The very best thing about creating a concert is collaborating with other artists and performers.
Oregon’s Delgani String Quartet is one of the most active chamber music ensembles in the Pacific Northwest with over 75 performances and educational programs each year. The quartet curates their own concert series in both Eugene and Salem while also appearing as guest artists throughout the state. Delgani recently completed its first east-coast tour following an invitation to perform at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Equally committed to community outreach, Delgani provides educational programs throughout the Willamette Valley. In 2016 the quartet held a residency at the Springfield Academy of Arts and Academics working with student composers on new works for string quartet. This past spring Delgani served as Artists in Residence at Umpqua Community College where they presented seminars, performances, and worked with student ensembles. Each year, Delgani manages a Summer Quartet Academy, a weeklong immersive chamber music experience is held each year in Cottage Grove, Oregon. This past summer, 17 students from Grants Pass, Eugene, and Salem attended the Academy. Delgani also hosts Adult Chamber Music Retreats for amateur enthusiasts and curates an adult education series prior to each season concert in Eugene.
Delgani was formed in 2014 with a mission to cultivate an appreciation for chamber music through distinctive performance, innovative programming, educational engagement, and collaboration. The organization operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and has received foundation support from the Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Lane Arts Council, Springfield Arts Commission, and Springfield Education Foundation. Delgani is the recipient of consecutive Cultural Development Grants from OCT and a Creative Heights Grant from OCF.
The musicians of Delgani have performed throughout the United States and internationally. They collectively hold twelve degrees in string performance from various schools of music and conservatories across the nation.
Katie Boehnlein is a teacher, writer, and adventurer living in Ashland, Oregon. A life-long Oregonian, she has always felt at home in wild places, seeking inspiration for her work through and with nature. She is currently working on a compilation of poetry and photographs capturing sensory and poignant moments from a recent bicycle trip across America. Katie holds an MS in Environmental Education and an MA in Teaching from Southern Oregon University.
Her creative nonfiction and poetry works can be found at her website, her blog "In the Midst," and on Instagram.
Praised for her warm, rich tone quality, sensitive musicality, and compelling stage presence, mezzo-soprano Laura Beckel Thoreson is a rising presence in the opera and concert world.
Equally at home in the opera house, on the concert stage, and in the recital hall, Ms. Thoreson has appeared as a guest artist with such groups as Portland Opera, Eugene Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Augusta Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Indiana University Opera Theatre, the Oregon Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, the Bach Cantata Choir and Orchestra, and more, and has been a four-time guest artist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Fortunate to be married to skilled collaborative pianist Joel Thoreson, Ms. Thoreson enjoys performing recitals in a wide variety of musical genres, including classical art song, early and new music, musical theater, and jazz. In 2012, Ms. Thoreson was invited to give a recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Conservatory Project, where she performed the Seguidilla from Bizet's Carmen, Manuel de Falla's Siete canciones populares espanolas, and Rossini's Canzonetta Spagnuola. Most recently, Ms. Thoreson--along with soprano Arwen Myers and pianist Susan McDaniel--launched Northwest Art Song, an organization based in Portland which celebrates and promotes the art of the song recital in the Pacific Northwest. Along with her fellow NWAS members, Ms. Thoreson has appeared on All-Classical 89.9's Thursdays at Three radio program multiple times, and at Portland's Friends of Chamber Music and Friends of Music events.
A great advocate for new music, Ms. Thoreson recently performed the world premiere of Pacific Northwest composer Teresa Koon's new song cycle, Songs of God and Laughter, for mezzo-soprano, trumpet, and four-hand piano. In 2016, she recorded two new works with Fifth House Ensemble by Grammy-nominated jazz pianist and composer J.J. Wright at the University of Notre Dame. She has also recorded Don Freund's Medicine Wheel, a duet cycle for soprano and mezzo-soprano written for Ms. Thoreson, soprano Arwen Myers, and Native American flautist and former principal flautist of the Philadelphia Orchestra James Pellerite. Ms. Thoreson has enjoyed appearing as a soloist with the IU New Music Ensemble (Eric Lindsay's award-winning Piano) and Contemporary Vocal Ensemble (Arvo Pärt's Missa Syllabica), in addition to other contemporary music groups.
A great choral music enthusiast, Ms. Thoreson has been a member of several professional ensembles, including The Kammerbach Ensemble, Aguava New Music Studio, Apollo's Voice, Vox Reflexa, Prometheus, and Portland-based Cappella Romana, Resonance Ensemble, Trinity Chamber Singers, and The Ensemble of Oregon. She has had the pleasure of performing with several high-level choirs throughout her career, including Indiana University's Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and University Singers and early music ensemble Pro Arte Singers. Ms. Thoreson has sung with the cathedral choir at St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and with Collegium Musicum at St. James Proto-Cathedral in Vancouver, Washington, and Northminster Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In addition, Ms. Thoreson has worked as a recording artist with AireBorn Studios in Indianapolis, recording demos for Boosey and Hawkes, Hal Leonard, and other major music publishers, and with Dynamic Catholic and Oregon Catholic Press. Her recordings have appeared in the Top 10 on the Billboard Classical charts.
Ms. Thoreson has been fortunate to work with such illustrious conductors, directors, coaches, and teachers as Arthur Fagen, Monica Huggett, Craig Jessop, Raymond Leppard, George Manahan, Kevin Noe, Robert Porco, Michael Ehrman, Candace Evans, Carol Vaness, Gary Arvin, Kevin Murphy, Timothy Noble, Patricia Wise, Paul Kiesgen, and Dr. Julia Nielsen.
Ms. Thoreson is a current Performer Diploma candidate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she received her Master of Music in Voice, studying under Distinguished Professor Timothy Noble. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice at Central Washington University, as a student of Diane Thueson Reich.
A native of Vancouver, Washington, Ms. Thoreson was a member of the voice faculty at the University of Portland for three years, and is currently on faculty at Clark College in Vancouver. She also maintains a full private voice studio in the Portland area. Her students are frequent performers, competitors, and winners at local, regional, and national levels, and attend music degree programs (classical voice, musical theater, music education, etc.) at Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, Oklahoma City University, Brigham Young University, and Central Washington University, among others. Ms. Thoreson is an enthusiastic member of NATS (the National Association of Teachers of Singing), and is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for choral programs, festivals, and vocal competitions throughout the Northwest. She is also a proud member of AGMA (the American Guild of Musical Artists).