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About WSEMS


The WSEMS Chapter as a group encompasses a wide variety of playing levels from beginner to advanced. They meet together monthly to explore new music and practice pieces they may plan to perform for their concerts. Members are encouraged to bring copies of music to share during the group playing time. In addition to recorders, the group also encourages individuals to play percussion, reeds, strings, and other instruments. This affable group welcomes all players into their fold readily. If you are looking for a group of actively involved Early Music enthusiasts in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, please contact us for further information. We are pleased to announce that Laura Ostjerna Klehr will begin as our permanent director in January 2023.

Please read about her remarkable achievements in her bio!


Laura Ostjerna Klehr (née Osterlund) is a sought-out American recorder player and a member of a new and upcoming generation of historically informed musicians. Laura also performed concert programs showcasing the diverse musical repertoire of the recorder as a founding member of Chicago Recorder Quartet.

After earning her bachelor's degree in Early Music Performance and Music History from McGill University in 2012, Laura worked as the Assistant Program Manager and Recorder Specialist Teacher for Keiskamma Music Academy in rural South Africa, where she helped facilitate the musical instruction and academic support of over a hundred students from elementary school to high school. During her studies at McGill, Laura's facility with Gregorian chant notation gave her the opportunity to help develop an online, searchable Liber Usualis as a research assistant with McGill's Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries Lab. Laura completed her graduate studies in Historical Performance Practice on recorder at Case Western Reserve University in 2018. Advised by distinguished musicologist Susan McClary, Laura's culminating lecture-recital explored medieval instrumental improvisation in the Codex Faenza (titled "The Codex Faenza and the Tradition of Improvisation").


Laura has received honors such as the American Recorder Society Professional Development Grant, Walgreens National Concerto Competition awards, MacDowell Artists Annual Scholarship, Musicians Club of Women Farwell Trust Award, and Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship. Based in Chicago, Laura has worked as a recorder teacher at the Madison and Whitewater summer early music festivals, as a writer for the longstanding radio program Harmonia Early Music, and has performed with Chicago Opera Theater, Music of the Baroque, and Cleveland Opera Theater, among other ensembles. Laura has performed professionally on the vielle, Irish whistle, and shawm and sings as a cantor and choir member at churches throughout Chicago. She began busking on the recorder and vielle while traveling across America for concerts and performed on the recorder as a teenager at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, where she first tried learning to improvise renaissance embellishments.

Dues

Dues for the WSEMS Chapter are $45 per year (family or individual). Dues for the American Recorder Society (ARS) are $50 per year (includes 4 issues of the American Recorder magazine). Membership in the ARS is not required but encouraged. Members are requested to join ARS via their online website.