Collaborative Works Festival Concert III: The Songbag

september, 2022

sun11sep2:00 pmsun3:30 pmCollaborative Works Festival Concert III: The Songbag


(Sunday) 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Epiphany Center For The Arts: Epiphany Hall

201 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607


Under 21 may attend if accompanied by an adult

Event Details

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2022

Doors: 1PM 

Showtime: 2PM 

Tickets: $35 - General Admission | $16 - Student (Must show student ID at door)

Service charges apply to ALL ticket purchases (online and box office)- Credit card only at door


Collaborative Works Festival Concert III: The American Songbag


Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) is pleased to present their final concert on their 11th annual Collaborative Works Festival at Epiphany Center for the Arts. This year’s festival, titled The Song of Chicago focuses on the rich tradition of song that has emerged from Chicago – and features music and poetry written, and performed, by Chicagoans.

The closing concert will examine Chicago poet, journalist, and urban folk singer Carl Sandburg’s seminal anthology of American Folk songs, The American Songbag. Published in 1927, while Sandburg was living in Chicago, the anthology was an instantly popular collection of folk songs that proved to be foundational for the American folk resurgence, inspiring singers like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. A powerful statement of a diverse vision of American identity, Sandburg described the collection as a "ragbag of stripes and streaks of color from nearly all ends of the earth ... rich with the diversity of the United States."

The concert will feature arrangements of many of the songs contained in Sandburg's collection alongside various art song settings of his poetry.

About CAIC: Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago works to make Chicago a world home for the study and performance of art song and vocal chamber music. CAIC presents performance and educational events, including the Collaborative Works Festival, the Lieder Lounge recital series, master classes, and educational workshops. Since its founding in 2010 by pianists Shannon McGinnis and Nicholas Hutchinson and tenor Nicholas Phan, CAIC has presented many of the world’s leading proponents for the art song and vocal chamber music repertoire.


Yasuko Oura - pianist

Pianist Yasuko Oura has been praised for her sensibility and passion for collaborating with others. She has maintained a busy schedule of performing concerts and working for various opera companies while keeping an active teaching schedule. She is currently a lecturer of collaborative piano at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music where she enjoys working with talented pianists as well as coaching chamber music. Additionally, she has recently joined the faculty at DePaul University to start a new collaborative piano program. Also in demand as a vocal coach, she regularly works for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater. She is also on the music staff for Des Moines Metro Opera where she has spent over twelve seasons. She has played under many prominent conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Gary Wedow, and Jane Glover. Additionally, she was the principal production pianist and coach for Florentine Opera for seven years. Her other past affiliations include companies such as Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, Toledo Opera, and AIMS in Graz, Austria.

This past summer, she worked closely with the creative team on the world premiere of A Thousand Acres by Kristin Kuster and Mark Campbell at Des Moines Metro Opera. Other recent operatic highlights include L’elisir d’amore, Florencia en el Amazonas, and Fire Shut Up in My Bones for Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Becoming Santa Claus at Chicago Opera Theater. This upcoming season, she will be working on King Roger by Szymanowski as well Brittne’s Albert Herring for COT. On a recital front, she has enjoyed performing recitals with David Portillo, tenor, as well as returning to the Twickenham Festival, where she has performed recitals with Susanna Phillips. She has also been seen in performances with Anthony McGill and was featured on a fortepiano in the production of the Chevalier centered around the music of Joseph Bologne for the Music of the Baroque.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Oura has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weil Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall. She is also the co-artistic director of Chamber Music at Bethany concert series where members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, four-time Grammy award winning group Eighth Blackbird, and other prominent musicians come together to perform chamber music. She has also been seen in performances for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the Bel Canto Foundation, WFMT, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. She also works with Grant Park Orchestra Chorus, Music of the Baroque, and Chicago Sinfonietta. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, where she was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow.

Nicholas Phan - tenor & CAIC artistic director:

Described by the Boston Globe as “one of the world’s most remarkable singers,” American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. Praised for his keen intelligence, captivating stage presence and natural musicianship, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. Also an avid recitalist, in 2010 he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) to promote art song and vocal chamber music, where he serves as artistic director.

A celebrated recording artist, Phan’s most recent album, Clairières, a recording of songs by Lili and Nadia Boulanger, was nominated for the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. His album, Gods and Monsters, was nominated for the same award in 2017. He is the first singer of Asian descent to be nominated in the history of the category, which has been awarded by the Recording Academy since 1959. His other previous solo albums Illuminations, A Painted Tale, Still Fall the Rain and Winter Words, made many “best of” lists, including those of the New York Times, New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, WQXR, and Boston Globe. Phan’s growing discography also includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony, Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliettewith Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, Scarlatti’s La gloria di primavera and Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren with Philharmonia Baroque, an album of Bach’s secular cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, Bach’s St. John Passion (in which he sings both the Evangelist and the tenor arias) with Apollo’s Fire, and the world premiere recordings of two orchestral song cycles: The Old Burying Ground by Evan Chambers and Elliott Carter’s A Sunbeam’s Architecture.

Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and the Lucerne Symphony. He has toured extensively throughout the major concert halls of Europe and has appeared with the Oregon Bach, Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, and Tanglewood festivals, as well as the BBC Proms. Among the conductors he has worked with are Marin Alsop, Harry Bicket, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Karina Canellakis, James Conlon, Alan Curtis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, James Gaffigan, Alan Gilbert, Jane Glover, Matthew Halls, Manfred Honeck, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Cristian Măcelaru, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, John Nelson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmuth Rilling, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Masaaki Suzuki, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bramwell Tovey and Franz Welser-Möst.

Pauline Tan - mezzo-soprano

Pauline Tan is a Filipino-Chinese mezzo-soprano whose deep love for poetry and song has taken her across the globe to pursue a career in music. She strives not only to communicate honestly with her audiences but also to help bridge connections to little-known musical worlds. A recent graduate of the Bard Vocal Arts Program, Pauline hopes to keep working with artists and organizations that share her vision of bringing more diversity and compassion in the arts. She is currently with Chicago Opera Theater as a Resident Young Artist, following her artistic compass and taking part in non-standard adaptations of familiar operas as well as premieres of new works by living BIPOC composers.


Anthony Reed - bass

Bass Anthony Reed recently graduated from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center Program. Highlights from his time there include mainstage appearances in Tosca / Sciarrone, Die Zauberflöte / Second Armored Guard, and Madama Butterfly / Comissioner among others. This Fall he will perform with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) in recital, as well as in a coproduction of The Rape of Lucretia / Collatinus between Britten Pears Arts and the Royal Opera. During 2020/21 virtual programming he appeared with CAIC and with Lyric in Master Classes with Sir Andrew DavisSole e AmoreMagical Music Around the Worldand Rising Stars in Concert. His operatic repertory contains such roles as Sarastro / Die Zauberflöte, Don Basilio / Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Frère Laurent / Roméo et Juliette. In concert he has performed Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, and covered the notoriously challenging bass part in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In addition he has been heard in multiple unique recitals on Chicago’s WFMT NPR station. A recipient of awards from the American Opera Society, National Society of Arts and Letters, and Shoshana Foundation, and with recognition from Opera News as “uncommonly articulate” with “…a great deal of tonal nuance” Reed is being recognized as a rising basso cantante. With degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire as well as affiliations with San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship, Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Britten Pears Arts, and the George Solti Academy he has had the opportunity to work with world-class conductors, directors, stage managers, costume and makeup designers, teachers, coaches, and GRAMMY awarded symphonies and pianists.

Lunga Eric Hallam - tenor

A third-year tenor with Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lunga Eric Hallam is from Khayelitsha, South Africa. There, he founded a nonprofit organization called Phenomenal Opera Voices the same year he enrolled at the University of Cape Town College of Music, where he received his diploma and postgraduate (with honors) degrees in music training. Recent engagements as a Young Artist at Cape Town Opera include Tebaldo/I capuleti e i montecchi, Edgardo/Lucia di Lammermoor, and Roberto/Maria Stuarda, as well as Ramiro/La Cenerentola at Cape Town Conservatory. He was featured as part of the 2017 Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe. Hallam competed as a semifinalist in the 2019 Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition and the 2019 Voice of South Africa International Singing Competition. Chicago appearances include the Harris Theater’s Beyond the Aria series alongside Joyce DiDonato. In Lyric’s 2021/22 season, he performed in Sunday in the Park with Lyric’s Rising Stars and as Adult Nathan/Fire Shut Up in My Bones. For Lyric’s 2022/23 season, Hallam appears in Le Comte Ory (Lyric premiere) and in Proximity, the triple bill of new American operas (world premiere).


Valet parking is now available! $15 per car, service located on Ashland Ave. in front of the venue. 

  • No premiums available 

Service is available at all times during hours of operation
* See website for hours of operation

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Valet parking is now available! $15 per car, service located on Ashland Ave. in front of the venue. 

  • No premiums available 

Service is available at all times during hours of operation
* See website for hours of operation


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