Sign Up for e-Notes

Recently Posted

Artstreet drawing winners

September 30th, 2018

Brown County Civic Music Association had a booth Artstreet again this year. Les Heckman and his volunteers did a fabulous job. Visitors to the Civic Music booth were invited to enter a drawing for two tickets to the concert of their choice. Our ten winners are listed here. If you see them at a concert this season be sure to say hello and invite them to become members next season.

The following ten people won:

  1. Randy Westberg, Green Bay, WI
  2. Michelle Sprerl, Green Bay, WI
  3. Althea Rosenberg, De Pere, WI
  4. Dakota Alvarado-Ortiz, De Pere, WI
  5. Kristen Hubbell, Green Bay, WI
  6. Donna Biebel, Green Bay, WI
  7. Collin Hess, Green Bay, WI
  8. Ebony Harvey, Green Bay, WI
  9. Melody Wuest, Sheboygan, WI
  10. Tomas Dominguez, Green Bay, WI

Bonus concerts in Marinette-Menominee

September 30th, 2018

A bonus of your Civic Music membership is reciprocity with our sister organization in Marinette-Menominee. That means your membership is actually good for six concerts – our five PLUS one of the four offered by River Cities Concerts. Their series offers DSQ Electric, Nov. 5; Leon Williams Sings Noel, Nov. 29; Boston Brass, April 5; and the Jersey Tenors, May 6. Contact the Civic Music Office to reserve a spot on the pass list. Visit for concert information.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez – Biography

September 30th, 2018

Season Listing | Biography | Program

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, Concert Organist
San Diego Civic Organist and
Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society

With words such as “sizzling”, iconoclastic”, “impeccable”, and “transcendent” used to describe his performances, Raúl Prieto Ramírez is the first Spanish organist in recent times to establish himself among the elite of the international pipe organ scene. The powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication, and outstanding technique of Spanish organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez make him shine in a wide range of repertoire and styles”. (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

In December 2017, Raúl Prieto Ramírez was appointed the San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society, where he will preside over the famed Austin organ at the city’s Balboa Park Pavilion – the largest outdoor pipe organ in the Western Hemisphere. Mr. Ramírez is the eighth Civic Organist to serve San Diego on the Spreckels organ bench.

Mr. Ramírez was appointed at age 27 as the first Organist-in-Residence of the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid—Spain’s National Concert Hall, a position that had never existed until his appointment. Within the first six months of his tenure there, he increased attendance at the hall’s organ recitals by a multiple of 30, and critics hailed him as one of the most exciting talents in the music scene in Spain. His global schedule takes him to major festivals and concert halls (from the Mariinsky Theater and Moscow House of Music in Russia to organ churches and cathedrals through Europe and the US), performances and lectures for universities and institutions (such as Indiana University, Moscow Conservatory, Graz University, and Chapters of the American Guild of Organists), collaborations in summer academies, and as jury member at international competitions.

After studies in Spain where he received the highest distinctions and awards, Mr. Ramírez moved to Stuttgart on a scholarship from the German government to study organ performance with Ludger Lohmann. At the same time, he was developing his technique with pianist Leonid Sintsev at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. He also worked on interpretation of the different schools of organ literature with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Eric Lebrun, Lionel Rogg, Zsigmond Szathmáry, and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and he also intensively studied composition, orchestral conducting, improvisation, and continuo playing. The premieres of his works have been recorded and broadcast in Spain, including chamber music, organ music, many pieces for solo instruments and a concerto for organ and orchestra that was premiered in Barcelona.

As a result of his varied studies, Mr. Prieto Ramírez possesses a wide and deep knowledge of organ repertoire, styles, and schools, from the 14th century Robertsbridge Codex to the new compositions he commissions. He is respected as a specialist in such disparate subjects as Spanish music, historic keyboard techniques, and modern symphonic transcriptions for the organ. His transcriptions of Liszt’s piano études and Mephisto Waltz have been praised by audience and critics alike in Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Critics have also highly praised his interpretations of the music of Buxtehude, Bach, Franck, and Reger.

From 2013-2017, Mr. Ramírez was organist-in-residence at Sursa Concert Hall and served on the organ faculty at Ball State University, Indiana. He continues as the Artistic Director and Founder of the Barcelona Summer Organ Festival and Academy. Mr. Ramírez has been widely recorded and interviewed for radio and television in several European countries and in the US. His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy (music of Franck, Liszt, Reger, and Saint-Saëns) and at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona (music for piano and organ duet). In June 2016, Mr. Ramirez and his wife, Spanish pianist Maria Teresa Sierra, were featured duo artists at the American Guild of Organists’ national convention in Houston.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez is represented exclusively in North America by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez – Program

September 30th, 2018

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, Concert Organist
Weidener Center for the Performing Arts, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Friday, October 12, 2018 at 7:30pm


Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Allegro (from Symphony VI in g minor Op. 42 No. 2)
Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)

Rhapsodie Op. 7 No. 1
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Mephisto Waltz No. 1 ‘Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke’
(‘The Dance in the Village Inn’) S. 514
Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)
(arr. Raúl Prieto Ramírez)




Fantasia and Fugue on the chorale “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam”
259 (from Meyerbeer´s opera ‘Le Prophète’)
Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)


Audio or video recording of this recital, using any device, without prior written consent is strictly prohibited.


Raúl Prieto Ramírez is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC

E-mail:       Phone: 860-560-7800

PO Box 6507, Detroit, MI 48206-6507

Civic Music welcomes elite organist Prieto Ramirez for Weidner Center concert

September 30th, 2018

GREEN BAY — The pairing of one of the world’s most dynamic concert organists and the magnificent, 3,702-pipe Wood Family Organ promises a memorable evening of music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

The concert featuring Spanish-born Raúl Prieto Ramírez is presented by the Brown County Civic Music Association as the season opener of its five-concert classical subscription series for 2018-19.

General admission tickets, available at the door, are $25 for adults, $10 for students 18 and under, and $15 for members of the American Guild of Organists.

Formerly of Barcelona, Ramirez has been based since January in San Diego, Calif., where he is organist in residence for Balboa Park’s renowned Spreckels Organ, the largest outdoor musical instrument in the Western Hemisphere. Hired after an international search that included audition concerts by the finalists, Ramirez was lauded for his technical excellence, expressive musicality, and charismatic performance skills. He is known for being one of the few top-tier concert organists who perform from memory.

The program for his Green Bay concert will open with the intense and richly layered Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541, by Johann Sebastian Bach.  He will follow with the Allegro movement from Charles-Marie Vidor’s Symphony VI in g minor Op. 42 No. 2, which premiered in 1879 at the Paris World Exhibition. The third selection, Rhapsodie Op. 7 No. 1 by Camille Saint-Saëns, was inspired by the composer’s deep affection for French culture and folk music.  The final piece before intermission will be a Franz Liszt orchestral work transcribed by Ramirez and conveying passion, sensuality and dramatics:  Mephisto Waltz No. 1 ‘Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke’ (The Dance in the Village Inn).

The second half of the program will be devoted to the Liszt masterpiece,  Fantasia and Fugue on the chorale “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” (Latin for “Come to us, to the waves of salvation”). The operatic work begins with dark drama, shifts to quiet contemplation and energetic lyricism, and concludes with a triumphant coda.

Prominent among many career milestones for Ramirez was appointment in 2006, at the young age of 27, as the first organist in residence for the Auditorio Nacional de Música (the national concert hall) in Madrid. He went on to found Spain’s most successful organ festival, the International Organ Festival of Barcelona, where he continues as artistic director. His global schedule regularly takes him to major festivals and concert halls throughout Europe and North America, and he wins critical praise for performances described as “awe-inspiring” and “electrifying.” His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy and at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.

Organist Jeff Verkuilen, a Green Bay business person and Civic Music board member who helped arrange the visit of Ramirez to Wisconsin, says the concert will be a celebration not only of the artist’s singular talent but of the quality of the Weidner Center and its Casavant organ.

“It’s a phenomenal instrument,” Verkuilen says. “It’s a rarity – a blessing – to have a pipe organ of that magnitude and quality in a community the size of Green Bay. We’re proud to give people a chance to hear it played, and to hear it played by such a talented performer.”

Following the organ concert at the Weidner on Oct. 12, the Brown County Civic Music series will return to its traditional venue at Holter Auditorium, Green Bay West H.S., for its next three concerts:  vocal ensemble Cantus, Saturday, Nov. 10; the Siberian Virtuosi string ensemble, Friday, March 22; and Vienna-based crossover quartet Janoska, Thursday, April 4. The season finale, on Saturday, May 11, returns to the Weidner with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, special guest Catherine Lan and that evening’s musical centerpiece, the Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2. Information on purchasing a season pass, $80 for adults and $25 for students, may be found at or by calling 920 338-1801.


Annual Meeting – June 25

June 3rd, 2018

If you’re a ticket-buying subscriber to the Brown County Civic Music series, you’re eligible to attend our annual membership meeting to voice your opinion and share suggestions. Please join us at 7 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2018 at the First United Presbyterian Church, 605 N. Webster Avenue, De Pere.

Two guest artists have Civic Music roots

June 3rd, 2018

The Five artists from Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will be joined by two young performers with local ties, Emily (Brand) Oehrtman and Anna Parks. Both the Brand and Parks families are well-known in area music circles – and longtime Civic Music members, to boot.  The brief set by the Green Bay area singers highlights the local excellence of vocal music education, and this community’s track record of sending forth opera performers and educators.

Classic pop standards, too

June 3rd, 2018

In keeping with their typical summer format, the Florentine Opera pros will offer music lovers a split program with opera at the outset and Great American Songbook repertoire coming post-intermission. Early opera selections will include famous melodies from La Boheme, The Barber of Seville and Romeo and Juliet. The second half features standards including Come Fly with Me, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Til We Meet Again, and more. For a more complete performance outline, see the program.

On Opera Day, a reception for Civic Music members

June 3rd, 2018

Join us at the amphitheatre’s hillside pavilion next Sunday for a pre-concert reception for Civic Music members. Complimentary snacks, a cash bar and great conversation await. If you come early (members will be on pass list for early entry, at 2 p.m.) to claim a prime lawn-seating spot or enjoy your free stroll of the Botanical Garden, be sure to stop by headquarters at the pavilion, which is formally known as the Matthew Schmidt Garden and Wangerin Pavilion.

Civic Music Association presents ‘Opera in the Garden’ June 10

June 3rd, 2018

GREEN BAY — Professional opera performance comes to Northeastern Wisconsin with the outdoor vocal concert “Opera in the Garden” at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10, 2018 at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, 2600 Larsen Road.

Featured performers will be summer-residency vocalists from the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee. Also appearing, in a brief separate “set,” will be two young teaching and vocal professionals with Green Bay ties.

Music will include classic and light opera by Rossini, Donizetti, Leoncavallo and Gounod, as well as musical theatre and American standards from the 1920s, ’30s and ‘40s by George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, and others. (See below for program and artist details.)

The June 10 event is believed to be the first summer program and first outdoor concert in the 90-year history of the Brown County Civic Music Association.  The free concert is a bonus to the Association’s customary five-concert, subscription series of visiting classical performances. Board president Christopher Sampson describes it as community outreach and a thank-you to membership, as well as a way to reconnect with the organization’s history.

“In the 1960s and ‘70s Civic Music was bringing in top Met stars on a regular basis when schedules and economics allowed, people like Roberta Peters, Robert Merrill, Birgit Nilsson,” Sampson says. “For a time, not too long ago, Green Bay had its own company doing fully staged opera. Even now as it has become a little harder to find, there’s still interest in live opera.”

The choice of venue highlights the new Billie Kress Amphitheatre, which opened last fall as part of the GBBG’s Schneider Family Grand Garden. Lawn seating is free, with gates open to the general public at 3 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, folding chairs and, should they choose, their own picnic baskets and coolers. (No liquor carry-ins allowed.) Beverages and picnic/cookout fare also will be available at concession stands. A limited number of reserved seats on the Cowles Terrace near the stage, if available, will be $10 per chair.

The rain site is Cornerstone Foundation Hall located in the Schneider Education Center. If indoors, seating preference will be given to those who reserved Cowles Terrace tickets, with standing room only for those admitted free. To find out if the concert has been moved indoors, after 10 a.m. on the 10th please go to or call the garden at (920) 490-9457.

The June 10 concert presented by Brown County Civic Music is one of six in the Botanical Garden’s inaugural Schneider Family Grand Concert Series. The others are:  June 2, Vic Ferrari Symphony on the Rocks;  July 1, Civic Symphony of Green Bay Pops Concert;  Aug. 3, Sounds of Nashville;  Aug. 26, Grass Roots Festival;  Sept. 21, Brews, Bistros and Bonfires.

For logistical info on “Opera in the Garden,” at 4 p.m. June 10, visit

Civic Music Association presents ‘Opera in the Garden’ June 10 (continued)…

Performance Details:

Performers from the Florentine Opera Company, along with their keyboard accompanist:

Nicole Heinen (Soprano)
Heinen, a Wisconsin native, holds a bachelor’s from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s in performance from UW-Madison. Recently, she played Mademoiselle Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She has toured with Opera for the Young and participated with them in the Ravinia Festival.

Briana Moynihan (Mezzo-soprano)
Moynihan, holding a master’s from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, has portrayed the roles of Hermia in Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Chief Elder in The Giver and more. She has won numerous competitions, including a Metropolitan Opera National Council district competition.

Nicholas Huff (Tenor)
Huff has successfully taken on many roles, most recently as Joseph Treat in Victoria Bond’s opera Mrs. President, in his debut at the Rochester Lyric Opera. He has performed with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop and the Eastman Opera Theater.  Recently, he was a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the New York State Ballet.

Stephen Hobe (Baritone)
Hobe, from Chicago, has performed recently as Silvio in Pagliacci at Main Street Opera. He has performed regionally with Music Theater Works, Main Street Opera, NewMoon Theatre, Towle Theatre, Chicago Summer Opera, North Park University, as well as internationally with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.

Accompanist Ruben Piirainen, keyboard
Piirainen holds degrees in piano performance from the Lawrence University Conservatory and Bowling Green State. His credits include the Florentine Opera’s @ The Center Series; numerous performances with Skylight Music Theatre; Present Music; Festival City Symphony and the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra.

Two young singers with Green Bay ties and professional opera experience will be returning to perform in the June 10 concert as a way to highlight the strength of vocal education locally:

Soprano Emily (Brand) Oehrtman is a faculty member at Muskingum (Ohio) University. She studied at Green Bay Preble High School, the Eastman School of Music, Penn State and the New England Conservatory before earning her doctorate at Ohio State. Chicago-based mezzo soprano Anna Parks, whose parents live in De Pere, studied at Viterbo University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts and was a participant last year in Madison Opera’s summer studio program. Their accompanist is pianist Elaine Moss, a faculty member with St. Norbert College.

Expected selections: Pieces performed as solos or duets by the two local performers will be announced from the stage. Florentine Opera shares the following as their part of the program.

  • Je veux vivre, Roméo et Juliette, Gounod
  • Da quell suon soavemente, La Bohème, Leoncavallo
  • Una furtiva lagrima, L’elisir d’amore (The Elixer of Love), Donizetti
  • Largo al factotum, Il barbieri di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Rossini

— Intermission —

  • Come Fly with Me (1957), James Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn, arr: Mac Huff
  • Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1940, words 1942), Duke Ellington & Bob Russell, arr: Mark Hayes
  • Moonglow (1933), words & music: Will Hudson, Eddie DeLange & Irving Mills, arr: Darmon Meader
  • The Girl I Love (1924), music: George Gershwin, lyrics: Ira Gershwin
  • Love Walked In (1930), music: George Gershwin, lyrics: Ira Gershwin, arr: Ed Lojeski
  • Blue Moon (1934), music: Richard Rodgers, lyrics: Lorenz Hart
  • I’ve Got the World on A String (1932), 21st Cotton Club series, Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • It’s only A Paper Moon (1933), The Great Magoo, music: Harold Arlen; lryics: Billy Rose, E. Y. Harburg
  • That Old Black Magic (1942), Star Spangled Rhythm, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Johnny Mercer
  • Over the Rainbow(1939). The Wizard of Oz, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • Get Happy (1929), The Nine-Fifteen Revue, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler, arr: Philip Kern
  • Till We Meet Again (1918), music: Richard A. Whiting; words: Raymond B. Egan, arr: Stewart