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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin Gazette
November 23, 2014
4:00 pm

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
812 N. Jackson St.
Milwaukee WI 53202
*Single Tickets on sale now!*

Single tickets are $35, $25, and $15.

Students are ALWAYS 50% off.


Subscribe now and secure your tickets for the season!

This performance is not recommended for children under 5.

Concert Description

Gather together as handbells, instruments, drums and voices start the holiday season. Present Music‘s vocal ensemble, Hearing Voices, will perform alongside over 90 instrumentalists and vocalists from the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble, the Bucks Native American Singing and Drumming Group, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Vocal Arts Academy, and Muskego High School. Celebrate creation with Ince’s Hammers and Whistlers (commissioned by PM in 2006) and  Gloria Everywhere, and Bryars' Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, with jubilant sounds from the brass and choirs! (Program subject to change.)



Towers by Kathy Moklebust

Gloria Everywhere by Kamran Ince

Acclamation by Karen Thompson

Hammers and Whistlers by Kamran Ince

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet by Gavin Bryars



PM and Prodigal Gastropub Present a Fresh Take on
Thanksgiving Dinner!
PM and Prodigal Gastropub are teaming up to bring Milwaukee a fresh, imaginative take on the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Join these two as their creative teams collaborate on a 5 course dinner, created especially for PM by Prodigal’s new executive chef, Terrell Turner. (Partial proceeds benefit PM. Seating is limited.)
Click HERE to view the menu (vegetarian option available).
$55 per person, tax and gratuity included.
Cash bar.

Purchase your tickets HERE or by calling (414)271-0711 before November 18th!

Kamran Ince

The music of Turkish/American composer Kamran Ince bridges Anatolia and Balkans to the West. The energy and rawness of Turkish and Balkan folk music, the spirituality of Byzantium and Ottoman court music, the tradition of European art music and the extravert and popular qualities of the American psyche are the base of his sound world. These ingredients happily breathe in cohesion, and they spin the linear and vertical contrasts so essential to his music forward.

Hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “that rare composer able to sound connected with modern music, and yet still seem exotic”, Ince was born in Montana in 1960 to American and Turkish parents. Ince's Judgment of Midas, an opera in two acts, commissioned by Crawford Greenewalt to mark the 50th anniversary of Sardis/Lydia excavations, had its concert version premiere in April 2013 in Milwaukee with Present Music and Milwaukee Opera Theatre with Ince conducting, and PM’s all-Ince concert on August 30, 2014 featured 3 US premieres and was recorded for PM’s 10th CD album.


Gavin Bryars

Gavin Bryars, born in 1943, studied philosophy but became a jazz bassist and pioneer of free improvisation with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. Early iconic pieces The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet achieved great popular success. Works include three operas, a large body of chamber music, several concertos and much vocal music. He has collaborated widely with visual artists, choreographers, theatre directors. Since 1986 he has performed, toured and recorded with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble. He has made many recordings for ECM, Point, Philips, Naxos, Decca, and his own label GB Records. Bryars recent works include the chamber opera Marilyn Forever, The Fifth Century, (for saxophone quartet) and two ballets: Pneuma and The Seasons. Two further ballets will be premiered in October, Peer Gynt based on Grieg’s original and 11th Floor. Bryars will be Composer in Residence at the Adelaide Festival in March 2015.





Community Collaborators

Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble

The Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble, now in its twelfth year, is an auditioned community choir composed of fourteen ringers who play 73 handbells (6 octaves) and 73 handchimes (6 and a half octaves) in their performances.Since its founding in 2003, MHE has performed in Chicago for the National Pastoral Musicians Conference (2004), The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers for their conference in Milwaukee (2006) and traveled to Orlando, Florida to participate in the International Handbell Symposium (2008). The group has been guest performers with the Midwest Vocal Express, Bel Canto Chorus and in 2012, had the privilege of performing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and Chorus for their Holiday POPS concerts under the direction of Doc Severinson and his Big Band. MHE rejoined MSO for their Holiday POPS concert in December of 2013, this time under the direction of Stuart Chafetz. MHE is heard each year by over 25,000 handbell directors and ringers on the AGEHR new handbell music promotional CDs.

The mission of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble is "To further the art of handbell ringing by educating, inspiring and informing others on the art form" by showcasing advanced handbell repertoire while being a musical resource for the Milwaukee metropolitan area and beyond.

Bucks Native American Singing and Drumming Group







Hearing Voices Ensemble

During Present Music's (PM) 33-year history, there have been many pieces that weren’t performed simply because Milwaukee didn't have a small professional vocal group that could perform the kind of new music that PM wanted to do. Kevin Stalheim, PM’s Artistic Director,  was so excited when Sharon Hansen's Milwaukee Choral Artists (MCA) came on the scene.  PM and MCA had many incredible performances together at the annual Thanksgiving concerts.

When MCA disbanded recently, PM wasn't sure what would happen at the next Thanksgiving concert. But then something kind of amazing happened. Caroline Shaw won the Pulitzer Prize for music so Stalheim began to research her music. The music she won the prize for, Partita, was for an ensemble of eight voices and he loved it instantly. PM’s Hearing Voices vocal project will be flexible in size.


mysoThe Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) is one of the most successful and respected youth orchestra programs in the nation, regularly recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for its artistic excellence. With 1,000 young musicians ages 8‐18 from as many as 14 counties, 60 communities and 200 schools throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois participating in MYSO's many music training programs, it has become one of the largest organizations of its kind in the United States.

Instrumental in changing lives since 1956, MYSO's programs foster critical thinking skills, creativity and collaboration through a constellation of high quality ensemble options, Community Partnership Programs and enrichment opportunities ranging from symphony and string orchestras, to jazz and steel pan bands, all providing high quality musical experiences to students at various skill levels. Members of MYSO last performed with PM at the Thanksgiving 2011 concert.

Vocal Arts Academy

The Vocal Arts Academy of Milwaukee is designed to be an enrichment opportunity for singers who perform in school and community groups, who study privately or who simply are looking for an outstanding musical outlet. Their goal is to create a restorative environment of joy, of excellence, and of encouragement that will revive the spirit through music.


Muskego High School Choirs

The Muskego High School Choir program is comprised of five ensembles: Men's Choir, Women's Choir, Sorelle Cantanti, Chorale, and Chamber Choir. The ensembles are under the direction of Genevieve Jorn and Matt Wanner. Muskego choirs have performed at the Wisconsin Music Educator's Convention, Wisconsin Choral Director's Convention, as well as venues in Texas, Florida, and New York. Members of the Women's Choir and Chorale are participating in this performance.




This event is an independent function and is neither related to, sponsored by, nor controlled by the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Media support provided by WMSE.