Sarah Tannehill Anderson

Acclaimed soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson opens SIU Carbondale’s biennial SIU Song Festival will sing in a free performance on Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall. (Photo provided by Sarah Tannehill Anderson)

September 08, 2023

SIU Song Festival will feature a variety of song styles, genres

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — An eclectic mix of song styles and genres will be celebrated as Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s SIU Song Festival kicks off, featuring acclaimed soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson, on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Tannehill Anderson is one of five featured artists who will participate during the festival’s 2023-2024 season. All of the performances are free and open to the public, thanks to SIU’s Fine Arts Activity Fee. Each of the concerts will be in Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall on the SIU campus.

The festival “is a celebration of what the voice can do across genres and styles,” said Carissa Scroggins, assistant professor of practice and voice area coordinator in the School of Music. “Each event is tailored for SIU’s music students to experience the most of each guest artist’s vast experiences.”

In addition to performances, Scroggins said the guest artists will participate in master classes with students that include topics such as “finding your niche as a performer, songwriting and fronting a band, singing crowd-pleasing and show-stopping arias and performing alongside star opera singers from St. Louis.”

Tannehill Anderson will be on campus Sept. 12-14, with her concert set for 7 p.m. Sept. 13. She sings a variety of musical styles — opera, oratorio, choral music, contemporary works and art song, and has performed with numerous opera companies across the United States and regional chamber ensembles. Tannehill Anderson has provided vocal training for 25 years and is creator of Raise Your Virtual Voice, a digital hub for vocal training.

Other guest artists on tap

Emily Hatch, Sept. 25-27, with a concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 26. Hatch is an award-winning professional contemporary vocalist, vocal coach and songwriter who has collaborated with pop artists and top songwriters around the world, in addition to being the front woman in her band. She opened Colorado Voice Studios in 2009 and has been the musical/vocal director for many children’s productions, including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “High School Musical” and “Grease.” She also crafted, wrote, directed and produced the musical “Overjoyed: Celebrating the Music of Stevie Wonder.”

Brett Kristofferson, Nov. 8-10, with a concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 10. Kristofferson is a musical theater composer and multi-faceted artist and an assistant professor of theater at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He has worked with young performing artists for more than two decades as a vocal instructor, musical director, acting instructor, director and audition coach. In addition to his award-winning music and lyrics, his musical play “Closer Than You Think” premiered in New York City in 2015 by Strange Sun Theatre.

Jacob Lassetter and Karen Kanakis, Feb. 8-9, with a joint concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 9. St. Louis-based opera singers and married couple Lassetter, a baritone, and Kanakis, a soprano, will perform together. Lassetter, whose career is on both the operatic and concert stage, is a professor and associate chair for recruiting and events management and director of opera studio at Webster University. Kanakis, an adjunct faculty member at Webster University, is a frequently sought-after solo recitalist and made her Carnegie Hall

debut in the Weill Recital Hall performing a joint program with her husband.

For more information on the programs, contact the School of Music at 618-536-8742 or