In Arts & Entertainment

Fabulous flashback: A Present Music performance from 2016. (PHOTO: Facebook )

Present Music's Thanksgiving concert showcases 100 voices of gratitude, glee

More than 100 voices will fill the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist with warmth, power, gratitude and joy during Present Music's annual Thanksgiving concert. Enthusiasts of experimental, alternative and classical music will particularly enjoy this show.

The professional Hearing Voices Ensemble will collaborate with student choir groups from Reagan IB and Homestead High Schools for an uplifting performance steeped in holiday cheer. Special guests the Bucks Native American Singing and Dancing Group will once again open and close the show.

The performance – which includes the world premiere of a piece called "Meditation and Gratitude" by Turkish-American Kamran Ince – takes place Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. Ince will also host a pre-concert chat at 4 p.m.

The show sells out every year, but general admission tickets are still available for $25 as well as a very limited number of $55 VIP tickets. Student tickets are $10 with a valid student ID. To buy tickets, go to or call (414) 271-0711. Any remaining tickets will be for sale at the door before the show.

Other program highlights include Caroline Shaw's "From Rivers," Karen Beaumont performing "Litanies for Organ" by Jehan Alain on organ and "Book of Hours" by young composer Robert Honstein. The evening will close with a popular tune sung by the audience and performers, followed by the time-honored Friendship Dance.

This is a particularly notable Thanksgiving concert for Present Music's founder and artistic director, Kevin Stalheim, who will retire after this season. Stalheim started the group – which is dedicated to contemporary and cutting-edge classical music – 37 years ago.

"This performance will be especially meaningful to me," says Stalheim. "I'm really looking forward to it."

OnMilwaukee recently stopped by a Hearing Voices rehearsal for the upcoming show and definitely felt the feels during the powerful movement. Here's to trying something different, Milwaukee!


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