Cube | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The members of CUBE have good reason to smile these days. First, the spunky new-music collective is turning 15, a milestone for any chamber group operating on a microbudget. Second, its artistic directors, oboist Patricia Morehead and flutist Janice Misurell-Mitchell, were named among the "Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts" by the Tribune, a recognition that may translate into more grants and higher attendance. Over the course of more than 70 concerts, the group (flutist Caroline Pittman, clarinetist Christie Vohs, percussionist Dane Richeson, and pianist-conductor Philip Morehead round out the current roster) has introduced hundreds of post-1950 compositions by relatively unsung composers, especially women, minorities, and Chicagoans. The members--particularly Vohs and the Moreheads (who are husband and wife)--have become fixtures on the local music scene, and they usually make new music sound truly inviting. The first two concerts in CUBE's current series shine the spotlight on women composers. The potpourri on March 7 features recent works by Misurell-Mitchell and Pat Morehead, as well as compositions by Keiko Abe, Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux, Chen Yi, Li Yiding, and Jane O'Leary. For the March 16 concert, which officially kicks off the group's South Loop season, CUBE will be at the core of an ad hoc chamber ensemble performing a program of four of Misurell-Mitchell's and Morehead's most accomplished pieces. The former's Sermon of a Revolutionary Spider, a setting of Angela Jackson's poetry, will be sung by tenor William Brown and a choir. The soloist in Morehead's The Wonderful Musician, set to Anne Sexton's texts, is mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley. Another local talent, soprano Jonita Lattimore, solos in Good News Falls Gently, also by Morehead. Other featured players include pianist Sebastian Huydts (3/7) and CSO trumpeter Tage Larson (3/16). Friday, March 7, 8 PM, Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. Saint Louis, and Sunday, March 16, 2:30 PM, auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; 312-554-1133.

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