Staff

Eric Esparza

Artistic Director: Windy City Performing Arts

Eric is the Director of Choral Activities and Vocal Area Coordinator at DePaul University in Chicago. He conducts the DePaul Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and teaches courses in choral music. Prior to joining WCPA, Eric was the Artistic Director and Conductor for International Voices Houston, United Nations Association International Chorus, and World Voices Houston.

Eric holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas; a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University – where he served as a University Fellow and as the Assistant Conductor of the Florida State University Opera; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from Boston University. Eric remains internationally active as a singer, conductor, and music editor.

 

Madelyn Tan-Cohen

Accompanist: Windy City Performing Arts

Originally from Malaysia, Madelyn Tan began her musical studies at the age of 5 when she was enrolled in the Junior Music Course at the Yamaha Music School. After graduating from JMC, she was accepted into the Junior Special Advanced Course where she continued to develop her piano performance, improvisation and composition skills. By the age of 13, Madelyn completed the 8th grade examination by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and passed the Associate Trinity College of London (ATCL) diploma the following year.

Madelyn was accepted to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy (MI) at the age of 15, majoring in Piano Performance and studying under Benjamin Yu. After high school she attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL on a music and academic scholarship where she majored in Keyboard Performance, studying under Ivan Davis.

During her years as an undergraduate student, she discovered her passion of accompanying soloists and choirs. After receiving her Bachelors in Music in 1998, Madelyn received a graduate fellowship in Chamber Music and Accompanying and graduated in 2000. During her years at UM, she studied with Ivan Davis, Dr. Paul Posnak and Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Madelyn was the Principal Accompanist for the Ft. Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus and the MCC Sunshine Cathedral for 6 years. In her free time, Madelyn works as a Project Manager at the Ravinia Festival’s Education and Community Partnerships Department.

 

Laura Adkins

General Manager

Laura is an active teacher, performer, and arts administrator in Chicago. She completed both her bachelor’s and master’s in performance at DePaul University, where she studied with Jelena Dirks, Eugene Izotov, and John Dee. She is currently the Oboe Techniques Instructor at The Chicago High School for the Arts, and prior to that, she taught oboe and other woodwinds at Sistema Ravinia’s Circle Rock nucleo on the west side of the city. She maintains an active private studio, and has previously taught oboe lessons at Lane Tech and Lincoln Park High Schools.

In 2013, Laura co-founded Ursa Ensemble, a mixed chamber group that collaborates with artists of other media. In her role as founding member and, later, Executive Director, she helped Ursa self-produce three seasons of concerts and outreach performances in the Chicago area. Laura also did grant-writing and development work for Spirito!, a girls’ choir based in the western suburbs, for nearly four years.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys yoga, sewing, doing sudokus, and drinking green tea on the back porch of her uptown apartment.

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