Dr. Kristin Sponcia is a Chicago-based pianist, vocalist, arranger, composer, and educator. She specializes in unique arrangements of jazz standards and pop songs. Her career focus has been on teaching and performing American jazz and accompanying vocalists, including herself.
From her appearance with the Phil Mattson Singers at Carnegie Hall, to a five-month jazz duo residency in China, Kristin’s performance career has been rich and varied. In Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Key Largo, Nashville, and Urbana, IL, her freelance work as a pianist has included playing in a Dixieland band, weddings, jazz festivals, background music, big bands, small jazz groups, churches, and an abundance of solo gigs. As a vocalist, Kristin sang with the Phil Mattson Singers for two years, started her own vocal jazz group in the Chicago area, and is often called upon to accompany the best vocalists in her place of residence.
Kristin has considerable academic training and teaching experience. Over the last four years she held various teaching positions at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee High School of the Arts (of which she is an alumnus), and Cardinal Stritch University. She graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance (Voice) from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2018, where she held a coveted Teaching Assistantship. Her doctoral research is titled "The Advantages and Challenges of the Female Self-Accompanied Jazz Vocalist."
Prior to starting her D.M.A., Kristin was a full-time faculty member for eight years at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN. Her robust skill set allowed her to teach a variety of courses and direct a jazz combo. She earned her Master of Music in Jazz Studies and Studio Music (Piano) from Roosevelt University in 2005 and her Bachelor of Arts (Jazz Studies Emphasis–Piano) in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Kristin continues to grow her musicianship with skills in production, songwriting, and music business, including a recent launch of Sponcia Songs Custom Songwriting (click here for more info)
To stay current with her most recent performances, projects, and teaching residencies, visit www.kristinsponcia.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and add your email to her email list.
Born in Germany, Marcya Daneille is a cross-genre artist who specializes in jazz. Her repertoire of jazz standards, inclusive of select tunes from the Motown era, is the palette she uses to tell stories that celebrate love, offer comfort during moments of loss and remind us of the hilarity that can be found in everyday life.
Marcya's professional singing career began at the age of 15 when her high school choir director hired her to sing at local weddings.
While completing a bachelor's degree at Roosevelt University/Chicago Musical College, Marcya worked as a cantor for various parishes in the Chicago area and received her first contract with an opera company. Additionally, Marcya is the recipient of awards/acknowledgements from several music organizations including, Lakeview Music Society, N.A.T.S. (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee.
After living in England and Italy, Marcya relocated to New York City where she worked as a background vocalist, voice coach and session singer. Marcya has performed in New York City venues such as Miller Theater at Columbia University, Alice Tully Hall, Rose Hall (Jazz @ Lincoln Center), the Apollo Theater, Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar and S.O.B.s. Midwest venues include Freedom Hall, the Art Institute of Chicago, Carleton College and Hancher Auditorium. Milwaukee area performance highlights include the Racine Theater, Jazz in the Park, Summer Sizzle Jazz Festival, Main Street Festival, Blu and Mason Street Grill in the Pfister Hotel, St. Kate the Arts Hotel, Story Hill Firehouse, Musical Mainstage (Sunset Playhouse) and the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts as well as a host of private events. As a featured and/or supporting vocalist Marcya has shared the stage with artists such as jazz legends Wycliffe Gordon and Laurel Masse (former chanteuse with Manhattan Transfer), soul singers Gerald Levert and Vanessa Williams and opera legend Simon Estes. Marcya's CD "Keeping it Simple" was produced by Wycliffe Gordon and features .
In addition to performing, Marcya works as a Teaching Artist and has a private voice studio.