Parisian Soirée Parisian Soirée





Parisian Soirée

Our annual champagne gala celebrating 33 years!

  • $50 Assigned Rows 1-2
  • $35 Assigned Rows 3-5
  • $25 General Admission
  • $10 Student
  • Deanna Relyea, mezzo-soprano
  • Monica Swartout-Bebow, mezzo-soprano
  • Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers, soprano
  • Emily Benner, soprano
  • Joan Morris, soprano
  • William Bolcom, piano
  • Kathleen Kelly, piano
  • Kevin Bylsma, piano
  • Kathryn Goodson, piano/voice
  • Alvin Waddles, piano
  • David Jackson, trombone

Event Details

“To hear a number of Ann Arbor's top-notch talent perform together in a fun, laid-back atmosphere for an evening was certainly a real treat. Or, as the French would say, magnifique!” – Ann Arbor Journal

This annual event is fun, full of surprises, includes champagne and features a program that focuses on repertoire with a connection to all things Parisian - from classical, jazz, cabaret, to anything goes!

This performance is support in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.

Deanna Relyea

Mezzo-soprano Deanna Relyea is the founder of KCH and has been its Artistic Director for 31 years. Deanna has appeared on concert series and with symphony orchestras in the region and throughout Canada. She frequently tours with her brother, the celebrated Canadian bass baritone Gary Relyea, and his wife Anna as the “Voices-Relyea” performing in festivals and on concert series throughout Canada. Deanna has performed as cabaret singer in many settings and is a regular cabaret artist at the Niagra-On-The-Lake Chamber Music Festival. Recently she appeared in New York City at John Zorn’s venue, The Stone, performing and improvising with prominent NYC artists.

Monica Swartout-Bebow

Monica Swartout-Bebow, mezzo soprano, is a busy regional artist and seasoned voice teacher known for her versatile singing and engaging performances. A native of Michigan, she made her professional operatic debut as Juno in the Detroit Oratorio Society’s production of Händel’s Semele, in which The Detroit News described her as “captivating.” Her other opera credits include: Annina in La Traviata with the Dayton Opera; Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Works; Dorabella in Così fan tutte, a performance co-produced by the Lincoln Center Institute and The Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City; and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with the Comic Opera Guild. She has worked in an apprenticeship capacity with the Dayton Opera, the Toledo Opera, the Brevard Music Center, and as a studio artist with the Chautauqua Opera Company. In 2001, she wore the hat of stage director with the Ann Arbor Opera’s production of Gianni Schicchi. Read more.

Ms. Swartout-Bebow’s orchestral concert engagements include solo appearances with the Plymouth Oratorio Society, the Rackham Symphony Choir, the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Grand Valley State University Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the Ann Arbor Symphony, the Toledo Symphony, and the AIMS Orchestra in Graz, Austria. While living in Chicago, Ms. Swartout-Bebow performed as an ensemble member and featured soloist with The Lakeside Singers, a professional chorale under the direction of Robert Bowker, appearing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. She has also performed as an ensemble member for The Detroit Symphony’s Christmas Pops series. Most recently, she was featured in a performance of Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, under the direction of Suzanne Acton, and was also featured in a premier performance of Enid Sutherland’s Daphne and Apollo Remade, under the auspices of The University of Michigan University Musical Society and the Phoenix Ensemble.

Ms. Swartout-Bebow enjoys the recital stage, and has presented solo recitals at concert houses and churches in Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. She performs at the Ann Arbor Kerrytown Concert House regularly as part of its annual concert series, including the Parisian Soirée, Wine, Women, and Song, and the long-running Ann Arbor Festival of Song.

Having started her career in various nightclubs and theatre venues, Ms. Swartout-Bebow’s singing extends to the genres of jazz, cabaret, and musical theatre. She has appeared in cabaret and jazz performances at regional venues including Davenport’s in Chicago, the Kerrytown Concert House, the Cadillac Club in Lansing, and at the Toledo Museum of Art. In addition to her live appearances, she has appeared on regional jingles as well as other recordings.

As a faculty member of Eastern Michigan University (since 2011), and Grand Valley State University, Ms. Swartout-Bebow has taught studio voice, opera workshop, and diction. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and maintains a private studio in Ann Arbor.

Ms. Swartout-Bebow holds a Master’s Degree with Highest Honors in voice performance from The University of Michigan where she studied extensively with Martin Katz and Joshua Major, and was awarded the Joy Whitman Weinberger Award for showing outstanding potential in the field of opera. See less.

Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers

Soprano Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers’ concert, recital, choral, and stage engagements have taken her around the world: New York, London, Vienna, and Prague, as well as to Chicago, Detroit, Toledo, Syracuse, and other Great Lakes cities. Recent activities have included performances and recordings with the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Toledo and National Polish Radio Symphonies, Moravian Philharmonic, American Composers’ Alliance, Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, and the Society for New Music. She appears frequently at KCH, including the annual Wine, Women and Song concerts. She is currently an associate professor of voice at Bowling Green State University.

Emily Benner

Emily Benner, soprano, is an accomplished performer and experienced teacher, equally at home in opera, musical theatre, and concert settings. A Michigan native, her career began in Detroit where she debuted with the Michigan Opera Theatre as First Lady in a production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute conducted by Klaus Donath and designed by writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are). She also appeared as Javotte in Massenet’s Manon, again with MOT, this time conducted by the founding director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, John Mauceri, and alongside soprano Ruth Ann Swenson and tenor Marcello Giordani. Ms. Benner spent several seasons as a resident artist with the Toledo Opera, during which time she brought the roles of Cio-Cio San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the title role in Puccini’s Tosca, Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Susannah in Carlisle Floyd’s eponymous American masterpiece to appreciative audiences at outreach concerts around the city. She also appeared in Toledo Opera’s main stage production of Susannah as Mrs. Hayes. Other roles include Lucy in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone, the title role in Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, and Soeur Constance in Francis Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites.

The Toledo Symphony has engaged Ms. Benner for a Rodgers and Hammerstein Review, and a “Best of Broadway” series featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Weber. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has also capitalized on her versatility by engaging her for its Young People’s Series, featuring everything from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel to music from children’s television programming. Ms. Benner has been highly active in the Ann Arbor concert scene, performing Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite and Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the ensemble Brave New Works, and appearing in the world premiere performance and recording of local composer Enid Sutherland’s Daphne and Apollo Remade, jointly produced by the Phoenix Ensemble and the University of Michigan. Recent concert appearances include a Valentine’s Day concert with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and a Christmas concert with The Tecumseh Pops Orchestra.

A frequent recitalist, Ms. Benner was a recent guest artist on the Bowling Green State University Faculty Artist series, and has made dozens of appearances at Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House both as part of its regular season (Parisian Soirée, Brahms Gala) and as part of the long-running Ann Arbor Festival of Song.

Joan Morris

Born in Portland, Oregon, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris attended Gonzaga University in Spokane prior to her scholarship studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She appeared in off-Broadway and road productions and with harpist Jay Miller at the Cafe Carlyle, the Waldorf-Astoria’s Peacock Alley, and other Manhattan night spots. From 1981-2009 Ms. Morris taught a cabaret class at the School of Music, University of Michigan. In April 1998 she produced a new musical there, Mina and Colossus, written by the young composer Sam Davis and based on the life of poet Mina Loy. In April 2003, Ms. Morris wrote, produced, co-directed, and starred in a musical revue, The Police Gazette, based on materials housed in the Clements Library at the U of M. In December 2005 she wrote, produced, directed, and had a featured role in Barnum’s Nightingale, based on Jenny Lind’s concert tour of America in 1850 sponsored by P. T. Barnum. The latter two entertainments were presented at the Clements Library where Ms. Morris was Adjunct Curator. In April 2004 Joan was a soloist in the performance of Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience (texts by William Blake), which celebrated the reopening of the newly renovated Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The concert, combining 450 orchestra and chorus members from the University of Michigan School of Music and community with professional soloists, was conducted by Leonard Slatkin and took place almost 20 years to the day after its 1984 U.S. premiere. The Naxos recording of this event went on to win four Grammy Awards, garnering recognition for her as soloist on the album. She sang in the world premiere of Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience in Stuttgart, the U.S. premiere in Ann Arbor, MI, and in performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London’s Royal Festival Hall, broadcast live over BBC Radio 3 and in Costa Mesa with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

William Bolcom

2007 Musical America Composer of the Year and multiple Grammy Awards recipient for his ground-breaking setting of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Bolcom's compositions include cabaret songs, concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, and much more. He was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his 12 New Etudes for piano. Recent premieres include Canciones de Lorca with tenor Placido Domingo, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and conductor Carl St. Clair at the gala opening concert of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Orange Country Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA; Eighth Symphony with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival chorus conducted by James Levine; Lucrezia, a one-act opera for 5 singers and 2 pianists [March 2008]; and First Symphony for Band with the University of Michigan Symphony Band conducted by Michael Haithcock [February 2009]. Bolcom taught composition at the University of Michigan from 1973-2008. In the fall of 1994 the University of Michigan named him the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition.

Kathleen Kelly

The first woman and first American named as Director of Musical Studies at the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen Kelly is the Coach/Conductor of Opera at the University of Michigan. She has led performances at Houston Grand Opera, the Vienna State Opera, Arizona Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Wolf Trap Festival, Berkshire Opera, Opera Columbus, and the Alexandria Symphony. She is a prominent operatic coach for young artist programs nationally, including the training programs of the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater. She has served as a judge for the Cooper Bing competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the prestigious Tucker Awards. As a pianist, she has performed with singers such as Christine Goerke, Jamie Barton, Amber Wagner, Thomas Hampson, and Renee Fleming. Kathleen Kelly has been most notably associated with the Houston Grand Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and the San Francisco Opera. She gives masterclasses, is an arranger and librettist, and is a passionate lecturer and advocate for opera in all its forms.

Kevin Bylsma

Kevin Bylsma is an accomplished pianist and vocal coach and is well-known in the Midwest for his work in art song, opera and oratorio. As head of music preparation for the Toledo Opera, he had coached productions of Tosca, The Tales of Hoffmann and The Magic Flute. He has served as music director of the Department of Community Programs for the Michigan Opera Theatre from 1993–97 and was vocal coach, accompanist and chorus master for OPERA! Lenawee from 1992 to 1997. Other music directing credits include the Lyric Chamber Ensemble of Detroit and the Papagena Opera Company of Ann Arbor. He has appeared throughout the United States, Canada and Europe as an organist, pianist and accompanist. In the summer of 1996, he toured Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic with tenor Robert Mirshak. Most recently, he has appeared in master classes and recitals with soprano Diana Soviero and mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura. He has served as principal keyboardist with the Adrian and Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestras and was the winner of a number of competitive awards, including the Robert Glasgow Organ Scholarship from the University of Michigan and the Lucille Mehaffie Young Artist Award. He currently serves as an instructor at Bowling Green State University and assistant organist at the historic Mariner’s Church in Detroit.

Kathryn Goodson

Pianist Kathryn Goodson, an international performer, teacher and coach, has performed collaborative recitals with vocalists and instrumentalists throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. In her Ann Arbor, Michigan community, she is a coach for the University of Michigan School of Music and a regular ensemble performer for both the Ann Arbor and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. Her teaching projects include an annual course in American Art Song at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe and a master class offered to American schools, Songs4Winds. Her collaborative playing has been documented on CDs released by Innova, Albany and Equilibrium. Belle Nuit, a 2-CD set of romantic French music curated and produced by Goodson, was released by Parma-Navona Records with NAXOS distribution in 2014. Performance partners are bass trombonist Randall Hawes, saxophonists Timothy McAllister and Donald Sinta, and hornist Gail Williams.

Alvin Waddles

Pianist, singer, composer, director, Alvin Waddles began studying the piano at the age of eight in his hometown of Detroit, MI. He continued his studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University Of Michigan School Of Music after which he returned to the Detroit area where he currently resides. After returning home he immediately immersed himself in the rich musical culture of the city, benefiting from the diverse influences that would eventually shape his own unique style. Mr. Waddles has worked in the Detroit and Ann Arbor Public Schools as well as the Music Ministries of several churches; among them, the historic New Bethel Baptist Church, Hartford Memorial Baptist and Hope United Methodist in Southfield, MI. where he has served as the Director of Music since 1995. He has been musical director and/or pianist for numerous theatrical productions including: The Wiz, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Chorus Line, West Side Story, Sophisticated Ladies and received rave reviews as a featured performer in the Detroit Music Hall's long running production of Ain't Misbehavin'. During the 2010-2011 season his diverse gifts were on full display when, within a two week period, he sang the role of Crown for Bowling Green University's production of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and played the composers 'Rhapsody in Blue' with the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra. Mr. Waddles has delighted Detroit music lovers with performances in a variety of musical events including the Detroit International Jazz Festival and the Detroit Festival of the Arts. He is the featured piano soloist in annual productions of "Too Hot to Handel" in Detroit and Chicago and can frequently be heard performing his own Fats Waller Revue. Mr. Waddles' engagements as a soloist and featured artist have taken him to a variety of destinations including Barbados, Beijing, Paris, Barcelona and Ghana, West Africa. He has also traveled extensively as musical director/pianist for Cook, Dixon and Young (formerly of the Three Mo' Tenors). He has been blessed to work with some of the world's finest musicians including Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Brazeal Dennard, Minister Thomas Whitfield, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Placido Domingo, George Shirley, Marcus Belgrave, Jack Jones, Haley Westenra, Stephanie Mills and Tramaine Hawkins.

David Jackson

David Jackson, Professor of Trombone at the University of Michigan School of Music, enjoys an active career as a performer and teacher. He is a recognized and ardent supporter of new music who has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions for the trombone. His former students occupy performing and teaching positions throughout the U.S. and abroad.