Ascension Festival of Music 2019 - 2020

Ascension is proud to host and present a wonderful series of concerts.

All concerts are at 4:00 pm.

Classical Guitarist, Laura Snowden

Classical Guitarist, Laura Snowden

September 3, 2019: laura snowden
Private Home Fund Raising Concert

Hailed a ‘string sensation’ by BBC Music Magazine, British-French guitarist and composer Laura Snowden is acclaimed for her ‘poise and intensity’ (Guardian) and playing of ‘extraordinary depth’ (Strings, Classical Music Magazine). The first guitarist to graduate from the Yehudi Menuhin School, made possible by the Rolling Stones, she was invited by guitarist Julian Bream to premiere his latest commissions at Wigmore Hall in 2015 and 2017. Laura’s international appearances have since built rapidly, with festival debuts across Europe, China and the US, as well as concerto debuts with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and Münchener Kammerorchester, and a recording of Lisa Streich’s guitar concerto Augenlider with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester.

As a composer, Laura’s music has been performed at Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Sadlers Wells, commissioned by the Park Lane Group, Birmingham Symphony Hall and International Guitar Foundation, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Hong Kong Radio 4.

Laura currently teaches at the Yehudi Menuhin School and has given classes alongside performances at venues including the Royal College of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Brussels Conservatoire, Altamira Hong Kong International Guitar Symposium, the Volterra Project in Italy, the Guitar and Lute Festival in Sweden, and the Guitar Foundation of America.

Laura’s principal teachers have been Julian Bream, Richard Wright (Royal College of Music and Yehudi Menuhin School) and Gary Ryan (Royal College of Music). Her guitar was made by Christopher Dean.

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.  


John Goodwind.jpg

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.