WMV Musician Workshop #21: Can You Actually Make a Living Doing Music? Yes!
January 11, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wisconsin Music Ventures hosts monthly musician workshops via Zoom that touch on important topics for musicians in the industry.
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 jazz festivals, background music, a Dixieland band, big bands, small jazz groups, church work, weddings, 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 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.
Presently, Kristin performs and teaches in the Chicagoland and Milwaukee areas. She continues to grow her musicianship with skills in production, songwriting, and music business.