Dark Sky Project: Presented by ÆPEX Contemporary Performance

Literati Bookstore, 124 E Washington Street, Ann Arbor

ÆPEX Contemporary Performance closes its fourth season with a vocal spectacular featuring renowned mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen, soprano Hillary LaBonte, and soprano Jocelyn Zelasko performing music by Gilda Lyons, Amy Beth Kirsten, and a world premiere for voice and string quartet by Ann Arbor-native Stephanie Ann Boyd.

The performance is at 7 PM on Wednesday, May 22 in the upstairs space at Literati bookstore - the concert is free and open to public, with a $10 suggested donation. The program also features string quartet music by Griffin Candey and a world premiere work for solo cello by Michigan-based composer Hannah Boissoneault, performed by Joshua DeVries.

Boyd's new work is commissioned by The Dark Sky Project, an initiative conceived by Candey, a Marquette, MI resident. The endeavor aims to reawaken, reassess, and amplify the voices of overlooked characters in classic literature — specifically, in this first round, several female characters in the works for William Shakespeare.

Through new settings of the original Shakespeare texts paired with settings of new poems in response, our three composers aim to give a deeper dive into the characters that are often glossed over alongside the tragic or heroic (and inevitably male) protagonists of these oft-examined plays.

ÆPEX Contemporary Performance is a 501c3, nonprofit concert presenting organization with the mission of sharing music by rarely performed and underrepresented twentieth and twenty-first century composers from around with the world with audiences across Michigan.

Since our debut in December 2015, ÆPEX has programmed music by more than 80 different composers at more than 25 concerts and community music events in Ypsilanti, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Mt. Pleasant.

This concert will mark Megan Ihnen's second performance with ÆPEX, her first since April 2017, and Hillary LaBonte's and Jocelyn Zelasko's debuts on our concert series. Megan will be joined by violinists Dana Johnson and Janet Lyu, violist Kaitlyn Walker, cellist Joshua DeVries, and conductor Daniel Brottman.