Ascension Festival of Music 2019

Ascension is proud to host and present a wonderful series of concerts beginning in early 2019. All concerts are at 4:00 pm.

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February 3, 2019: chicago clarinet ensemble with john bruce yeh

The Chicago Clarinet Ensemble is in residence at Northeastern Illinois University and counts within its members some of the foremost Clarinets artists of Chicago. Founded by Rose Sperrazza, the ensemble ranges in size from 2 to more than 35 players depending upon the repertoire.  Ascension friend Christie Miller and Ascension member Emily Marlow are both active members of the ensemble as is John Bruce Yeh, assistant principal clarinet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Yea will be a featured performer in the February concert at Ascension.  

The first Asian musician ever appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as the longest-serving clarinetist in CSO history, John Bruce Yeh joined the CSO in June of 1977, having been appointed solo bass clarinet of the Orchestra at the age of 19 by Sir Georg Solti. Two years later, he was named assistant principal and solo E-flat clarinet. He served as acting principal clarinet of the CSO from 2008–2011. Recently he has also performed as guest principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as of the Seoul Philharmonic in Korea.

march 3, 2019: cellissimo

Cellissimo is the senior performing cello ensemble of the joint programs of the Western Springs School of Talent Education and the Naperville Suzuki School.  All members of the group are students of Sally Grossand Alex  Revoal.  Currently, the youngest member is 10 and the oldest is 17.    

Previous performances include participation in the International Ensembles Concert at the 2010 Suzuki Association of the Americas conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cellissimo has also toured the Midwest and Ontario and have given concerts in Ottawa and Montreal.   

Because the cello has a range of roughly five octaves, and can produce a variety of timbres and textures, it is particularly well-suited to same-instrument ensemble playing, sometimes performing ensemble music up to nine voices.   Their repertoire ranges from classical to original mpositions for cello ensemble to pop arrangements.  


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april 7, 2019: john goodwin, pianist

One of the busiest and most in demand pianists on the Chicago musical scene, John Goodwin is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and holds degrees in piano performance from Birmingham-Southern College and Northwestern University. He has been a featured soloist with many orchestras across the United States, including the Alabama, Shreveport, Beloit-Janesville, and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra. His weekly Face Book post of short selections from the classical, jazz, popular, and hymn genres is a favorite of lovers of piano stylings, gaining more followers each week.  His recital at Ascension will reflect the diversity of this amazing artist.    

Mr. Goodwin is currently the Principal Accompanist and Resident Conductor of the Chicago Children’s Choir, an accompanist for both the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Roosevelt University’s Choral Program and is the founding music director and conductor of the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra Chorus.