Chicago Modern Orchestra Project Announces Season of Innovative and Unexpected Programming

Second annual concert season kicks off with works by Yoko Ono and Duke Ellington

Chicago, IL, September 10, 2010 --( The Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, based in Chicago, IL, is pleased to announce the first concert of its second season, entitled “Epiphany Series” on Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 PM in Epiphany Episcopal Church (201 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60607). The concert will feature guest artist, David Boykin, saxophone; vocalist Saalik Ziyad; dancers: David Danyluk and Ginger Krebs; and projectionist: Jayve Montgomery. Admission is free.

The visually-complex program of the “Epiphany Series” will include an excerpt from Morton Feldman’s extreme String Quartet II, Frederick Tillis’ moving Spiritual Fantasy, Pulitzer Prize-winner George Walker’s popular Lyric for Strings, an original composition by CMPO Founder and Director Renée Baker entitled Scat, Yoko Ono’s celebration of vibrations Wood Piece, Duke Ellington’s standard It Don’t Mean a Thing, and Three Winter Potatoes by experimental music composer Cornelius Cardew.

Founder and director Renée Baker has been at the extreme forefront of creative and avant-garde music while developing this unique ensemble since 1991. Utilizing some of the finest musicians that cross the classical world as well as jazz greats, the composer, conductor, violinist, and violist has crafted a group of the best traditionalists and married them to dedicated improvisors. A true genre bending experience, her skills as a conductor and musician coordinator have been used by some of the finest musical organizations in Chicago including Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Strings. Baker’s musical affiliations have include Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Orchestra, David Boykin Expanse, Orbert Davis w/Strings Attached, Doug Carn, Karl Siegfried’s Galaxy String Quartet, Great Black Music Ensemble (AACM), Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Ms. Baker is also the Artistic Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta Chamber Ensemble as well as Mantra Blue Free Orchestra.

Baker says: “CMOP has been together for only a year, with its inaugural concert last year at Epiphany Episcopal Church. We tested the waters and think we're ready to swim! My intent is to provide an experience in concert that marries many music genres as well as other disciplines. Dance, film, artwork, clearly out-of-the-box thinking will inform our programming this year. As music director and a composer for this ensemble, it's my opportunity to give back to a city that given me so much as an artist. We will bring in guest conductors as well as guest artists from all walks, like the fabulous David Boykin, saxophonist for our first concert. Our audience can be on the lookout and expect the unexpected!”

The Chicago Modern Orchestra Project (CMOP) is a partner of the highly successful Mantra Blue Free Orchestra (MBFO) and is dedicated to commissioning, performing and recording contemporary creative and classical music of many new composers.

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Chicago Modern Orchestra Project
Renee Baker