Portland Opera Puccini

Resonance Ensemble announces Linfield residency; jazz oasis the 1905 aims to reopen

The choral ensemble starts their semester-long residency at Linfield University in McMinnville. The recently shuttered jazz club has changed management and is making plans to reopen.


Katherine FitzGibbon. Photo by Rachel Hadiashar.
Resonance Ensemble Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon. Photo by Rachel Hadiashar.

Resonance Ensemble at Linfield University

Resonance Ensemble has announced it will perform this Thursday evening, Feb. 15, at Linfield University in McMinnville. The free concert, which will include various compositions from throughout the choral ensemble’s storied history, is the start of a three-month residency bearing the longish-but-endearing title “Lacroute Composer Readings and Chamber Music Mentorship Program.” You’ve heard that name before: Ronni Lacroute is among the most important arts benefactors in all of Oregon (check out Dmae Lo Roberts’ Stage & Studio episode featuring Lacroute right here).

In a press release sent Tuesday morning, Resonance Artistic Director Katherine FitzGibbon had this to say about the residency:

“The works we are performing are deeply meaningful to Resonance Ensemble and have been  impactful on our listeners in Portland, and we’re excited to share them with the Linfield community now. We are thrilled that Linfield invited us to be in residence this semester so that their composition students will have access to performances and coaching opportunities with Resonance’s professional choral musicians.”

From now through May, FitzGibbon and singer-violinist-violist Cecille Elliott will work with student composers in a series of lectures, workshops, performances. Resonance fans may be familiar with Elliott’s We Are Murmurs, commissioned by the ensemble and premiered at last year’s cabaret-themed Dirty, Stupid Music concert. Watch that premiere here:

In the same press release, Elliott had this to say:

“I’m really grateful for the chance I’ve had to compose for Resonance. Writing music is one of the big passions of my life, and composing for voice is a really unique and compelling world to play in. I’m so excited to work with the Linfield students.”

The semester will culminate in a concert May 8, featuring new works for choir composed during the residency by Linfield students–and this is the exciting part. It’s relatively rare for composition students to get this sort of experiential opportunity, least of all from one of the state’s leading professional choral ensembles. I mean come on, check this out:


Portland Columbia Symphony Adelante

“Throughout the semester, Linfield composition students will write choral works of their own, which will be workshopped and performed by Resonance Ensemble musicians this spring. Students will have a chance to refine their works throughout the spring, even hearing the full choir read through their works in advance of the concert to receive feedback.”

Sounds a bit like Fear No Music’s Young Composers Project, doesn’t it? Take note, every other performing organization in Oregon: This is how you keep classical music alive through the generations. Look for more on this story in the coming months.

The 1905 to reopen

We recently received news that Portland jazz club The 1905 is under new management, who intend to reopen the joint as soon as possible. Specifically, the LLC that owns and operates The 1905–The Bridge PDX–is under new management. According to a press release sent Monday morning, local business owner Chris Pfeifer and Skyview High School band director Tim Heichelheim will take over operations and intend to open “within the next four to six weeks barring any complications.”

We’ve been following The 1905 Saga pretty closely for the last few months; you may have read Angela Allen’s story on its woes and ultimate closure right here. At the time, there were reports of unpaid wages and more than a few whispers of mismanagement (you generally had to dig into the Instagram comments to find those, but they were there). Now comes the frank admission that, yes, these indeed were the problems. In the press release, Pfeifer had this to say:

“Not much will change because not much needs to. We found the troubles to be more the prior leadership than financial, as reported.”

The release goes on to say:

“Tim Heichelheim, the newly named managing partner of the LLC, along with the other members, were informed of significant mismanagement of the North Portland jazz club late last year. Upon this discovery, he, and the other members, immediately moved to remedy the issues. This included paying back wages and tips to employees, as well as squaring up with the musicians.”


Seattle Opera Barber of Seville

Two former members of the 1905’s team will help with the reopening. Jazz singer Holly Resnick will return as program director and booker. The new bar manager will be Joshua Madrid, a former 1905 employee who had a few things to say about it to the Portland Mercury in their report of the bar’s closure:

“’At one point,’ former 1905 general manager Joshua Madrid told the Mercury, ‘he had nearly 20 checks bounce across all of his spaces in the same pay period.’

“According to Madrid, he and other members of the management team from the 1905, Scholar, and Hopscotch attempted to help right the ship, asking ‘to see the financial books so that we could figure out a plan of attack,’ he wrote. ‘No matter how much we pleaded, [Aaron] flat out refused. We even had a friend who does the accounting for one of the largest cannabis companies in Washington offer to come down and organize the books for free. He still said no.’” 

As reported by Robert Ham, Portland Mercury.

ArtsWatch will continue to monitor the story and report.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Music editor Matthew Neil Andrews is a composer, writer, and alchemist specializing in the intersection of The Weird and The Beautiful. An incorrigible wanderer who spent his teens climbing mountains and his twenties driving 18-wheelers around the country, Matthew can often be found taking his nightly dérive walks all over whichever Oregon city he happens to be in. He and his music can be reached at monogeite.bandcamp.com.


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