Vesper Concert Series Welcomes New Artistic Director

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August 8th, 2017

Kristi Treu, Dana Sloan, and Stacie Haneline

Photo courtesy of Stacie Haneline

Omaha, NE—Since 1988, the Vesper Concert series has been showcasing local and international musicians in some of Omaha’s best chamber music performances at the Presbyterian Church of the Cross. Now after 30 years, founder Dana Sloan is stepping down and Stacie Haneline will be taking over as Artistic Director.

Reflecting on the life of the series, Sloan considered what has set the Vesper Concerts apart.

“I think the versatility, the variety, because we don’t do a series of four or five string quartet programs,” Sloan said. “There is a great variety in the field of chamber music—a great number of ensembles, and we try to represent that variety each season and we have for a number of years. And that’s everything from piano trios, to brass quintets, to chamber choir, small orchestras, and any number of things like that.”

The Vesper Series has experienced some changes in the past to fulfill the role it has today. The series’ early concerts were designed to highlight the church’s organ, constructed in Boston in 1895, but demand changed the path of a series that Sloan had not intended to continue.

“At first we were doing primarily music that would center around music of the church and we began to work in chamber music but we began to find that there seemed to be a real hunger and a real call for good chamber music and granted the series has evolved to being one of primarily chamber music over the last thirty years and less and less organ music. In fact when we began the series it was called the Organ Vesper Series, and people asked why do you never use the organ, and it was confusing for folks. So we decided we would either A: Use the organ more, or B: change the name, and we arrived at a compromise. We use the organ a little bit in the series and try to each each season, but we felt that the core of our audience wanted chamber music.”

Stacie Haneline is an accomplished performing pianist, and her commitment to chamber music is reflected in her performances with numerous chamber ensembles, as well as her leadership as the Artistic Director of the International Series in Canberra, Australia, the Artistic Director of the International Series at UNO and the Executive Director of the Omaha Chamber Music Series – a position she held for ten years.

Haneline has worked alongside Sloan at the Vesper Concert Series as well as having performed in it, and she hopes to maintain its role in the community.

“I’d love to encourage people to be a part of what our vision and dream is for the next thirty years for Vesper,” Haneline said. “We have a great community in Omaha. We’re all transplants, and we have made this city our home. It’s vibrant, the Midwest is one of the kindest places that I’ve ever lived, but to be a part of that vision I’d like to reach out and encourage people to get in touch communicate talk to us. Don’t be afraid to reach out by e-mail or whatnot, and through the 2017-2018 series, I know that we’re going to be really active in how we are growing and developing the series for years to come, but by nature of being collaborative and cooperative, it’s really important for me to have conversations with people and hear what is it that you like about this series—what’s happened in the past, what would you like to see, what haven’t you seen here before.”

The Vesper Concert Series season will begin September 17 with Baroque Sensations. For more information about the series, including this season’s lineup visit VesperConcerts.org.

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