Kim, Madison Bach Musicians concertmaster, is a versatile violinist with repertoire ranging from baroque to 21st-century using both baroque and modern violins. She has performed internationally giving recitals in Korea, Canada, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Norway, and Czech Republic. As a baroque violinist, Ms. Kim has performed with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, Brandywine Baroque, the Classical Symphony, Calisto in San Francisco, and the Baroque Band in Chicago. Ms. Kim was assistant professor in violin and chamber music at Biola University in California and has also taught at Ripon College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Lawrence University Conservatory.
Violinist Brandi Berry–a 3Arts awardee–whose “four-string acrobatics” and “indispensable skill” (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as “alert [and] outstanding” (Chicago Classical Review), has also been noted for her “riffs, powered by a flashing blur of bow arm, [as they] rolled out with irresistible glee” (Washington Post). She has appeared with Kings Noyse, Apollo’s Fire, Newberry Consort, Ars Lyrica, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Society Houston; she has performed on the Library of Congress series, the Dame Myra Hess series, and Early Music Now series. She has also performed at the Boston, Berkeley, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Madison Early Music Festivals (MEMF). Brandi serves on the MEMF faculty as well as at DePaul University where she is co-director of their Baroque Ensembles program.
Martha Giese Vallon is a graduate of the Rotterdam Conservatory (The Netherlands) and the UW-Madison. She has performed in hundreds of concerts and participated in many recordings with the leading European baroque and classical orchestras including The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, La Chapelle Royale, and the Orchestre des Champs Elysées. Martha has performed throughout Europe, Israel, and Japan in various chamber music and orchestral settings and has taught in several notable early music courses. She is a certified Musicanopy™ teacher (a preschool music program) which she has taught at the Waisman Early Childhood Program at the UW and continues to teach privately.
Marc Vallon has been Associate Professor of bassoon at the UW-Madison School of Music since 2004. A child-prodigy bassoonist, he began playing professionally at the age of 17, and had the privilege of performing with many of the great Parisian orchestras under legendary conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Karl Boehm. His interests later led him to work with contemporary music groups culminating in the 1980s in a fascinating period of collaboration with Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble Intercontemporain. Marc’s early music career began in 1982 when he joined the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; he has played throughout the world with leading early-music ensembles.
Trevor Stephenson–harpsichordist, fortepianist, and pianist–is the artistic director and founder of the Madison Bach Musicians. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance of 18th-Century Music from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson. With his colleague, Norman Sheppard, he has made and refurbished a series of historical keyboard instruments ranging from Italian Renaissance harpsichords to Victorian pianos. He has released fifteen recordings on the Light & Shadow label and tours throughout the United States as performer and lecturer. Information and tour schedule at trevorstephenson.com.
At press time, present concert sponsors include Thrivent Financial (Glen & Grace Rossman), the Foxglove Inn, Innovative Printing, OneTouchPoint, Tea Thyme, and Rozanna’s Violins.
Madison Bach Musicians is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting the music of Bach and other early music composers to audiences through historically informed performances, lectures by faculty, and educational workshops.