Big Up to our familiar Lawrence Dillon whose Ravinia Festival winning composition The Better Angels of Our Nature will be performed on tour by the Lincoln Trio (ensemble in residence at the Music Institute of Chicago) and narrator Welz Kauffman (CEO of the Ravinia Festival)  33 times from February 11th to April 24th in cities throughout Illinois, including Chicago, Springfield, Champaign, Decatur, Urbana, Evanston, Lincoln and Bloomington.  The work is one of three competition-winning compositions, the other two of which are James Crowley’s From the Earth and Eric Sawyer’s Lincoln’s Two Americas. All three works will be presented on the tour. 

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, the nice folks at Newspeak (you remember them; they did the great birthday concert for Frederic Rzewski last May) is celebrating its attainment of not-for-profit status with a benefit concert on Wednesday, February 25, at the Players Theatre, a part of Music on MacDougal, to raise some funds to record its first CD to be produced by Lawson White, and released on New Amsterdam Records.   

The show will include music by Caleb Burhans (Newspeak, itsnotyouitsme), Missy Mazzoli (Victoire, MATA Festival), Stefan Weisman, Pat Muchmore (Anti-Social Music), Oscar Bettison, Massey, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and group-founder David T. Little.  Composer and New Amsterdam Records co-director Judd Greenstein will also make an appearance.   

There will be a wine and chocolate reception following the performance where the audience will have the chance to meet the performers and composers.  Be sure you’ve had your shots. (It’s a joke, it’s a joke.)