Garden Tour and Symphony Sounds String Quartet in Wicker Park on Sunday


A tour through the Wicker Park Gardens by the Wicker Park Garden Club (WP Garden) at 10 a.m. on Sun., Sept. 14, will be followed by the fourth and final 2014 summer Symphony Sounds String Quartet performance at 11 a.m. To reserve a spot on the park garden tour  please RSVP.  


The Garden Tour
History of the park, the plants incorporated in the gardens and an introduction to the design techniques employed in creating the gardens are all part of the tour, which begins near the Damen/Schiller entrance to the park. 

The ornamental gardens, established in 1987, comprise 10,000 square feet of space.designed, funded, and maintained by volunteers affiliated with the Wicker Park Garden Club. The club works in close collaboration with the Chicago Park District through the Community Gardens in the Parks program. Various sections of the gardens are designated in memory of individuals who worked to develop the Park gardens: William Westfall, Marion Smith, Casey Wismont, Conrad Cwiertnia, Petrina Patti and Allen Blaurock.  


All interested gardeners are invited to attend weekly garden tending days (Saturdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.) where they will learn how to design and maintain gardens for their homes.   

In addition to the hands on horticultural training, the club offers monthly lectures from October through April as well as a seven-week landscape design workshop each January and February. A Big Mulch Day occurs each April, an annual plant sale in May, a Green Resource Fair, presented in collaboration with the WPB Chamber and SSA #33, in June. A Fountain Decorating Social in November brings the holiday decorations to the Park for the season. 


In August the performers were Dave Moss, Madeline Capistran, Rebecca Zimmerman and Ryan Loeckel*

The last 2014 Wicker Park Classical Music Series concert
Each month this summer, the Symphony Sounds String Quartet focused on musical compositions from different regions of the world: June (Western Europe), July (Eastern Europe), and August (North America). 

This month, the quartet will perform a group of works from South America: Heitor Villa-Lobos  String Quartet #5; Jacob Gade’s Jalousie; Alberto Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas, Ángel_Villoldo’s El Choclo, Astor Piazzolla’s Tanguedia III, Isaac Albéniz’s Tango in D, Zequinha de Abreu’s Tico Tico

The quartet rotated the performers each month, selecting the individuals who specialized in the music performed in each concert. For the September performance Ryan Loeckel and Julia Birnbaum will play violin, Dominic Johnson will play viola, and Sarah Marsh will play cello. This will be Dominic Johnson's first performance in Wicker Park. These excellent performers’ backgrounds are stunning and you can read about them by clicking their names above. As usual, we expect the performance to be incredible and inspiring, especially the Villa-Lobos work. 


W. Eugene Smith captured Villa-Lobos for "Life Magazine"

The featured composition for the September performance will be the Villa-Lobos String Quartet #5. The following description of the work is from Edition SilverTrust.

“Beginning in 1905, Heitor Villa-Lôbos (1887-59) explored the native and folk melodies of interior Brazil and paid special attention to the melding of African with Portuguese melodies. During the years 1915-1920, he was greatly influenced by developments in modern French music after Darius Milhaud, Sergei Diaghilev and their colleagues visited Brazil. In the 1920's, he made two visits to Paris and further familiarized himself with current developments in composition. By the 1930's his music with its exotic sounds had captured the imagination of the French and became well respected internationally. 

String Quartet No.5, also known as Quarteto Popular No.1, dates from 1931 and is perhaps Villa-Lobos’ most appealing and inventive string quartet. The first movement, which is the longest, consists of seven separate episodes. The second movement is in four parts, presents the spooky night music of the Brazilian jungle. One can hear the animals calling out of the dark from among the hidden foliage. The third movement, also in four parts begins with a rhythmic Indian section which leads to a short dramatic cello melody followed by a highly romantic subject. The finale, Allegro, begins with an unmistakably Indian dance motif, at first threatening and then sprightly. A playful folk dance played with harmonics in all the voices follows, and then a wild Brazilian folk dance brings the movement to a close.” 

The concert and the tour are presented to the public due to the numerous, dedicated volunteers who have turned Wicker into one of the most active parks in the City. The gardens and programming are designed, funded and produced by volunteers. 

The Wicker Park Classical Music Series is funded through a gift from The Friends of St. Paul’s Community Church, WPGarden, Wicker Park Advisory Council (WPAC) and the WPB Chamber & Farmer’s Market and supported by volunteers from WPGarden, WPAC, Mosaic Church, Urban Encounter, Our Urban Times and Friends of the Parks. The series is produced in partnership with the Chicago Park District.

June Concert, July Concert and August Concert

*Photo by Elaine Coorens


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