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Campus News / News

Grammy-winning musicians to bring Emily Dickinson’s poetry to life at Rockford University

01/24/2020 1:39 pm

Rockford University welcomes Grammy-winning musicians Sonja DuToit Tengblad, Michelle Schumann, Ph.D., and Dann Coakwell, Ph.D., as they present Emily Dickinson: How she speaks to modern minds and musicians on Friday, January 31 at 12 p.m. in Fisher Memorial Chapel. This production is presented in collaboration with the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center and shatters the fourth wall where it invites you right into Emily’s living room, into a conversation through her enlightened and truth-seeking words.

Together, soprano, Ms. Tengblad, a champion of new music; pianist, Dr. Schumann, Austin Chamber Music Festival’s artistic director; along with Eric Neuville, who has since been substituted by tenor, Dr. Coakwell, Assistant Professor of Voice at Ithaca College, curated Modern Dickinson. Modern Dickinson, also known as Emily Dickinson: How she speaks to modern minds and musicians, is a touring program featuring 21st-century settings of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. This production was named the number three Best Arts Event in Austin, Texas 2015, and nominated for four Austin Critic’s Table Awards.

These three musicians explore Emily Dickinson and how she speaks to the composers, musicians, and minds of today. Through modern musical settings of her poetry, the audience will discover the historical context from which she spoke and how we too might speak truth to power in peaceful, poignant, and fearlessly individualized ways.

With the exception of Performing Arts events, the Forum Series is free of charge. This event will take place in Fisher Memorial Chapel located on the Rockford University campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required and can be obtained by contacting the Box Office at 815-226-4100 or For a complete list of the 2020 Spring Forum Series events, visit ArtsLectures/ ForumSeries.