AEIVA and Department of Music Present Chamber Music @ AEIVA

AEIVA and the UAB Department of Music present music inspired by AEIVA’s fall exhibitions.

Our theme is Dichotomies, as inspired by the artwork on display right now. We will explore both classical and jazz standards by both white and Black composers, from religious music to cultural commentary.

5:30p reception

6:00p performance
Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk (curator) and Charles Kennedy (harpsichord) and Sam Nordlund (cello) will perform songs by British Baroque composer Henry Purcell and 20th century American composer Florence Price. Steve Roberts and his jazz combo will be performing pieces by Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane,  and Charles Mingus that were written to bring attention to social injustices and racial inequality.


Praised for the “clarity in her singing as well as rich expressiveness” (Journal of Singing), soprano Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur in Québec City, and the Piccolo Teatro degli Instabili in Assisi, Italy. She has performed as a soloist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Bach Festival, Bourbon Baroque, and the Amherst Early Music Festival.

Driven to share stories of the Holocaust depicted in music, Kristine commissioned Lori Laitman to compose a sequel to her song cycle, I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Recorded with clarinetist Denise Gainey, The Secret Exit is the centerpiece of her CD released by Naxos. Colin Clarke of Fanfare hailed this world premiere recording “a most moving selection of songs for voice and clarinet, beautifully recorded.” In collaboration with Birmingham Art Music Alliance (BAMA), Kristine premiered Craig Biondi’s Two Psalms,and has championed the songs of Craig Brandwein, Diana Rosenblum, and David Hogg. Her CD of Dowland lute songs was released by Centaur in 2008.

Beyond performing, Kristine is Professor of Voice at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, currently serving as the Associate Dean of the Honors College. A noted stage director, her productions have won three top awards through the National Opera Association. Kristine is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher who helps people overcome performance anxiety. She leads weekly meditation groups through the Arts in Medicine program and the Honors College at UAB and is often invited as the featured presenter for retreats within the university.

Charles Kennedy, raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, is Associate Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral Church of the Advent (Episcopal) in Birmingham, Alabama, where he has served since February 2007. He received the Bachelor of Music degree from Samford University, studying organ under H. Edward Tibbs and piano under Betty Sue Shepherd.  He earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan, studying organ under Robert Glasgow and harpsichord under Edward Parmentier.

Previously he held positions in Michigan at St. John’s Episcopal Church of Detroit and the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, and was in residence during the spring and summer of 2006 as Visiting Organist and Choirmaster at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas. While in Michigan, he maintained a busy schedule as organ accompanist for various choral groups, and as organ and harpsichord recitalist and continuo player. He also served as President of the Academy of Early Music in Ann Arbor. Over the past two decades, he has achieved note as a specialist in the organ music of Herbert Howells. During the past three years, he has made a special study of the keyboard works of William Byrd, presenting recitals this year marking the 400th anniversary of Byrd’s death. He maintains an active schedule as a solo performer, concertizing on both organ and harpsichord.
Chris Steele is Staff Pianist and Instructor of Aural Skills, Class Piano, and Music Theory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. An active performer, Steele is a member of the UAB Chamber Trio, and collaborates with members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Opera Birmingham. He has held previous positions at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as Staff Pianist, and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as both Lecturer of Music Theory and Ear Training as well as Faculty Fellow for the UNCG Grogan College Music Learning Community. He received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of South Alabama where he studied with Jerry Alan Bush and Robert Holm. He received two Masters degrees from The Florida State University in Piano Performance and Music Theory where he studied with Carolyn Bridger. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Accompanying and Chamber Music from UNCG where he studied with Andrew Harley and James Douglass, and held assistantships in both accompanying and music theory/ear training.
Dr. Steven Roberts is Associate Professor of Jazz, Trumpet, and Jazz Piano at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Previously, he was assistant professor of trumpet and jazz at Mars Hill College after holding a similar position at Iowa State University. He is an active teacher, music director, and freelance musician and has performed with Marcus Roberts, Jon Faddis, Allen Vizzutti, Charo, Cecil and Deedee Bridgewater, Chip McNeill, Jim Pugh, alongside Kirk Whalum, Bob Mintzer and many others.

Dr. Roberts has directed and performed on trumpet and piano on 8 international music tours playing jazz, bluegrass, and rock through South America and Europe. He has performed, presented and has had his arrangements featured at local and international conferences. Dr. Roberts’ student ensembles have won first place at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Competition three times. Roberts has also had extensive classical performing experience as a soloist and with the UAB faculty Brass, the Cathedral Brass, the Johnson City Symphony, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony and the Sinfonia da Camera.

Brandon Peebles has been a professional bassist for 25 years. He is a staple musician in Birmingham, AL and around the South Eastern United States. Brandon has toured nationally and internationally backing Grammy winning artists, American Idol winners, and platinum record selling artists such as Taylor Hicks, Tommy Talton, Jimmy Hall, Rueben Studdard, just to name a few. Brandon is currently the regional manager and bass player in the Southeast’s premier event band, Emerald Empire Band and plays regularly at his local church.

Choko Aiken, born and raised in Japan, began studying classical piano at the age of three.  She studied piano, violin, voice and music theory at Colleges in Tokyo and Fukuoka as well as making journeys to the United States to study jazz in LA and NY. Her “Imagination” album, recorded in LA in 2011, was featured in that years February issue of “JAZZIZ” magazine. Choko left her long time group Tri-Voices and other long-associated bands to relocate to Birmingham in January 2013 after meeting her husband Jeff in Tokyo. He was one of several runners sent to a race by the Birmingham Track Club. Since that time Choko has enjoyed playing in the Magic City at many of its local venues which include the 4th Avenue Jazz Festival, Moss Rock Festival, Creek Bank Festival, Mt. Brook Arts Festival, Eric Essix Jazz Escape, Birmingham Super Jazz (Big Band) and as always she looks forward to continuing on with her main goal of simply making people “Happy” with her music!

Ticket Information

This event is FREE and open to the public.


All events are subject to change.

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