The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The “Grace Presents” music series names UW-Madison graduate student Kelly Hiser at its new program coordinator. | July 12, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

Madison certainly has its share of free, high quality classical musical events.

But among those programs not associated with larger institutions, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the Madison Symphony Orchestra, “Grace Presents” has proven especially reliable and successful.

I think back with fondness to the concerts I attended last season where I heard Brahms violin sonatas (below) with violinist Laura Burns and pianist Jess Salek; various songs by Faure, Hahn and Verdi, including Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Waltzes” (in a YouTube video at bottom); and a solo piano recital by Yana Groves of Debussy, Rachmaninov and Schubert.

Laura Burns Jess Salek Brahms Grace Epis

“Grace Presents,” now in its third season of concerts held in Grace Episcopal Church (below top) on the Capitol Square in downtown Madison, has announced that Kelly Hiser (below bottom) became its new Program Coordinator as of July 1.

grace episcopal church ext

Kelly Hiser

Hiser is a doctoral candidate in musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, with a special interest in the history of the spacey-sounding theremin, one of the first forms of electronic instruments, famously used in the slow movement of Aram Khachaturian’s popular Piano Concerto. She is currently serving as Project Assistant to Professor Susan Cook, the recently named Director of the School of Music.

“Grace Presents” offers free concerts by performers in a wide variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz, world and folk, in an outstanding acoustical venue that is resonant for the ears and for the eyes also features beautiful stained glass windows and lovely sculpted wood.

MBM Grace stained glass window

MBM Grace altar

Bruce Croushore, the founder and chair of Grace Presents, noted that the music series is fortunate to have Hiser in charge of lining up interesting talent for future concerts.

“Kelly brings to Grace Presents an impressive skill set, an extensive knowledge of many musical genres and a wide range of connections to the Madison music scene,” Croushore noted. “She will keep Grace Presents in the minds and hearts of lovers of diverse musical styles, performed in Grace Church’s beautiful and acoustically superb space,” he continued.

The monthly hour-long concerts are typically held at noon on Saturdays to encourage shoppers, workers, and downtown residents and visitors to enjoy fine music in a peaceful setting.

Grace Presents sign

The Fall lineup will be announced in August, and The Ear as been told that Hiser will be setting up a website of its own for “Grace Presents.”

In the meantime, here is a link to the Grace Episcopal Church’s website where you can often find news about “Grace Presents” artists and programs:

http://www.graceec.org


1 Comment »

  1. I’ve attended concerts/recitals @ Grace Episcopal church on the capitol square and can attest that the performers are truly world class players. I’m eager to see what’s coming up next season for the Sat. programs. With exemplary acoustics, every program is just great.

    Larry Retzack

    Comment by buppanasu — July 12, 2013 @ 1:56 pm


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