Special Winter Solstice Concert Features Flute, Piano and Voice

A graphic for Lullabies and Nocturnes

Three musical artists will perform a special Winter Solstice at the Kerrytown Concert House (KCH) on Thursday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Pianist: Kathryn Goodson

A photo of a person posing for a picture.
Kathryn Goodson.

Kathryn Gordon is a pianist, chamber musician and coach. She has been teaching, curating and performing professionally since finishing school in Europe in the 1990s.

“I am honored that KCH (Kerrytown Concert House) invited me a second time to the 2023 KCH Solstice concert. It will be my second annual chamber music and voice offering to KCH from the perspective of the collaborative pianist, on this coldest, longest night of the year,” Goodson said. “It’s a concert devoted to gentle warmth, comfort, and light, whatever one’s spiritual leaning might be. Later December is always nostalgic, and though magical for many, it sometimes is sorrowful.”

Goodson also highlighted what her accompanying artists will offer.

“This year featuring the gorgeous flute artistry of Amy Porter and rich mezzo-soprano of Monica Swartout-Bebow,” Goodson said. “The music will include tributes to the night, moon, and rest from Debussy — his famous ‘Clair de Lune,’ as well as a lullaby written for me and dedicated to an angel child by local celebrity jazz pianist and composer, Ellen Rowe.  The Christmas carols will include familiar melodies such as ‘Silent Night’, ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and more.”

Goodson noted that all three performers are female.

“It is wonderful to feature women, in music and other fields,” Goodson said. “I feel there has never been a better time to grow up or to grow old as a woman, but that this is something which cannot be taken for granted. Though my own chief mentors were men, I am so proud to be an example and a mentor to young women.”

Vocalist: Monica Swartout-Bebow

Monica Swartout-Bebow has been a professional musician for thirty years. She was a freelance voice teacher for 25 years — eight years on the voice faculty at Eastern Michigan University. In the Spring of 2019, she became the artistic and executive director of the Kerrytown Concert House, serving the artists and audiences in the community and at large.

Swartout-Bebow also describes what to expect from the Soltice concert as well.

“Audiences can expect to experience high-caliber piano/flute chamber music by two world-class musicians in an intimate salon-style setting — with a small layer of caroling from me,” Swartout-Bebow said.

She noted that there is also a special atmosphere around this time of year.

“For me, the holidays evoke a warm nostalgia for the wonderment of children,” Swartout-Bebow said. “They are also a reminder to think about others and to bring others joy with gifts, kind sentiments, and expressions of love.”

She also described the aspect of highlighting three female performers.

“I think it’s important to empower women in all aspects of life, highlighting their talents — be they in music or otherwise — as we all move toward a more equitable and inclusive society,” Swartout-Bebow said.

Flutist: Amy Porter

Porter has been a professor of flute for 25 years at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance.

Porter gave a wonderful and succinct prediction of the evening.

“It will be a beautiful soiree, a perfect evening of music with friends,” Porter said.

She notes some other songs that might be familiar are ‘Clair de Lune’ by Debussy and some famous lullabies.

When asked about the biggest influence of her art, Porter had many factors.

“The changing landscape of the music world,” Porter said. “We need to adapt with the changes and at the same time honor our heritage.”

She added that the arts are not only important for women to express themselves but for all people to expressed themselves in a broader sense.

“The arts provide a space to speak the truth of society and the needs of others,” Porter said.

415 N 4th Ave., Ann Arbor. kerrytownconcerthouse.com.

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Donna Marie Iadipaolo is a writer, journalist, and State of Michigan certified teacher, since 1990. She has written for national publications like The Village Voice, Ear Magazine of New Music, Insurance & Technology, and TheStreet.
She is now writing locally for many publications, including Current Magazine, Ann Arbor Family, and the Ann Arbor Independent. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she graduated with an honors bachelor’s degree and three teacher certificate majors: mathematics, social sciences, English. She also earned three graduate degrees in Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Education Specialist Degree.