The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The outstanding “Grace Presents” FREE concert series is seeking to hire a new coordinator. Here is all the information about the job and the application process.

May 5, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

It is no secret that Madison is filled with great classical music, much of it free for the attending and listening.

But individual smaller programs like the First Unitarian Society’s Friday Noon Musicales and the non-traditional, eclectic concerts by Classical Revolution Madison can still fly under the radar.

One of the most noteworthy is the monthly “Grace Presents” series on Saturdays at noon at the Grace Episcopal Church downtown on Capitol Square.

grace episcopal church ext

It sends out a newsletter via the Grace Episcopal Church, which does have a website, but “Grace Presents” has no website of its own that I can find, or even a complete, easy-to-find schedule on the regular Grace Episcopal website. And yet the attendance can be quite good and the performances quite impressive.

I can’t speak to other kinds of music, like Celtic or folk, though some of the performers’ names are familiar. But this past winter I heard two outstanding concerts.

One featured violinist Laura Burns and pianist Jess Salek (below) in sonatas by Brahms.

Laura Burns Jess Salek Brahms Grace Epis

The other (below is an YouTube video excerpt) featured four singers and two pianists in songs by Schubert, Schumann, Faure, Hahn, Verdi and Brahms.

And on May 18, I want to hear the season closer this spring with pianist Yana Groves (below), who was born in Ukraine and trained at the UW by Christopher Taylor. She will perform the lyrical Prelude Op. 23, No. 4, by Sergei Rachmaninoff; three “Estampes” or “Prints” by Claude Debussy; and the big, soulful Sonata in A Minor, D. 845, by Franz Schubert.

Yana Groves playing

Anyway, Grace Presents is looking for a new coordinator, and The Ear wants to help the series get the best one it can find. The organizers deserve no less, and so do the attentive and appreciative Madison public and Madison group of musicians.

Much of its success can no doubt be attributed to Bruce Croushore, a tireless, capable and affable man who recruits fine musicians, spreads the word and is a gracious host.

Here is the job posting that he forwarded to me to post:

Music Series Seeks Program Coordinator

“Grace Presents” is a series of concerts that began in the Spring of 2011. To date, two dozen diverse musical performances -– classical, folk, Celtic — have been enjoyed by audiences that range in size from 30 to as many as 300.

“Most concerts take place at Noon on Saturdays, so as to attract Dane County Farmers’ Market shoppers.

“Grace Presents’ mission is to open the doors of Madison’s historic landmark, Grace Episcopal Church (below is its acoustically resonant interior)), on the downtown Capitol Square, continuing the ancient tradition of music in the marketplace.

grace episcopal church inter

“To provide musicians and music-lovers from Dane County and beyond an outstanding acoustical performance venue that is attractive, peaceful, and in the heart of Madison.

“To offer free concerts of exceptional quality by local performers representing a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, world, and folk.

“To attract and enrich a broad audience, including downtown neighborhood residents, secondary school and university students, farmers’ market shoppers, local business people, State workers, local visitors, tourists, and people who are homeless.

“Grace Church’s close proximity to the Overture Center (below), Monona Terrace and downtown shops, restaurants, museums, and offices encourages attendees to walk, ride bikes, or to use public transportation and reduces the carbon footprint of an excellent cultural event.

OvertureExteior-DelBrown_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85

“Grace Presents seeks a Program Coordinator whose duties include:

“1. Engaging musicians to perform 8-12 concerts throughout the calendar year. This includes scheduling dates that work for the musicians, Grace Church, and the community at large. Dates should be far enough in advance to allow for promotion of each concert. At times program content may be specific to a given audience (i.e., children or shelter meal participants).

“2. Preparing and disseminating publicity through various media, including online and print listings and similar promotional opportunities.

“3. Arranging payment for musicians. (i.e. paperwork and coordinating checks with the church’s Finance Administrator)

“4. Preparing and printing programs, posters and flyers for the concerts.

“5. Acting as a liaison between performers and venue (Grace Church).

“6. Attending the concerts to assist with day-of logistics and taking care of musicians’ needs, except in special circumstances.

7. Attending periodic meetings of Grace Presents’ task force.

8. Completing and submitting grant applications with the assistance of task force members.

“QUALIFICATIONS: This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in gaining experience in concert promotion and arts administration. Strong organizational and communication skills are necessary. Having knowledge of the Madison music scene, both commercial and educational, is a plus.

“COMPENSATION:
 Quarterly honoraria of $500.

“APPLICATION DEADLINE: Apply by email with resume attached not later than June 1, 2013

“Although the Grace Presents’ concert series is booked through December 2013, the task force intends to fill the position by June 30, 2013 so that the incumbent will be able to train her successor over the summer months.

“CONTACT:
 Bruce Croushore at croushoreb@gmail.com

Grace Presents sign


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