Samantha Park, Soprano

Korean-American soprano Samantha Park is a versatile artist from suburban New York. In May 2017 she received her Bachelors degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music, a conservatory of the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.

She studied under renown mezzo-soprano Katherine Ciesinski, and performed in numerous vocal ensembles, including the Eastman Chorale, Repertory Singers, and the University of Rochester Women’s Chorus. She has performed in Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera, sang the role of Edith in the Pirates of Penzance accompanied by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the role of Despina in W.A. Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte”. Samantha is also an avid recitalist, performing recently at the Eastman School, the Opera Center of America in Manhattan, New York, as well as the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She is delighted to sing with the Chicago City Wide Symphony Orchestra as a tribute to Conductor Chung Yoon Park, her grandfather.

Ms. Park will perform the following pieces at the CCWSO’s 70th anniversary concert celebrating the founder, Fanny A. Hasler, and Maestro Chung Yoon Park:

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio! (K. 418)
W. A. Mozart (1756-1791)

Die Zauberflöte, K.620; 17. Aria: Ach ich fühl’s, es ist verschwunden
W. A. Mozart (1756-1791)

The Phantom of the Opera; Act I. Think of Me
Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948- )

Andrea Amdahl Taylor and Mark A. Taylor

Andrea Amdahl Taylor, Soprano

Andrea Amdahl Taylor has sung with companies throughout Illinois and Wisconsin, including Chicago Folks Operetta, Bowen Park Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Chamber Opera Chicago, Intimate Opera, and Light Opera Works.

Favorite roles include Fiordiligi (Così fan Tutte), Miss Titmouse (Too Many Sopranos), Lucy (The Telephone), Miss Silverpeal (The Impresario), Ann Putnam (The Crucible), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), and the Princess (L´Enfant et les Sortilèges). Ms. Taylor earned her MMus at Northwestern University and her AB at Stanford University. She is a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Grant Park Symphony Chorus and was an original member of the Chicago Symphony Singers.

Mark A. Taylor, Conductor

Mark A. Taylor is the Music Director and Conductor of the Milwaukee Festival Brass. Mr. Taylor made his Wisconsin debut with the band in 2011 as a guest conductor, and is now in his third full season as the ensemble’s artistic leader.

A conductor, educator, and performer in demand throughout the Great Lakes region, Mr. Taylor served five years as director of bands and coordinator of ensembles at Loyola University Chicago prior to beginning his doctoral studies. He was also a member of the music education faculty for the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Mr. Taylor attended the University of Notre Dame, receiving BA degrees in music and mathematics. While there, he performed as a percussionist in the Concert Band and Chamber Orchestra; sang in the Liturgical Choir, Collegium Musicum, and Men’s Glee Club; served as a cantor in Sacred Heart Basilica; led the Band of the Fighting Irish as drum major; and studied conducting with Walter Ginter and Carl Stam.

After a period working in advertising in Chicago, Mr. Taylor pursued graduate studies at Northwestern University. His master of music degrees in instrumental music education and wind conducting concluded studies with renowned education specialists Bennett Reimer and Peter Webster and conductors John P. Paynter and Stephen G. Peterson. Before joining the music faculty at Loyola University, Mr. Taylor taught band at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in Chicago’s northern suburbs. His bands have received numerous superior ratings and awards.

As a percussionist, Mr. Taylor performs with the Chicago Brass Band, named North American Brass Band Association champion in 2004 and runner-up in 2008. He is a member of the National Band Association, College Music Society, College Band Directors National Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He and his wife and son reside in Lake Forest, IL.

Sarah Wald, Composer

World Premiere: Adagio and Scherzo—Sarah Wald

Sarah Wald was born in Chicago. She attended Columbia University in the City of New York for her bachelor’s degree in music with a focus in composition. While at Columbia, Sarah studied composition with Tristan Murail and Arthur Kampela, as well as with Robert Lombardo in Chicago. She also studied flute with Sue Ann Kahn. Sarah then studied with Conrad Susa and David Garner at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for her master’s degree in composition. For her master’s thesis, she composed and produced Elegy for a Lady: a Music Drama in One Act.

Over the past several years, Sarah’s music has been featured at various festivals and other programs, including the Composer-Performer Collaboration Workshop (California State University, Fresno), the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, the New York Youth Symphony’s Composition Program, the nief-norf Summer Music Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival.

Sarah has also received several honors, awards, and commissions. She graduated from Columbia magna cum laude and also received Columbia’s Rapaport Prize in 2012. In 2014 and 2016, she was a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In 2015, she was awarded professional development grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Her percussion quartet, Pas de Quatre, was selected by the University of Tennesee Knoxville for performance at PASIC 2015’s New Literature Showcase Concert. Finally, Sarah has received several individual commissions as well as commissions from Access Contemporary Music, the University of Tennesee Martin Contemporary Music Group, and the Saint Xavier University Flute Choir.

Sarah will begin her doctoral studies in composition and music theory at the University of California, Davis in September 2016.


WHEREAS, City Wide Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Chung Yoon Park, celebrates its 68th season this year; and

WHEREAS, this esteemed body has been informed of this milestone by the Honorable John Arena, Alderman of the 45′” Ward; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of Chung Yoon Park since 1992, Maestro Park has brought his musical brilliance and commitment to mentorship to City Wide Symphony Orchestra, lending his global experience with the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony, KBS Chamber Orchestra, Seoul National Opera Company, and experience studying and conducting in Europe; and

WHEREAS, not just a leader in his capacity for music, but a mentor and friend to many of all ages who participate in the orchestra, Maestro Park’s enthusiasm and commitment to music performance has inspired many future musicians; and

WHEREAS, committed to making musical performance and education accessible to many, City Wide Orchestra is open to all regardless of previous training, providing a diverse and all-inclusive range of musicians contributing to this accomplished orchestra; and

WHEREAS, the City Wide Orchestra, in its 68th year, has called the Jefferson Memorial Park Field House home since 1953, and has been invited to perform across the city, sharing the gifts of these talented musicians with music lovers around Chicago; now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Mayor and members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, gathered here this tenth day of December, 2014, do hereby congratulate City Wide Symphony Orchestra on its 68th season, and extend our wishes for continued success.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution be prepared and presented to City Wide Symphony Orchestra and Chung Yoon Park.

City of Chicago – 12/10/2014 – R2014-953

Krissie Odegard Geye, Choreographer

Krissie graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with degrees in Vocal Performance, Public Relations and International Studies, was “Tapadictorian” at the American Tap Dance Institute, and is a certified teacher in the Cecchetti Ballet Method through the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA).

She has been on staff for Goliard Concerts in New York City, The Ethnic Dance Theatre in St. Paul, MN, and Barbi Lee Dance Arts Center in Minneapolis, MN as well as clinician at the ATDI “Spirit of Tap” Conference, faculty member for the New York City Public School system, and Director of Dance at Island Lake Summer Arts Camp. She was the runner up in the National Choreography Competition sponsored by Ovation TV. She is the nine-time winner of the prestigious “Most Outstanding Choreography” award from Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Competition, and has also received the “Excellence in Choreography Award” from American Dance Awards, and Chicago Dance Connection. Her dancers and choreography were also chosen for the Dance Chicago “Choreographer’s Showcase” in 2012.

She has served as the Assistant Director for Cathy Roe’s “Dance Spectacular” for two years, working with top students from all over the United States to put together a contemporary dance concert at the Ultimate Dance Nationals. This will also be her second year as the Director of the National “Heart and Soul” Dance Company at Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Natinoals, and is excited to be a judge for Caty Roe’s Ulitmate Dance for the upcoming season. She has served as a faculty member for the Jayson Michael’s Energy Source National Intensive, working with 60 students from around the nation in all styles of dance. She is currently the proud Owner and Artistic director of the Dance and Music Academy.

Link Dance & Music Academy
5347 W. Devon Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646  
(773) 763-5759

Ballet Performance

Ballet dancers Hannah Brennan, Kaleigh De la Cruz, Delaney Haas, Maura Haas, Britt Hoover, Gabriella Lujan, Kate Moorhouse, Jordan Novy, Julia Novy, and Isa Sanchez from Chicago’s Dance & Music Academy join the City Wide Symphony Orchestra in a special performance of Eduard Strauss’ “Bahn Frei” (Clear Track) Polka – with choreography by Krissie Odegard Geye.

By the time Bahn Frei was composed in 1865 railroads had crisscrossed much of Europe and the United States, Chicago’s George Pullman was introducing his new sleeper car, and Chicago was well on it’s way to becoming the undisputed railroad center of North America. The railroads afforded a new commerce and passenger travel that profoundly affected the lives of everyone touched by them.

From the rhythms of the opening bars and the whistle pitches of the flutes and piccolo there is little question that Bahn Frei is about steam locomotives and railroads. Subtitled a “polka schnell”, the tempo and orchestral characteristics exhibit playfulness and exhilaration, and its melodies are vibrant and colorful. The mood is ecstatic and festive, and no doubt offers a glimpse of what it was like to travel at high speeds for the first time.

In 1892 Chicago’s first elevated train was powered by a steam locomotive and ran from Van Buren to 39th Street, and shortly was extended to Jackson Park for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Some of the same route exists today and is known as the Green Line. In 2005 Chicago Tribune readers voted Chicago’s “L” rail transit system one of the “seven wonders of Chicago”. CTA’s 1,356 rail cars operate over 224.1 miles of track making 2,250 trips each day and annually provide 229.12 million rides.

Chicago’s Dance & Music Academy and the City Wide Symphony Orchestra celebrate Chicago’s rich railroad history and its future to the music of Eduard Strauss – Bahn Frei! (Clear the tracks).