Staff

Eric Esparza

Dr. William Southerland

Artistic Director: Windy City Performing Arts

William came to Chicago to join WCPA following a seven-year run as artistic director of Triad Performing Arts in Greensboro, N.C., where he directed roughly 80 volunteer singers across the organization’s three ensembles: Triad Pride Women’s Chorus, Triad Pride Men’s Chorus, and the small ensemble, Counterpoint.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Florida State University, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC Greensboro), and a doctorate in music education from UNC Greensboro, where he presented his dissertation, Factors of Motivation to Participation in LGBTQ-Identified Choruses. His background includes certifications, among others, in professional music training and service capacities, conducting and performing roles, and teaching and advising positions across the southern U.S.

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Eric Esparza

Madelyn Tan-Cohen

Accompanist: Windy City Performing Arts

Madelyn discovered her love for choral music while pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Miami, Coral Gables while accompanying the Men’s Chorus and University Chorale. She enjoys plunking out parts and being surrounded by voices singing in harmony, in addition to the challenge of sight-reading. Madelyn believes in the power of music and the community it builds, especially with WCPA. She is currently Associate Director of Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play Education Programs, overseeing music programs in Chicago Public Schools. This is Madelyn’s 13th season with Windy City Performing Arts.

 

 

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Eric Esparza

Giles Lemmens

General Manager

Giles is an arts administrator and lifelong musician originally from Atlanta, GA. He completed a bachelor’s degree in music education at the University of Georgia, where he studied trumpet with David Bilger.

After graduation, he completed a graduate certificate in arts administration at the University of Connecticut. He is currently the Assistant Director of Performance Activities at the Music Institute of Chicago and has previously worked in development for Chicago-area nonprofits. 

Giles joined the Windy City family in 2019 and looks forward to working with all the talented musicians in the organization!

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